IslamiCity.org Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Culture & Community > Islamic Market Place (Bazar/Souk) > Islamic Events, Converence & Shows
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - The Ka`bah and the Abyssinians  What is Islam What is Islam  Donate Donate
  FAQ FAQ  Quran Search Quran Search  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


The Ka`bah and the Abyssinians

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
ak_m_f View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior  Member
Avatar

Joined: 15 October 2005
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 3272
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ak_m_f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Ka`bah and the Abyssinians
    Posted: 30 January 2006 at 3:30pm
The Persians and Romans failed to spread their dominance over the Arab Peninsula due to its harsh geographical nature. So, they headed towards the Yemen which was well known for its abundance of rain, fertile land and huge economic wealth. Thus, it became an object of contention for both the Persian and Roman Empires.

The Romans planned to preach for Christianity in that land and accordingly they formed an influential Christian colony in the city of Najran. At the same time, the Persians decided to depend on the Jews of Yemen in resisting the increasing Roman influence in the region.

The Himiyarite king Dhu Nuwas unexpectedly converted to Judaism and consequently he started persecuting the Christians and regarding them as agents for the Roman Empire. He, then, invaded (the city of) Najran and forced the Christians to accept Judaism or that he would slaughter them all. They chose martyrdom for the sake of their creed and accordingly he set fire to them in large fire ditches.

Because he had been considered the protector of Christianity at that time the Roman emperor Jastin I, was severely outraged by this incident and he thus intended to punish that king. Because the Roman Empire was far away from the Yemen, he asked his ally the Negus of Abyssinia to invade the Yemen and to punish Dhu Nuwas. The Negus responded to the request of the emperor and marched a huge army led by Ariyak who put an end to the rule of the Himiyarites in the Yemen. He killed Dhu Nuwas and this was the starting point of the Abyssinian occupation of Yemen.

Abrahah the Abyssinian assumed rule over Yemen after the death of Ariyak. Ever since that time, Abrahah endeavored to spread Christianity throughout Yemen and built a magnificent cathedral in San`a’, hoping thereby to make it supercede Makkah as the great place of pilgrimage for all Arabia. But Abrahah’s endeavors were fruitless since paganism was deeply rooted in the minds and hearts of the Arabs and it was difficult to eradicate it from their minds. Also, the Arabs then considered Abrahah no more than a damn occupier and thus they diverted away from his church.

Abrahah took permission from the Negus to try to attract the Arab pilgrims to perform pilgrimage to his church in San`a’ instead of the Ka`bah. He wrote to his master, the Negus, “I have built you a church, O king, the like of which was never built for any king before you; and I shall not rest until I divert unto it the Arab pilgrims.” Great was the angry of the Arabs and finally a man from Kinanah (a tribe akin to Quraish) went to San`a’ for the deliberate purpose of defiling the church, which he did one night and then returned safely to his people. When Abrahah heard of this he was outraged and vowed that in revenge he would raze the Ka`bah to the ground and force the Arabs to perform pilgrimage to his church. When the Arabs heard that Abrahah made preparations to set off for Makkah to destroy the Ka`bah they decided to fight him in defiance of the Sacred House of God.

Abrahah wanted to fulfill his vow and having his preparations he set off from San`a’ with a large army, in the front of which he placed a number of big elephants. Some of the Arab tribes attempted to defy Abrahah, but they failed and were put to flight. That was because he had gathered an enormous army and provided it with the necessary weapons and provisions brought to him from Abyssinia. The Abyssinian army halted at (the city of) At-Ta’if that is nearby Makkah. The affairs of At-Ta’if were administrated by (the tribe of) Thaqif which was envious of Quraish due to its great influence and its large returns annually gained from the coming of the pilgrims to visit the Ka`bah and trade. No wonder that Thaqif desired the removal of the glory of Quraish. Thus, they expressed him their pleasure with the coming of the Abyssinian army and they desired its success in destroying the Ka`bah. Thaqif had previously built the temple of Al-Lat in At-Ta’if in an attempt to attract the pilgrims to it but in vain.

When the army reached At-Ta’if, the men of Thaqif came out to meet Abrahah and his troops, afraid that Abrahah might destroy their temple of Al-Lat mistaking it for Ka`bah. They hastened to point out to him he had not yet reached his goal, and they offered him a guide for the remainder of his march.

The Abyssinian army camped on the outskirts of Makkah. Abrahah sent a detachment of his soldiers to Makkah. They took what they could on the way, and sent back their plunder to Abrahah, including two hundred camels which were the property of `Abd Al-Muttalib, the chief of Quraish and Makkah at that time and the grandfather of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). Quraish and other neighboring tribes held a council of war to defend the Sacred House, but decided that it was useless to try to resist the heavily armed enemy. Meanwhile Abrahah focused his aim on destroying the Ka`bah because Makkah was economically poor the matter which does not satisfy ambitions of the invaders. Consequently, Abrahah sent a messenger to Makkah, bidding him to ask for the chief man there. He was to tell him they had not come to fight but only to destroy the Ka`bah, and if he wished to avoid all bloodshed he must come to the Abyssinian camp.

