Animals In The Glorious Quran


  • bookcover

  • Animals In The Glorious Quran


  • The Elephant and Abrahah

     

    {Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?}

                                                                                                                   (Al-Fil: 1)

     

    There is no question that the word "block" is always accompanied with fear. It may be a block of stones, of rock, or even a block of animal flesh. Whenever such a fear-inspiring block manifests itself in front of small creatures, it makes them shrink because they fear death. There is surely no creature on the earth that can be compared with the elephant in its size and weight. I am not arrogant just because I am king-sized. However, I do not deny that vanity fires the first shot of my power when I rush to attack with the block of my body that pushes a similar mass of air  making my enemy retreat as the force of air drives him back. So, it is by the force of air and not my own strength that overcomes my enemy.

    How strange the feeling of power is! Any simple mind like that of the elephant should be intoxicated by having such power.

    Unfortunately, I have lived most of my life being elated and inebriated under the impact of my power, but at the point where I reached the highest level of intoxication, I sobered up.

    I will not start from the end of the story.

    I became giddy whenever the trees of the forest bowed in front of me with their broken branches, making way for my massive body. I used to become giddy when people pointed at me saying, "Here is the elephant of Abrahah ...Look at his magnificent power!"

    My power became a myth that overcame the sight of all creatures before my coming. It was that power that lay behind the supremacy of the power of Abrahah's army. I know that the name Abrahah will find its way into history as a symbol of hatred and stubbornness. Moreover, I know that this name is so trivial to be mentioned in Allah's Book. That is why Allah has referred to Abrahah by attributing him to me. Allah has passed his name by, while He has mentioned mine ..."Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant? "

    The above-mentioned companions of the elephant constitute the regime of Abrahah and I am the aforesaid elephant to whom they are attributed. Do you see how Allah has attributed a human being to an animal? This means that the animal is higher in rank than man. There is no escaping that I am better than Abrahah. He was a disbeliever while I am an animal by nature. Man occupies the highest rank among all creatures on the earth, but when he disbelieves in Allah, he loses his merit and becomes lower in rank than the animals. The animal, at that time, is preferred even by the dust of the earth.

    I do not want to become intoxicated by my power.

    Abrahah was a king, who ascended a throne made of fear and gold. Behind that throne, there stood many slaves throwing out currents of air by way of fans made of ostrich quills. Moreover, every thing used to bow before that throne; the crowns of men, the souls of people and the eminent men of the army. I was the only one who did not bow in front of that throne. I refused to do so ...They whipped me for a year to make me bow before it but I insisted on refusing. I was not acting obstinately or trying to challenge Abrahah, even though he thought so, but I was responding to the freedom I have by nature. The branches of the trees bow down before me, but I do not bow down in front of kings. It is for this reason that I was created by Allah.

    The forest has taught me not to bow down before anyone.

    My childhood was a paradise full of innocence. I remember a dream of dense trees, long grass and many ant houses. My childhood was spent in one of the many forests of Africa and at the same time it became my dream. I was the son of an elephant whose work was to pull the greatest tree out of the forest. My father was running when he clashed with the trees. Then he went back, rolled out his huge ears, raised his tail out of rage, bent up his trunk and burst forth like a bat out of hell towards the tree. He implanted his ivory tusk like a knife into the wooden flesh of the tree, enwrapped it with his trunk, and pulled it out making a loud sound. The tree was plucked out with a block of mud containing the tree's deeply set roots. Water burst out from the hole that previously contained the roots of the tree. My mother came along after the loud bang. My father commanded her to bathe in the water of the hole made by his power. As she bathed, the destroyed tree with its dark bark and its vanquished surrender, looked at my mother.

    My father was a king beyond comparison. Even lions were afraid of him. I was the only one who did not feel afraid of him.

    I felt that my small block was the developing image of his huge one. Moreover, I know that his power would decline when he reached old age. At that time, it would be brought into my body. My father was able to defeat everything but happily he let me conquer him while he was laughing.

    Then one day my father died...

