Jihad in the Koran

The Civil War Which Started It All

Sparrows at War

Jihad in the KoranThe Koran mentions another A.D. confrontation in which Allah spectacularly interfered with the outcome. In this battle, He did not send angels to defeat His enemies, like at Badr, but sparrows.

The following story about birds defeating an army on elephants is from Virgil Gheorghiu’s La vie de Mahomet, with supporting verses from the Koran.

The inhabitants of the Arab Peninsula knew that Mecca was special to Allah even before the Prophet made it official.

It is reported in the Traditions that in 570, the year of Muhammad’s birth, Abraha, the Christian ruler of the principality of Saba' in Yemen (then part of the Abyssinian Empire) marched on Mecca after the Meccans allegedly tried to burn down a church he had built, and which the Meccans feared would attract more converts to Christianity.

On the approach to Mecca the elephant Abraha was ridding stopped, knelt on the ground and refused to go any further.

Suddenly, out of the sky appeared squadron after squadron of sparrows armed with tiny stones with which they bombed the army of Abraha, killing all the estimated 60,000 men, their elephants, camels and horses.

As a final example of how pre-Islamic mythology made its way into the Koran, one of the last surahs is dedicated to this unlikely encounter of which history has no record.


105 Al-Fîl

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

105:1 Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant?

105:2 Did he not turn their cunning into perdition?

105:3 And send upon them swarms of birds;

105:4 Hurling upon them stones of clay;

105:5 And so He reduced them to munched blades of grass.