People of Makkah directed this messenger to the house of `Abd Al-Muttalib who responded to the invitation of Abrahah delivered to him through the messenger saying, “By Lord, we do not need to fight him nor do we have the ability to do that. This is the House of God and the House of His intimate friend Ibrahim (Abraham).” The messenger demanded `Abd Al-Muttalib to accompany him to meet Abrahah.

When Abrahah saw him he was so impressed by his appearance that he rose from his royal seat to greet him, telling his interpreter to inquire if he had a favor to ask. `Abd Al-Muttalib replied that the army had taken two hundred of his camels and he asked that they should be returned to him. Abrahah was somewhat surprised at the request, and said, “I thought better of you when I first saw you, but it did not take long before I am disappointed in you when you talked to me. You are coming to ask me to give you your camels back rather than your religion and your House that I have now come to destroy.”

`Abd Al-Muttalib was so confident of Allah’s protection to His Sacred House; so he replied Abrahah, “I am the lord of the camels, and the Sacred House likewise has a lord who will defend it.” “He cannot defend it against me,” said Abrahah. “We shall see,” said `Abd Al-Muttalib. He (`Abd Al-Muttalib) offered him the third of the property of the province of Tuhamah but Abrahah refused the offer insisting on destroying the Ka`bah.

`Abd Al-Muttalib became sure of the inability to fight against the Abyssinians, so he requested the people of Makkah to withdraw to peaks of the surrounding mountains and to the bottom of valleys. The two hundred camels captured by the Abyssinians were returned to `Abd Al-Muttalib who offered them as a sacrifice to the Ka`bah later on.

The Divine Care protected the Sacred House of Allah and the invasion ended in a historic tragedy. According to Ibn Hisham in his book of Sirah (Biography of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him)), he narrated that Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, had sent against them flocks of birds from the direction of the sea. Each bird had three pebbles the size of dried peas, one in its beak and one between the claws of each foot. Millions of stones were flung at Abrahah’s army that perished completely. Al-Mas`udi narrated that Allah, Most High, sent against them flocks of birds striking them with stones of baked clay (mud mixed with stones) from the direction of the sea. Each bird had three pebbles and every stone found its mark until Allah, the Almighty, destroyed them all.

The Ever-Glorious Qur’an narrated this historic incident in Surat Al-Fil that reads, [Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant? Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? And He sent against them Flights of Birds, striking them with stones of baked clay. Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw, (of which the corn) has been eaten up] (Al-Fil 105:1-5).

The tragedy had come to an end by the destruction of most of the Abyssinian army. Abrahah along with a small number of his escaped soldiers returned in disorder to the Yemen to relate the story of the destruction of the invading army. It did not take long before Abrahah died after his return after plague overtook him.

Following the failure of this aggressive invasion, Quraish and its chief man were held in even greater respect than ever before. The Arabs called them, “The People of God,” because God had fought and vanquished their invincible enemy. The defeat of the Abyssinians in Makkah had caused the end of their occupation to the Yemen. There arose a national liberation movement led by Saif Ibn Dhi Yazan the Himiyarite who succeeded with the support of the Persians in evacuating the Abyssinians from the Yemen.

After the incident of the Elephant, the Arabs used to chronicle their events according to the Year of the Elephant until the Caliphate of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab. The Year of the Elephant had also witnessed the rise of the light of guidance and truthfulness; because in that same year Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was born.
Back to Top
Abeer23 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar
Joined: 28 September 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 493
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abeer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2006 at 8:05pm

Ma sha allah, wonderful post brother.  I always love reading about this incident.  It's just another example of the power of Allah to turn one's enemy to his closest friend and protector.   The first hijra to escape persecution from the Arabs in Mecca was to Abyssinia. It was the Abyssinian king that loved and protected the muslims.   And when he died, our propher prayed for him.  Ma sha allah

60:7 It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Salaam

Back to Top
ak_m_f View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior  Member
Avatar

Joined: 15 October 2005
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 3272
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ak_m_f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2006 at 11:17pm
this is the best quote

Quote
`Abd Al-Muttalib was so confident of Allah’s protection to His Sacred House; so he replied Abrahah, “I am the lord of the camels, and the Sacred House likewise has a lord who will defend it.” “He cannot defend it against me,” said Abrahah. “We shall see,” said `Abd Al-Muttalib. He (`Abd Al-Muttalib) offered him the third of the property of the province of Tuhamah but Abrahah refused the offer insisting on destroying the Ka`bah
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.