    He felt that he was going to die ...And before he started his journey into the elephants' graveyard, he summoned me and said, "I am going to leave and I will not come back again."

    I asked him, "Why will you not return?"

      He said, "Do not ask me such silly questions. Look, this may be the last time I talk to you ...So listen carefully to my words."

      "I listen to you father but you have a muddy mood today," I Commented.

    He said, "It is the end that makes me muddy. My power is running out of my body... I have lived as an upright elephant and I am going to die also as an upright one."

    "I do not understand you my father," I said.

    He continued, "I did not employ my power to serve the purpose of an aggressor ...This is righteousness in which we believe." My father went on to say, "I did not do injustice to anyone, I did not strike anyone, I did not pull out a tree without a clear reason as when it stood as an obstacle on my way. Really, I feel satisfied with myself, but I saw a strange dream about you last night. Do not ask me what it is? Just remember these words as you will face a situation in which you have to choose. When such a moment takes place, you must choose righteousness. "

    "I do not understand you my father. What is the dream you have seen?" I asked.

    He replied, "It is not important that you understand me … But the most important thing is to remember these words someday."

    Then, my father turned around and burst forth towards the darkness of the forest. From that time onwards, he never returned.

    My father died and I became the king of the forest but I forgot his advice as I led a busy life and was preoccupied with the vanity of power. Days passed by while I was intoxicated with victories.

    One day, humans of small size, cold appearance and foolish facial features came to the forest and went on digging the ground and flattening it. We, elephants, did not understand why they did this, and so they caught us. At that time, I realized that Allah has honored this weak creature called man over us. They dug the ground of the forest and covered the hole to seem safe. Then when I walked upon it, I fell down with my huge block into the trap set by man. That is how I was caught. In the beginning, I went crazy. I went on hitting the net but it responded to my strikes and extended without being cut.

    Then, a long journey of torture started and ended in a strange castle. In a room built of hard stones, they imprisoned me. A short, evil man came to me the next day surrounded by many soldiers and ministers who looked like servants. They constantly bowed before him. They told him that they had caught me thanks to his instructions. They were flattering, glorifying and even worshiping him all the time.

    One of them pointed at me saying, "This is the mightiest elephant in the forest. He is the king of the forest and he is going to be the servant of Abrahah and a soldier in his army."

    I did not understand how I could be a soldier in the army. I raised my trunk and let it fall on the air making a loud bang. At that moment, Abrahah moved backwards like a cowardly child. Then his servants, ministers and leaders became very angry and their whips fell down upon my body... In the beginning, I resisted with the help of my thick skin, but with the increasing strength of the strikes, I began to feel pain and so I withdrew.

    The evil Abrahah said, "Do not strike him. Starving is better than beating ...Discipline him by starvation." Then he went out and his servants followed in his steps.

    I did not understand the reason behind the king's anger. Did he become angry because I had displayed his cowardice in front of his suite who worshiped him? I did not know why that dwarf wanted to starve me. He looked smaller than my nose. My trunk is bigger than him and more venerable. I realized his evilness under the impact of hunger. To be struck by lashes is more bearable than the cruelty of hunger. An elephant like me should eat a ton of food per day.

    I was starved into submission and then I became an employee of Abrahah. I was about to die of starvation and so I became a coward. From that time onwards, I used to raise my trunk in reverence to Abrahah whenever I saw him. His servants taught me how to greet the tyrant by starving me out... Damn them all.

    Starvation taught me what I had not learned from lashes. I was free in the forest. My sustenance did not surrender to the will of anyone. When I lost my freedom however, I lost my dignity as well as the taste of food itself. No doubt, most of my problems in the forest were in the form of a constant struggle with creatures and monsters, aiming to achieve supremacy. I do not deny that I had my problems concerning food and at times I suffered, but everything can be endured in the presence of freedom. Sometimes, we lose freedom while enjoying the availability of food and security, and then it seems that all our problems have disappeared forever, but do you think that we elephants feel happy?

