Ulum al Qur'an
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What is not Asbab al-Nuzul
In some cases scholars have provided us with the background of certain events that have been narrated in the Qur'an. Obviously, however, such information does not belong to the field of asbab al-nuzul. Although it may help to understand the message of the revelation, it is not related in a direct and reliable way, showing immediate reason for or the occasion of the revelation.
'Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?' (105:1).
The following passage from a book of tafsir, although it contains information about the background of the event narrated in the sura, does not belong to the field of asbab al-nuzul:
(The companions of the elephant) had come from the Yemen and wanted to destroy the Ka'ba (they were) from Abyssinia and their leader was Abraha al-Ashram, the Abyssinian. [Tujibi, mukhtasar min tafsir al-Tabari, Cairo, 1970, II, p.529.]