this incident is related to a group of people living on the Island of Saqliyyah . It is narrated that their king was bent on annihilating the Muslims. For this, he prepared a powerful navy comprising of thousands of soldiers. At this point he saw a dream in which he saw himself mounted on an elephant while drums were beaten and trumpets were blown before him. When he awoke he summoned some of his clergymen and asked them to interpret the dream. They gave him the glad tiding of victory. He demanded proof from them for their interpretation. The said that the elephant is the most powerful animal on land and mounting such a powerful animal means becoming the master of power and strength. And the beating of drums and blowings of trumpets are signs of happiness, ecstasy and victory. Also drums are only beaten in the presence of asking if there is some reason for happiness.
When the king heard this, he became both surprised and delighted. He then summoned some Jewish ulama and asked them for their interpretation. They also interpdreted the dream as a glad tiding of victory. He then called some Muslim ulamaa and demanded that they interpret the dream. They all pointed to an experienced aalim to respond to the king’s demand. The aalim said to the king that he would interpret the dream only if he guaranteed their safety which he did. The learned aalim interpreted the dream thus; “O king, I see no wisdom in your wanting to kill the Muslims and marching on them for this purpose. Please do not deploy your army for they will not return to you alive. They will be defeated and destroyed. And do not for one moment think that I give this interpretation because I am a Muslim”. The king asked him for proof to which he replied that the Holy Book of Allah was the source for his proof. He quoted the verse: Have you not seen what your Lord had done to the people of the elephants. He recited the entire Soorah Feel. The king said: “This is your proof regarding the elephants. What have you to say about the drums?” He recited the verse: And when the trumpet will be blowns, this will be a very hard day for the non-believers-not an easy one.
When the king heard this he became utterly shocked and perplexed since the shaikh’s explanation was rational and irrefutable. To avoid embarrassment to himself he dismissed the sheikh and his colleagues saying that he would have believed him if he (the sheikh) were not a Muslim. But since he is a Muslim he is biased in his delivery of interpretation.
The Shaikh said: “You will soon find out for yourself, o king!”.
When the sheikh and his colleagues departed the king began to ponder deeply about what the sheikh had said. He became convinced and decided not to go ahead with his plans. When the clergy heard of this they approached him and urged him to go ahead with his plan. They reasoned with him not to believe the interpretation of the sheikh as he was a Muslim and a Muslim would obviously be opposed to king Muslims. They also sought his permission to kill the sheikh which he refused. They continued to incite him against the Muslim and urged him to go ahead with his plans. He had no choice but to accede. He deployed a huge army under the command of his son. The two sides met in the middle of the sea. For three days a fierce battle ensued between the Muslims and non-Muslims. One the third day the Christians army was defeated. Not a single person was spared. When the king came to learn about this, he called for the sheikh and admitted his folly before him. He then secretly accepted Islam at his hands and bestowed many of his favours on him. It is said that he also learned the Holy Qur’aan by the Shaikh and this affair of the king became popular in Saqliyyah.