WikiJournal of Medicine/The Year of the Elephant/XML

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<doi_batch version="4.4.0" xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
   <email_address><span class="nowrap">Contact[[File:At sign.svg|15px|@|link=]]</span></email_address>
    <full_title>WikiJournal of Medicine/The Year of the Elephant</full_title>
    <issn media_type='electronic'></issn>
    <publication_date media_type='online'>     
   <journal_article publication_type='full_text'>   
     <title>The Year of the Elephant</title>
    <person_name sequence='first' contributor_role='author'>
    <publication_date media_type='online'>     
     <resource> of Medicine/The Year of the Elephant</resource>
    <license license-type="open-access">
     <license-p>[[File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg|11px|link=Wikipedia:Open Access]] [[|16px|link=Wikipedia:Creative Commons]]
This is an open access article distributed under the&nbsp;[ Creative Commons Attribution License], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction, provided the original author and source are credited.</license-p>
Abstract: 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. The elephants refused to enter the city, causing the Axumites to halt the attack. Interpreted literally, divine intervention then defeated the invaders by sending a flock of birds (''ababil'') that dropped pellets—a possible allusion to pustules—onto the Axumites, maiming and killing them, and ending the siege of the city. Early historians interpreted the Sura as allegorical for either a smallpox or measles epidemic; available descriptions favor smallpox. The residents of Mecca were spared. Descriptions of the birds and use of the term ''ababil'' for birds are consistent with barn swallows (''Hirundo rustica'', subspecies ''rustica''), which collect clay pellets to make nests. They are attracted to flies following domestic animals. We consider the zoonotic origins, geographical distributions and clinical presentations of two types of smallpox virus, and propose that the epidemic was due to ''Variola major''. Since the prophet Muhammad was born in 570 CE, the events played a critical role in the birth of Islam.