Islamic Studies Paper 2 WASSCE (PC), 2018

Question 2

  1. Examine the significance of the year of year of Elephant (570 C.E.)

The question has a lot in common with the historical facts depicting the essence of the year of Elephant (570 C.E.) and majority of the candidates who attempted it performed better as a result of clear points inherent in the factual occurrences of the historical event. 
The question requested the candidates to examine the following points:

  • The event of the Elephant refers to an attempt to pull down the Kacbah in 570 C.E.
  • It occurred when Abdul-Muṭṭalib was the head of Quraysh.
  • Abraha al-Ashram was then the Abyssinia viceroy of Yemen.



  • This is because of the political and economic significance of the pilgrimage as well as the religious leadership of Makkah.
  • So he built an elaborate cathedral in Sanāc the capital of Yemen.
  • The motive was to attract pilgrims to it instead of the kacbah.
  • An Arab was said to have profaned this cathederal.
  • He decided to march on Makkah to pull down the Kacbah in retaliation.
  • Elephants and other war implements were obtained to execute the plan.
  • Allah, the Owner of the House protected it.
  • He sent flocks of birds with baked stones to destroy the attackers.
  • The rest fled back to Abyssinia disappointed.
  • Sūratul Fīl (Q.107) refers to the event.
  • Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was born in that year.