The Year of the Elephant
The Sacred and Holy Kabah
Â· The site of The Holy Kabah is where the world was first created from.
Â· It was first built by the Prophet Adam(as) with sticks and stones.
Â· Then rebuilt by the Prophet Ibraheem(as) with rock.
Â· All Muslims face towards the Kabah during their Prayers.
Â· It is where the Muslims gather for the anual Hajj pilgrimage.
Â· It is the First and most Sacred Islamic site in the world
At that time the Yemen was under the rule of Abyssinia, and an Abyssinian named Abrahah was the vice-regent. He built a magnificent cathedral in Sana, hoping thereby to make it supersede Mecca as the great place of pilgrimage for all Arabia.
He had marble brought to it from one of the derelict palaces of the Queen of Sheba, and he set up crosses in it of gold and of silver, and pulpits of ivory and ebony, and he wrote to his master, the Negus:
"I have built thee a church, O King, the like of which was never built for any king before thee; and I shall not rest until I have diverted unto it the pilgrimage of the Arabs."
Nor did he make any secret of his intention, and great was the anger of the tribes throughout Hijaz and Najd.
Finally when a man of Kininah, a tribe akin to Quraysh, going to Sana to trade, relieved his bladder on one of the walls of the great church building before returning that night to his tribe in the desert.
When Abrahah heard of this, he was furious and finally had the excuse he wanted, so he vowed that in revenge he would raze the Kabah to the ground; and having made his preparations he set off for Mecca with a large army, in the van of which he placed an elephant.
Some of the Arab tribes north of Sana attempted to bar his way. but the Abyssinians put them to flight and captured their leader, Nufayl of the tribe of Khatham. By way of ransom for his life, he offered to act as their guide.
Temple of Al-Lat Mistaken for the Kabah
When the army reached Taif, the men of Thaqif came out to meet them, afraid that Abrahah might destroy their temple of Al-Lat in mistake for the Kabah. They hastened to point out to him that he had not yet reached his goal, and they offered him a guide for the remainder of his march.
Although he already had Nufayl, he accepted their offer, but the man died on the way, about two miles from Mecca, at a place called Mughammis, and they buried him. Afterwards the Arabs took to stoning his grave, and the people who live there still stone it to this day.
Abrahah reaches Mecca
Abrahah halted at Mughammis, and sent on a detachment of horsemen to the outskirts of Mecca. 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.