    After my experience in jail, I realized that nothing is equal to freedom. Moreover, I realized something even more important, that is, to lose freedom means losing the ability to love and the ability to enjoy the real taste of bread. Later on, I will tell you how I discovered these two matters. I do not want to start from the end.

    Abrahah's servants started their cruel policy of starving me out. They aimed at compelling me to surrender and they succeeded. They trained me how to greet the king. They gave me an amount of food equal to the degree to which the king liked my greeting. They trained me to attack human beings, fortresses and each time I got food as long as I obeyed orders.

    It was this connection between obeying them and obtaining food that made me their servant… I no longer made decisions for myself. I was no longer innocent or free. I became a gigantic power under the control of others whose lowness had reached its climax by disbelieving in their Creator. But how could I know that they would lead me into tragedy?

    As an elephant, I know nothing but attack and destruction. I did not know whether it was right to attack or whether the place assigned to destruction deserved it or not. A soldier does not ask why he attacks. He asks only about the time at which he is going to attack. So, I was not allowed to ask.

    And so, my misfortune led me to a tragedy as I was not permitted to ask ...As a power that had no freedom, I had to obey. My real tragedy lurked in the fact that I was obeying a tyrant and a fool at the same time, or in other words, a fool who was tyrant in his foolishness. Tyranny and foolishness are two characteristics that can lead to man's downfall and miserable end.

    Let me start my story. The beginning of the story itself is the beginning of the tragedy.

    The tragedy started when Abrahah received news about the Arabs' glorification of a building called the Ka'bah and how they go on pilgrimage to it. Breaking such news to Abrahah had saddened him. So he gathered his ministers and engineers and said, "I want you to build a temple so that the Arabs may make pilgrimage to it instead of the Ka 'bah."

    The ministers bowed and said, "We hear and obey!"

    Then Abrahah looked at the senior engineer waiting for his decision. The senior engineer said, "O my master, we are ready to build a temple larger and greater than the Ka 'bah but the main problem is that Arabs do not make pilgrimage to the Ka'bah because it is a great building."

    Abrahah stood up and asked, "So why do they make pilgrimage to the Ka'bah?"

    The senior engineer responded, "The Ka'bah is an ancient' building in the desert ...The desert is distinguished from other places created by Allah by being clear and bare in the full sense of the word. It washes away from the human heart all confusions and illusions that lead to false thinking. It is by this bareness that man can be set free from himself and surrender to the Omnipresent, Whom we cannot see. He is the Farthest, however, He is the Nearest at the same time."

    Abrahah was furious and said, "I do not understand you O engineer. Why do they make pilgrimage to the Ka'bah?"

    The senior engineer said, "O my master! The Ka'bah is the simplest construction in the world ...It is no more than a cube-shaped building of stones. He who built the Ka'bah knew that no architect could reach through his art, the Divine Idea concerning this Sacred House. So, he was satisfied with the simplest form that could be imagined by the human mind ...a cube of stones. This simple cube is a symbol of man's weakness and lowliness in front of Allah. It is a symbol of monotheism."

      Abrahah shouted, "O engineer! You did not answer my question. Why do they make pilgrimage to the Ka'bah?"

      In complete calmness the engineer replied, "It is a symbol my master ...they believe that it is a symbol of Allah's House."

      Abrahah said maliciously and cunningly, "They believe ... who believe? Do you believe in their beliefs?"

      The senior engineer was thrown into confusion and said, "It is not a problem of believing or disbelieving, but rather it is a problem of engineering. A constructed building should identify something, say something or refer to something. But the Ka'bah is the only building that symbolizes the Absolute that does not resemble anything and nothing resembles Him. Now, I want to ask you my master, what do you want us to convey by constructing the new temple you have intended to replace the Ka'bah with? You see my master, it is a purely technical question, and this question requires an answer that will help us to give a definite form to your temple which is to be constructed. "

    No sooner had the engineer finished his words than something strange occurred.

