Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Arabian Chronicles: Abrahah and Elephant Army

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

According to Ibnu Ishaq, while Abrahah and his army passing through Thayf, they was stopped by a person whose name is Mas'uud bin Ma'tab and other Thaaqif tribe young men. They admit themselves as surrendering to Abrahah and sending a person whose name Abu Raqal to be the guide for the army to go for Mecca. At a place in between Mecca and Thayf, Abu Raqal fallen dead. He was buried there and after few years, the Arabs still throwing stones at his grave as a sign of disgrace.

When Abrahah reached the portal of Mecca, he commanded his cavalry to first enter the city. They plundered and snatched the properties of the inhabitants. The camels in total of 200 of Abdul Mutallib who was a noble man in Mecca was also being taken. Abdul Mutallib is the paternal grandfather of Muhammad s.a.w. The inhabitants of Mecca in the beginning had resisted but they realized later that their strength is not balanced to the intruders. So, they ceased from resistance but hiding in hills near Mecca. Abrahah sent a messenger to monitor the situation in the center of Mecca to see if there is any resistance there. The messenger was also commanded to inform the inhabitants that they are going to demolish the Ka'aba.

The messenger name commanded by Abrahah to inform the inhabitants about the demolition of Ka'aba is a Yemeni nobleman of Himyarite dynasty. His name is Hanathah. Hanathah informed Abdul Mutallib about the matter and Abdul Mutallib said that they are not going to resist. It is of no use to resist and they would just let Abrahah do anything he wants. He further said, Ka'abah is the house of worship and the place where people prostrate to the God. So, it belongs to the God and not the inhabitants. If the God does not protect it, then the people have no strength to resist Abrahah too.

Then Hanathah brought Abdul Mutallib to see Abrahah. At the middle of the road, they met a person by the name Zinnafar. Zinnafar was the Himyarite Jew-Arab nobleman who was captured by Abrahah. Zinnafar brought Abrahah to see the elephant tamer of Abrahah and they talked with Abrahah. Abrahah gave his respect to Abdul Mutallib as a manner of noble men at that time. Then Abrahah descend down from his elephant and sat together with Abdul Mutallib on the mat. Abdul Mutallib began to ask Abrahah about his 200 camels. Abrahah felt weird and he asked Abdul Mutallib why don't he asked him about the intention to demolish Ka'abah? Ka'abah is a symbol of Abraham a.s and the root symbol for their religion no matter whether they are polytheists or Abrahamic by traditions in that period. So, he was wondering, what is the use of those camels for Abdul Mutallib if his religious symbol and house of worship being demolished? Abdul Mutallib just plainly answered, those camels are my camels. The Ka'aba also has its Lord. He would manage the House. Abrahah thinks no more but proceed with his plan beside returning those camels to Abdul Mutallib.

Just after Abrahah entered Mecca, people saw many birds flying above the heaven. Those birds are kind of birds which finding their foods from leftover of wars, like herrings. These birds perhaps bring with them virus of pox which could also be found at mouse and malaria mosquitoes. The virus spread from the bird through pebbles close to army tents in Mecca. In few days, the virus spread over to army of Abrahah and that time was quite hot in the middle of desert. This event is almost close to the event that happened to a battalion of Napoleon army before they attacked Russia beside the Cossacks. 

This event is mentioned in the glorious Quran. Says the God through the tongue of Muhammad s.a.w: "Don't you see (o human-being) on how the God had done to the elephant army? 1 Didn't He makes their tricks (to demolish His House) a waste? 2 And He sent to them birds in flocks 3 Casting them with stones from sijjin (a place of torment for the people who show off) 4 Thus made them resembling leaves eaten (by worms) 5"

The army of Abrahah lost with the God and not with the inhabitants of Mecca. The God had sent them birds to defeat them. Abrahah who built the church to show off has to run in shame to Yemen. He died in Sana'a just after he arrived there. Some historians said that he was also affected by the pox. Other historians suggested that he died because of chest pain as the result of humiliation. They can't even demolish the Ka'aba as it was not the time yet for the building to be demolished. 

The lesson is, whatever we do... Our intention must be sincere because of the God. If we talk about anything related to Him but because we want worldly gain or fame, we will drag ourselves to the sijjin and it would be a great humiliation before Him. This is intended to eager Protestant missions, old pastors or any religious order missions who love to put nonsense things forward like apostasy of this religion or that religion exposing this and exposing that : ) In this matter we would mention again, sincerity is the most important thing before the God. A person who claim himself as a person of this faith or that faith but are not sincere because of His devotion to Him and have no proper understanding about faith would have to question himself or herself. Where could we check this? We check it with our heart, the intention in our heart. This is also the basic principle in Shariah Islamiah (The Way of the God) : )

Abrahah's army had left many properties that they had snatched and others which belongs to them. Abdul Mutallib just took them and justly distributed them to the inhabitants. They considered those properties left as the grant from the God for the neighbors of His House. 

Abrahah was succeeded by his son, Yaksum. He was also brutal toward Himyarite noblemen. Many Arabian tribes in Yemen were also tyrannized. Men were murdered and women were raped by the Abyssinians. Their children were taken captive and being treated as slaves. 

