Sūrat al-Fil

Sūrah No. 105. Revealed in Makkah, 5 verses. The Sūrah refers to the incident of the army of elephants that tried to attack the Ka’abah in the year the Prophet a was born. It is a reminder of Allah’s power for tyrants of all times.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Imam Ja‘far al-Sādiq (a) has said: Whoever recites Sūrat al-Fīl in his obligatory prayers, every land, mountain and lump of earth will bear witness for him on the Day of Judgement that he has been one of those who offered prayers. On that Day, a caller will call out;You are right about My servant. I accept your witnessing, for him or against him. Let him enter Paradise without any accounting. Surely, I like him and his actions.

Note: According to scholars such a huge reward will be for those who refrain from being proud and work to please Him. This Sūrah and the Sūrah that follows it, Sūrat al-Quraysh, are considered as one sūra. Both need to be recited after al-Fatiha in the salaat.

General synopsis of contents

The Sūrah talks about how Abraha’s plan to destroy the Ka‘bah with an army of elephants was thwarted by an army of birds with pebbles in their beaks.

Selected Lessons

1) The power of Allah and His plan always prevails.

2) Human beings think they are mighty, but they are very weak.

3) Allah uses small agents to overcome powerful forces.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

It would be recommended that the entire Sūrah be memorized.

Activities for self-study

There is an interesting story about Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet a and his meeting with Abraha. Check it at: