A Saudi man on a hunting trip in the rugged mountains near the border with Yemen stumbled across a little dark stone, which he instantly recognized as that mentioned in the holy Koran. A year later, he was offered $four million for the stone but he refused.
Saleh Musfer Al Gamdi said the stone, which carries drawings of birds and elephants, weighs 131 gm, exactly the same number of words in the Koran verse that mentioned the stone-- “Surat Al Fil (elephant).”
According to that verse, God the Almighty sent Ababil birds to throw Sejil stones (pebbles of hell) to destroy an army led by Yemen’s warlord Abraha just before the advent of Islam to knock down Kaaba in Makkah, now the Moslems’ holiest shrine.
Gamdi said he found the hard black-grayish stone in the southern Jarb valley, previously known as the Green Wadi, where Abraha and his soldiers and elephants stayed for a period of time before heading for Makkah.
He said experts estimated that the stone dates back to nearly 1,442 years, adding that he found it just a day after dreaming of his father and grandfather.
“A year after I found the stone, I asked an Egyptian friend whose relatives work in the archeology field…they contacted me and asked me to send them pictures of that stone,” Gamdi said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Sabq.
“After a series of messages and phone calls, they told me they would buy the stone for $four million but I refused to sell it….a while later, the tourism department in Baha (southern Saudi Arabia) asked me to hand the stone over but I again refused.”
The story of Abraha begins when he feels envy of the town of Makkah in Saudi Arabia because Kaaba (House) was visited by many Arabs who wanted to make the pilgrimage every year before Islam. He has a great desire to destroy and divert Arab worshippers to Yemen, which has a large temple built by Abraha.
Before the offensive on Mecca, he first sent a messenger to inform them of his aims and desires. The messenger was suggested for the people of Mecca to perform their pilgrimage in Yemen only. If not, then the Kaaba will be destroyed.
Because they were disobedient, finally Abraha was really mad and ordered all troops to be getting ready to attack Mecca and destroy the Kaaba.
Abraha's army had complete war equipment, armour, and the elephants that will be used to knock down kaaba. Abraha told the messenger that the purpose of attack is not intended to fight, but just wanted to destroy the Kaaba.
At that time Mecca residents, led by Abdul Muttalib could not do anything to stop Abraha. There was no choice but to surrender and give up.
Some time before the arrival of Abraha’s army, Abdul Muttalib instructed his people to shelter and evacuate immediately behind the hill near Mecca.
Abraha was convinced that he will be able to destroy the Kaaba very easily. But what happens next? God's help arrived according to the Koran. These birds threw many, many stones of baked clay at the elephants and the people, which led to their defeat and destruction before they manage to knock down Kaaba.