    Abrahah got up from his throne and said in a rage, "Treachery in the castle! Your words involve treachery. Arrest the senior engineer!"

    The guards arrested the senior engineer who was completely taken by surprise. Nevertheless, from his pale face there beamed a kind of sublimity.

    Abrahah went on to say, "Your words revealed your true character. You believe in the God of the Ka'bah, you do not want to construct a temple to replace the Ka'bah ...Confess."

    The senior engineer tried to reply but after opening his mouth and thinking for a few moments, he realized that no one would understand him and so he remained silent.

    Abrahah shouted at the senior engineer, "Confess ...Confess that you do not believe in our gods!"

    The engineer said, "O my master ...I believe in the technical unity that exists in the universe and so I believe in one God. I confess to having done so."

    Abrahah said, "It is treachery... What is the cause behind it?" The engineer said, "The advanced level I have reached in the science of engineering."

    Abrahah said, "During the first days of your stay in jail you will forget all you know about engineering. Imprison him with the elephant and starve the elephant out and then let the elephant kill him."

    And so, the engineer came to me.

    Suddenly, the door of my room was opened and a man was thrown under my feet. I moved around in the room because of the sudden arrival but I did not touch the senior engineer. I did not understand why they had thrown him to me. The engineer looked at me while his face was completely pale. He said, "In the name of Allah the Creator of animals and monsters."

    I did not like his description of me as a monster. I raised my trunk and I was about to let it fall on his head and tear his bones to shreds, but instead of doing so, I found myself putting my trunk on the engineer so kindly. I suddenly fell in love with him. I do not know why or how. Unlimited peace descended unexpectedly in my heart towards the man. I looked at his eyes and remembered my father's eyes when he was kindly putting his trunk upon my head and moved it to the left and to the right.

    The engineer was so surprised at what I was doing. He put his hands on my trunk as if he was protecting himself. Then something else strange happened ...I raised my trunk, put it under the man's body like a pillow, and lifted him up putting him upon my back. It was the first time I had put a human being on my back. My back was an inviolable place for all human beings. It is a sovereign part for all elephants. No noble elephant who respects himself would allow a human being to ride him, but, for the first time I discovered that there is something called love that has its irresistible laws. I loved that man as I loved my father. I remembered my father's death and my heart was filled with kindness. And so the engineer was on my back and I went on strolling around the room.

    Abrahah was shocked when he saw this scene. He shouted, "This engineer is a magician ...he has put a spell on the elephant."

    I laughed. We, elephants, laughed by moving our ears and raising our tails. We do the same movements in case of attacking or when we are angry. So, look how laughter and anger are expressed in the same way in the world of elephants!

    When Abrahah saw the senior engineer upon my back, he became crazy. They took the engineer and went away. I was punished by starvation and lashes because of my surrendering to the magic of the engineer. I did not understand why they threw him to me or why they were beating me with whips because I had carried him. The minds of the elephants are not as big as their bodies. If our minds were as big as our bodies, we would master the earth and we would have a bone to pick with man.

    After two days, I knew that the senior engineer was in jail as a preliminary step toward tormenting and killing him. The junior engineer, who succeeded the senior engineer, began to build a temple for Abrahah to take the place of the Ka 'bah with the intention that people would go on a pilgrimage to it.

    'The junior engineer was a practical, realistic and open-minded man. When Abrahah discussed the matter with him, the junior engineer said, "O my master, we are your slaves and we obey... What do you want? Your majesty wants to build a temple that people will make pilgrimage to by the Arabs... W e are all at your service. We will build you an unparalleled temple ...the costs of the construction may be too much but I know that gold streams from the extremities of your majesty. All we are eager for is your satisfaction and this is the real gold."

    When the junior engineer finished his words, the king was extremely delighted and his facial expressions were filled with false light that covered gloomy foolishness. The construction of the new temple began immediately. Abrahah gave generously to it without reluctance. The junior engineer, who became the senior engineer, supervised the process of construction. He had a small box which he used to send to Abrahah to fill with gold whenever it became empty. It seemed that this engineer was very practical and open-minded so he bestowed liberally upon those who were around him. For this reason, they kept their eyes closed and did not pay attention to what he himself stole of that gold.

