Amu ul-Fil (Year of the Elephant)

The name in Islamic history for the year approximately equating to 570 CE. According to Islamic tradition, it was in this year that Muhammad was born. The name is derived from an event said to have occurred at Mecca: Abraha, the Christian ruler of Yemen, which was subject to the Kingdom of Aksum of Ethiopia, marched upon the Kaaba with a large army, which included one or more war elephants, intending to demolish it. However, the lead elephant known as Mahmud is said to have stopped at the boundary around Mecca, and refused to enter. The year came to be known as the Year of the Elephant, beginning a trend for reckoning the years in the Arabian Peninsula used until it was replaced with the Islamic calendar during the rule of Umar.

Date Landscape Notes Reference
c. 2000 BCE An imaginary picture of the invasion, and retreating army of Abraha N/A
c. 700 BCE Mecca at the time N/A
c. 1000 BCE Wadi-i Muhassar, where Abraha's army was decimated by Ababīl birds N/A
c. 1000 BCE A hoopoe from 17th or 18th century manuscript copy of "The Book of Wonders of the Age" (St Andrews ms32(o)) N/A
c. 1000 BCE Unknown painting
Latest Update: February 11, 2015
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