4. The Elephant and the Birds

But the elephant kneeled down and refused to budge. They poked him and prodded him, yet he would stand and hurry in any direction they turned him, except for the direction of the Kaba. Soon there were birds flying above that began to throw small stones at the army. The army began to run away. The Kaba was protected by Allah and the people of Mecca came down from the mountains. They were safe. They never forgot this happening and they called this year: the Year of the Elephant.

But something more amazing was about to happen in Mecca that same year. Not everyone was aware of the wonderful event that was still coming.

Amyna’s baby was growing, but she did not feel heavy and tired, she felt light and happy. Some people say that she had dreams that this baby she carried was very special, and that he would do great things. This made her believe that her baby was to be someone important. 

As the time for this wondrous birth neared, some people noticed certain signs. A Jewish rabbi called out to his people one night, “I see the star of Ahmad. It is his time!” Certain Christian monks knew that his birth was near and prayed they would meet him. The angels knew of this special baby that was about to be born, and they were happy. Perhaps the very skies were celebrating; perhaps the distant lands wished they could welcome his coming. Did the birds and beasts of that time realize that the one who would teach us to be good to them was coming? Did the plants and trees tremble with excitement? And did the breeze whisper the news to the mountains and seas? Perhaps, the clouds leaned over each other to catch a glimpse. We do not know. But we know that this baby would become a prophet and that he would bring people, creatures, and things: mercy and joy. He was the answer to Prophet Ibraheem and Prophet Ismaeel’s prayer.

So much had happened to prepare for this birth. From the first people that lived on this earth, the very best were chosen, and then the best, and then the best, until all their good qualities were passed on to this baby. 

Soon it was time for Amyna to give birth. One of the ladies that was there to help her, tells us what happened, “On that night, everything I looked at in the house seemed to be lit up. And the stars seemed so close that I felt they would fall on me.” Truly it was a wondrous night. Amyna saw a light coming from her that illuminated the palaces of faraway Sham. Then, the beautiful baby was born! He was so clean, there was no need to bathe him. Everyone who saw him felt love and tenderness for him. Few people knew, but the world had changed forever!

Amyna sent word to his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib to come and see his grandson (so you see how Abdul-Muttalib was the baby who became a grandfather to a prophet). When he came, she told him of all she had dreamt of and seen while she was pregnant and at his birth. Abdul-Muttalib took the baby happily and entered the Kaba. He thanked Allah and made dua for the child and named him Muhammad. Muhammad means the one who is praised by all; it means everyone says good things about him. He then returned him to his mother and ordered camels to be slaughtered to feed the poor as a way of thanking God. 

Abdul-Muttalib’s sons and daughters had never seen him so excited about a baby. Everyone was happy and the baby was loved, but they all knew that the baby faced a very serious problem.