    The building began to rise while the box of gold was still making its journey from the king's palace to the engineer's hands till it became worn out because of over use. Then the construction reached its completion. The temple was built of stones inlaid with silver. Its niches were made of scented sandalwood. Moreover, the temple's doors were made of red hazel gold. After that, Abrahah waited for people to make pilgrimage to his temple. Abrahah waited for a long time, but did not receive any pilgrims.

    The temple had gatekeepers as well as priests. They used to perfume the temple with the most expensive incense. The marvelous scent of sandalwood when mixed with the fragrance of the incense made a fabulous atmosphere ...it was carried by the air into my room. Ithe elephant, felt that I had gone back to my childhood in the forest. There is a marvelous scent in the forest at dawn time. The falling rain washes trees throughout the night and so the trees acquire a special scent after being washed by the rain and dried by the moonbeams or the first light of day.

    I used to remember my childhood in the forest and the kindness of my father and mother. Such memories awakened in me a kind of kindness and concern at the same time. My old memories gave all credit to my freedom. Recalling such memories made me fully aware of the death of freedom in my life. Such a feeling streamed like a river of sadness in my heart and the sorrows of an elephant equal his weight or even more. My sorrows were as heavy as my weight, but it was not me alone who sank in the sea of sadness. Abrahah was also filled with sadness as many years passed after the construction of the temple and none of the Arabs made pilgrimage to it.

    Abrahah's sadness began to take the form of anger. Moreover, there occurred an accident that added fuel to the flames that were already burning. Once a Bedouin entered the temple. He was unknown to all people but no sooner had he entered the temple, than the news reached Abrahah. Then the Bedouin left the temple. To their great surprise, the priests discovered that this Bedouin had relieved himself inside the temple. No one knew if that act was intentional and meant to despise Abrahah or whether it was unprompted and only out of pressing necessity and the Bedouin's absence from his own homeland. No one could know the real intentions of this unknown visitor. When the news was broken, Abrahah who was in blind fury considered what had happened as a kind of contempt towards him. Abrahah kept threatening and menacing for two days and then he issued his most dangerous decision.

    He said, "I am going to destroy the Ka'bah so that the Arabs will have no choice but to make pilgrimage to my temple."

    Then the trumpets of war were blown. I began to prepare myself for war. I was happier than words can describe. It is difficult for an elephant like me to heave his heart to his tongue so as to express himself. If it is difficult for men of letters to give expression to their feelings, so what can you expect from elephants? In a word, I was completely happy as if I had my freedom restored. I constituted the armored force that was responsible for the attack of Abrahah's army. Everything depended on me or let us say, with contemplate humility, that nothing could be fulfilled without my attack and breaking through the forces of the army. During wartime, my food and drink increased two fold than what I used to eat and drink during the time of peace. Moreover, I bathe four times a day during the war while I am only allowed to bathe just two times a day during the time of peace. Nevertheless, this was not the only reason behind my happiness.

    I confess, as an animal, that eating to my limit drives me forward to perfect happiness and a kind of marvelous numbness. Such a state is not confined to me alone, but rather every animal species is pleased with food, depressed because of hunger and hit by craziness on account of starvation.

    Nevertheless, I was completely happy because of something else '" I got a lot of freedom in wartime as in no other time. In fine, for us war is a feast. They took me out of the depressed elephant's house in which I lived and brought the other elephants. I was their supreme leader. Then we began our training on wrecking a stone building that resembled the Ka 'bah as said by the engineers.

    They put iron chains around the building and tied the end to the bodies of the three elephants. Then they started to whip the elephants to make them destroy the building ". But the elephant failed to do this.

