Claystones did they hurl upon them,
And he made them like stubble eaten down. Sura Al-Fil (cv) 1-.5.
This is an allusion to the deliverance of the inhabitants of Mecca from the
army of the King of Abyssinia, sent to destroy the Ka'ba in the year when
Muhammad was born. The plague, which in quite a natural way destroyed so many of
the enemy, is here represented as a miraculous interposition of Providence.
In the Sura Quraish (cvi) there is an allusion to the sacred Ka'ba and the
inviolability of its territory :
Let them worship the Lord of this house,
who hath provided them with food against hunger,
And secured them against alarm. 3-4.
In Sura At-Tin (xcv) a similar appeal is enforced with an oath :
I swear by the fig and the olive
By Mount Sinai
And by this inviolable soil. 1-3.
The commentators, Ibn 'Abbas and Husain, say that the fig and the olive stand
for two hills near Mecca, Tina and Zita, famed for their trees, or for the
mosques of Mecca and Damascus. The view put forth by Baidawi and Zamakhshari
that they stand for what is nourishing and wholesome is more reasonable. An
extraordinary and fanciful explanation is given by Maulavi Muhammad 'Ali. He
says the fig represents Judaism, now passed away, for Christ said to the barren
fig tree (Matt. xxi. 19) 'Let no fruit grow on thee,