Yaksum was later succeeded by his younger brother Masruuq after his death. Masruuq was also cruel and merciless. Yemenites could not bear it anymore being tyrannized by Abyssinian in the colonies. So, they began to rebel. The leader for the rebellion was Sayf Zi-Yazan, a Himyarite of Judaism tradition. He quietly went to Persia and pleading assistance from the emperor of Persia, whose name is Anoushirvan around 570.      
Then the emperor sent with Sayf military assistance to Yemen and Masruuq was defeated. They Abyssinians has to cease from governance after four vice-roys of Abyssinia governing Yemen for 72 years beginning from Irbath to his assistant Abrahah and his two sons Yaksum and Masruuq.

Yemen the was influenced by Persian empire after Sayf Zi-Yazan pleading assistance from Persia. There is also narration about Sayf giving away the gold and silver coins and the clothes given by Persian emperor after he received those things. The emperor was angry in the beginning but later he was told by the messenger that Sayf didn't want those luxuries. He just want the assistance from emperor to free his land from brutal governance.

Himyarite Battle with Abyssinians 

Sayf called for a meeting with other Himyarite noblemen. They had all in accordance to recruit prisoners in prison to be army. If those prisoners died in the battle then they had received their punishment. If they won, their land would be in resistance toward any threats. There were 800 soldiers being sent to fight the battle with Abyssinians. Their leader was Wahriz al-Daylami. He is a Kurdish of Jamasab lineage, and the uncle of emperor Anoushirvan.

Ibnu Hazm narrated that Wahriz the Dailam reached Yemen shore with eight boats. Two boats sunken while six safely arrived at the shore of Aden. Once arrived, Wahriz asked Sayf where is the weapons? Says said, we only have Arabian spears. Wherever their feet walked, there they will try their best lose or win is another matter. Sayf later assembled his people too.   

Before they fought the battle with Masruq the governor of Yemen, there were already 10,000 soldiers waiting for them. Some of them were hybrid Abyssinian-Yemeni. Masruq was killed by the arrow of Wahriz. The arrow rightly hit the crown worn by Masruq at the middle diamond. It penetrated his brain. Later, Wahriz entered into Sana'a with the flag of war after Masruq was died. The portal of Sana'a built in the reign of Abrahah was demolished. Everything which was related to Abyssinians were thrown into the sea. Wahriz sent the emperor some valuable stuffs that they get from the spoils of war. The emperor replied the letter of Wahriz with the seal to Sayf Zi-Yazan to rule over Yemen under Persian protectorate and tributary paid once every year to Persian empire. Wahriz and some remaining Persian soldiers settled down in Yemen and remaining as Persian troop to maintain peace in Yemen. Sayf became the king of Yemen under Persian protectorate in Ra's al-Ghamdan

The whole Arabian Peninsula raised in excitement after they listened to the news though Sayf Zi-Yazan is an Arab Jew. Noblemen across Arabian Peninsula sent Zi-Yazan representatives and presents to congratulate and respecting him. Among those noblemen was the paternal grandfather of Muhammad s.a.w, Abdul Mutallib. Sayf Zi-Yazan also mentioned to everyone that he will not be long in the governance. There will be also a "great person" who will bring everyone in Arabian Peninsula together. Sayf could actually foresee the future but he didn't precisely talk about it. What had been mentioned by Zi-Yazan regarding that he would not be long come true. He was murdered while he tried to attack Abyssinia (Ethiopia). 

In Iraq before the nativity of prophet Isa a.s, from an anonymous record mentioned that the Amalekites ruled the area, there were also the 'Aads in Iraq. Around 2 BC, Musta'riba Arabs had established a kingdom in Iraq. The kingdom is Bedouin in characteristic where it says that the fittest would be the ruler and survivor. So, this barbaric merciless theory of evolution of Darwin is not new. The largest Arabian kingdom ever established was the Himyarite kingdom under Tubba' dynasty. Sometimes they would also intimidate Persian empire and hijack areas in Iraq from Persian empire governance. The Bukhtunassar (Nebuchadnezar) of Babylon had also defeated Persian empire. 

In some areas in Iraq, Syrian borders and Arabian Peninsula, there were also the Aramis and the ex-soldiers of Tubba' Amirs from the lineage of Ja'afar bin Thaiy, the Tamins, the Jurhumites and those who came with the Jurhumites such as the Tanukh, Numarah bin Luqman, Qans bin Ma'ad and others. It means they came with their family and clan members to those areas mentioned and not walking alone. Their villages existed in between Hirah and Furat ranging down to al-Anbar today. They were also called as the offshore Arabs with the exclusion of Aramis. I personally don't consider Aramis as Arabs but brothers' nations. In the end I would first look at a human as a human based from their morality and sincerity to the God as what had been mentioned by the God regarding charity and chastity and not at their appearance. So, I don't care whether a person is fair in complexion or dark and etc as long as they possess the quality or being a human (morality) : )

Regarding the historical notes and sources basic things could be founded in notes of al-Azhar Seerah books for I'dadi level... Everyone can find also find details in Professor Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah books about Muslim Nations History and I am also trying to find details about this figure from Sumatera Island of Indonesia because many of his books could not be easily founded in Arabic and English : ) 

Inshaallah if we have time we would talk about the emergence of Hirah Kingdom.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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