As the story went, Abrahah had built a house of worship, better and more advance than that of Mecca. The wanted to attract more visitors to Yemen thus that will bring along the trade. So in one of his meeting with the Councillors, he was informed that the only way to prevent people from visiting Mecca was to destroy the Kaaba. So with the advise, he set off with an army consisting of some elephants. For that reason, the year was know as the year of the elephants.
When the army entered the valley of Mecca, the populations were afraid and run off to the surrounding hills. So they actually saw with their own eyes, how flocks of small birds came upon and destroyed the army. Some of the population were already reaching young adulthood and were stout enemy of Mohamad.
When Mohamad was made a messenger,The surah was revealed to question these people.... Why you still do not believe in Islam, when the army of the elephants came, you saw it with your very eyes how the God destroyed them.
1 أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَبِ ٱلْفِيلِ
Have you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) not seen how your Lord dealt with the Owners of the Elephant? [The elephant army which came from Yemen under the command of Abrahah Al-Ashram intending to destroy the Ka'bah at Makkah].
|'ʔalam tara kayfa faʕala rab:uka bi'ʔaṣḥabi 'lfiyli|
2 أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِى تَضْلِيلٍۢ
Did He not make their plot go astray?
|'ʔalam yajʕal kaydahum fiy taḍliylinm|
3 وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا أَبَابِيلَ
3.And sent against them birds, in flocks,
|wa'ʔarsala ʕalayhim ṭayran' 'ʔaba'biyla|
4 تَرْمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍۢ مِّن سِجِّيلٍۢ
4. Striking them with stones of Sijjil
|tarmiyhim biḥija'ratinm m:in sij:iylinm|
5 فَجَعَلَهُمْ كَعَصْفٍۢ مَّأْكُولٍۭ
5.And made them like an empty field of stalks (of which the corn has been eaten up by cattle).
|fajaʕalahum kaʕaṣfinm m:a'ʔkuwlinm|
These are the people who had closed their eyes and closed their heart from receiving the truth. We can take the story in our efforts to bring forth the message to the non-believer.