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