(1) (105:1) Have you not seen *1 how your Lord dealt with the people of the elephants? *2
*1) Though the address apparently is directed to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace), its real addressees are not only the Quraish but all the people of Arabia, who were well aware of the event. At many places in the Qur'an the words alam tara (have you not seen?) have been used, and they are meant not to address the Holy Prophet but the people in general. (For example, see Ibrahim: 19, AI-Hajj: 18, 65, An-Nur: 43, Luqman: 29, 31, Fatir: 27, Az-Zumar: 21). Thee, the word 'seeing' has been used here to signify that in and around Makkah and in the vast country of Arabia, from Makkah to Yaman, there were many such people still living, who had witnessed with their own eyes the event of the destruction of the people of the elephant, for it had occurred only about forty to forty-five years earlier, and the people of Arabia had continually heard it described by the eye-witnesses themselves so that they had become so certain of it as though they had seen it with their own eyes. *2) Here, Allah has not given any detail as to who were the people of the elephant, wherefrom they had come and what was the object of their march, for aII these things were well known among the people.