This sura refers to the event that took place in the year of the birth of the Prophet (pbuh) 570 AD. The people of the places around Makka were very jealous of the Quraysh and their position as guardians of the Ka’ba. One of these people was the Emperor of Abyssinia. He ruled over Yemen. Through his representative in Yemen whose name was Abraha he built a large church in San’a (in Yemen) to compete with the Ka’ba. The church did not attract as many people as the Ka’ba in Makka as he had hoped for. He therefore decided to destroy the Ka’ba under the leadership of Abraha. An army with an elephant marched to Makka to attack and destroy the Ka’ba. Allah sent upon them a huge flock of birds who pelted the army with small stones in their beaks. The mighty army was suddenly devastated. The result of the attack was that Abraha’s army became like straw eaten up. The year became legendary as the Year of the Elephant.