Based on historical interpretations of the Sūrat al-Fīl, the 105th Meccan Sura of
the Qur’an, an epidemic occurred near Mecca circa 570 CE (Common Era), the Year of
the Elephant in Islamic history. The five verses of the Sura are thought to be an
allegorical description of the “Elephant War epidemic,” so named because invading
Axumite (Ethiopian) forces from present-day Yemen included one or more war elephants.