    Then, came my turn…

    I was alone. They tied the iron chain well around my body and I started to draw. In the beginning I pulled one time and found that the building was still immovable in its place ...but then I tried again. They lashed me so I looked at them and stopped pulling while wagging my trunk in fury. They fled. My trunk split and broke the air and my anger frightened them so they went away. I recollected all my huge animal power and called all the crazy rage that found its way to me through their insults to me. Then I burst forth like a storm pulling the chain and severing its links that stretched out, and led to the destruction of the building. The leaders of the army hailed and were filled with happiness. Thereupon, they lit their torches and poured out mellowed wine.

    The supreme leader of the army went to Abrahah and bowed before him and said, "O my master, the great elephant has succeeded in fulfilling his task. The army is at your command."

    Abrahah said, "Tomorrow we are going to move towards our real target ...the Ka'bah."

    During my journey towards the land of the Arabs, I was given the chance to get closer to Abrahah and to study his character well. Moreover as a soldier in the army I thought over the aim for which we went out to fight. I think that Abrahah was a mighty tyrant as well as a foolish despot. For sure, when tyranny and foolishness are combined together, they lead to the end of their holder.

    That is why I imagined at that time, that Abrahah's going out to war would be his last. I do not know the reason behind that feeling ...but the aim for which we went out to fight, was beyond my realization as an animal. I was not involved in the struggle between Abrahah and what was left to him of a sound mind. I was not inside his head where craziness held the upper hand over sanity and outweighed the idea of destroying the Ka'bah. Moreover, until that moment, I was oblivious to the essence and importance of the Ka'bah. All I knew at that time was that Abrahah wanted to destroy it and when the absolute ruler wanted something, he leads his nation behind him like sheep towards destruction. All this just because he, the ruler, wanted something. Allah knows that I am innocent.

    I swear by Allah that I am not guilty... I raise up my trunk and cry out in grief that I am innocent. I had never canvassed the idea of destroying the Ka'bah and my information, as an animal, is not enough to make me aware of the sacredness of the Ka 'bah.

    Allah knows that I am innocent ...But I want to announce my innocence before animal history as well as the human one. I am an elephant who was forced to wreck and destroy something that he was oblivious of regarding its nature and importance.

    I will not start my story from the end, but I want to assert my innocence in the eyes of the whole universe before telling about the horror that took place.

    For a start, it was a nice journey. It was springtime and the army was extremely strong. We faced no resistance, for at that time of history, Abrahah's army was really the strongest one.

    Some Yemeni and Arab armies, who took offence of Abrahah's attempt to destroy the Ka'bah, blocked our way but these armies simply wasted away before our force just like the dissolving of the leaves of the tree in the belly of an elephant. A Yemeni nobleman called Dhu-nafr was captured when he and his army got in Abrahah's way. Nufayl ibn Habib al-Khath'amiy was also arrested when he interrupted the course of Abrahah's army. In this way, we exterminated all the armies that stood in our way to Makkah ...this is the name of the city we were heading towards.

    Again and again I would like to announce my innocence, for I knew nothing about the real nature of Makkah. I want this matter to be utterly clear, as it will provide an explanation for my later behavior.

    At last Makkah came into sight ...

    We stood by its gates. Then Abrahah sent his messenger to ask for the leader of Makkah and to inform him that the king did not come to fight the people of Makkah but to destroy the Ka'bah. If they did not obstruct him, Abrahah would not fight them. So if the leader of Makkah did not want war, he should come to meet the king. 'Abd al-Muttalib, the leader of Makkah, was informed of this message and then he said to Abrahah's messenger, "By Allah we do not want to fight against him nor do we have the ability to do so. This is Allah's sacred House that was built by His friend Ibrahim and his son Isma'il (peace be upon them). If Allah defends the Ka'bah, it is because it is His House but if He does not do so, by Allah we have nothing to protect the Ka'bah with."

    Then the messenger and' Abd al-Muttalib headed to Abrahah.

    'Abd al-Muttalib was a handsome, dignified man. When

    Abrahah saw him, he respected and venerated him to the extent that he disliked making him sit in a lower place. At the same time he did not want to let himself be seen by his people sitting with' Abd al-Muttalib at his throne. So, he left his till one and sat with' Abd al-Muttalib on Abrahah's precious cal-pet. Abrahah said to his interpreter, "Ask him what he wants."

