+ and send against them birds in swarms, J pelting them with stones of baked clay,
3-4 Swarms here translates abābīl, which is interpreted to mean “in groups,” “in successive groups,” “many,” or “coming upon them from every direction” (IK, Ṭ). According to most authorities, God sent birds from the sea, such as swallows and herons, each carrying three stones the size of chickpeas or lentils, one in each claw and one in the beak (IK, Ṭ). Every soldier that was hit by one was destroyed, though not all met this fate. They did not die instantly. Some are said to have lingered for many days as they tried to make their way back to Yemen (IK). According to some, sijjīl, here translated stones of baked clay, is a contraction of two Persian words, sang (sanj in Arabic), meaning “stones,” and jīl, meaning “clay” (IK).