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Written by S. Mahdi Shojaee
English text by Yuko Saito and Lisa Mullarkey

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Have you not heard how Allah dealt with the Army of the Elephant,
And made their treacherous plan go astray?
He sent against them birds in flocks,
Striking them with stones of baked clay,
And made them like a field of straw eaten up by cattle.

―― The Holy Quran 105. The Elephant ――

braha, the King of Yemen, was leading his mighty army towards Mecca, the capital of Hejaz. He was about to attack Kaaba, the Holy Shrine of God.
  In the king's command were huge elephants, countless battle horses, and soldiers all armed with helmets, shields, lances, spears and swords. The earth shook under the heavy steps of the terrifying army and the sky darkened with the rising dust.
  Nothing could stop their advance. Cities, villages, and houses in their way were burned and plundered. The slightest uprising by villagers' was defeated by the orders of the commander, King Abraha. The king's hatred of Kaaba was so great that he would never be satisfied until it was totally destroyed.

ing Abraha envied Kaaba because it attracted the attention of all the believers. He had felt mortified that the major tradesmen centered their business in Hejaz, leaving Yemen neglected.
  So, to attract people to his country, he built an elaborate, ornate, immense temple in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. But the temple did not stand long. No sooner was it completed than it caught fire and collapsed, reducing the king's ambitions into mere ashes.
  It infuriated the king so much that he was determined not to rest until Kaaba was completely destroyed.

hen King Abraha's army reached the outskirts of Mecca, he ordered his army to stop and camp there. It was mainly to finalize his assault plan and prepare for the invasion, but he also wanted to call Abdolmotaleb, the custodian of Kaaba and the chieftain of Mecca, to the negotiation table.
  Abdolmotaleb was well known as a great and honorable man, loved and respected by all. King Abraha was jealous of his fame as much as of the Holy Shrine. He wanted to see if he could humiliate this man by using his advantageous position.

―― 以下略 ――

【表紙の画像】 ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 絵: Ali Asgharzadeh ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