    'Abd al-Muttalib said, "I want the king to give me back my hundred camels that were stolen by the army."

    Abrahah said to his interpreter, "Tell him, 'When I saw you, I liked you but now you have talked, you have aroused my dislike for you. You are talking to me about the two hundred camels I stole and you do not care about the House that stands for the religion of your forefathers and which I have come to destroy!'"

    'Abd al-Muttalib said," I am the lord of these camels but the   Sacred House has a Lord Who can, for sure, protect it."

    Abrahah said," Not against me."

    'Abd al-Muttalib replied, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

    Then, Abrahah commanded his servants to give the camels back to' Abd al-Muttalib and to let him go after that.

    'Abd al-Muttalib returned and said to his people, "Leave Makkah ...for I have seen an irresistible army. Go to the mountains and pray to Allah to protect His House."

    'Abd al-Muttalib said so and then burst into tears. He rushed towards the door of the Ka'bah and took hold of its handle along with a group of believers from Quraysh. They went on praying to Allah and asking Him for His Help.

    While he was taking hold of the handle of the House's door and shivering' Abd al-Muttalib said, "O my Lord, the slave defends his possession, I pray to You to protect Your Possessions."

    All the people went away from the Ka'bah and Makkah was empty. Abrahah stood in front of his mighty army facing Makkah and said, "Tomorrow we are going to attack."

    Then the ill-fated morning arrived.

    The trumpets of war were blown. The army began to move ... the army would take the initiative and then would come my task. The army would cordon Makkah so as to avoid any unexpected attack from its people. After that, there came my role to burst forth like a tornado and enter Makkah to fulfill my task of destroying the Ka'bah.

    This was the supposed plan, but to all my surprise I could not move when they ordered me to attack. In the beginning, the ambiguous meaning of my father's advice became clear to me. My father said, "You will face a moment at which you have to choose. But you have to choose righteousness." All of a sudden, I realized that I was participating in an unrighteous war according to the cosmic standard. This is the only standard, to its intuition all animals and plants surrender.

    Fear made me shiver and sweat. My bones were trembling from an unknown horror that concealed its terrible fright ...I knelt down. I was ordered to attack but I fell on my knees. I was held back by something I cannot express. Suddenly, I found it beside me. There was a whispering sound that commanded me, "Do not move from your place except to escape ...You are imprisoned in this place."

    I trembled again with fear and cold. I said to the commanding sound, "O my noble angel, I am innocent of everything ...I will escape when you permit me."

    They heaped lashes upon my body to impel me to get up ...I was in pain but I was watching my pains as if I was watching a movie in which an elephant was being tormented.

    Everything was running and getting away from me ...the terror that lurked inside me at that time was enough to make me forget whatever pain I might be suffering. I said to the commanding sound, "I am innocent, I have no relations with what happened ... I will not move from this place. I am kneeling down and so I will be."

          Abrahah shouted, "What is going on? Why does the elephant not proceed?"

          His leaders replied, "The big elephant knelt down suddenly and refused to get up or to move."

          Abrahah shouted angrily, "Compel him to get up and to attack … Beat him till he gets up."

    I heard Abrahah as I hear a video recording of nonsense. The lashes followed incessantly upon my body and the swords went on plunging into my head to make me get up but I dug my heels in and transcended this worldly life by entering a cosmic prayer in which I was talking to the Creator of the universe and the angels.

    I said to Him, "0 my Lord I am innocent ...I am not involved in what is going on. I have been commanded to stay here ...and so I have been doing so. O my Lord! Help me to escape."

    Suddenly, the sky turned black. I raised my head and looked.

    The sun's disk was concealed by an unlimited number of flocks of birds. At the same time, I witnessed the arrival of the angels of torment.

    I got up and fled towards the desert.

    I had to flee from that place immediately.

     

     

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