Will you give information about "birds of ababil"? Is it a bird species in the sense that we know? I read something stating that there is no bird called ababil.

The Details of the Question
Will you give information about "birds of ababil"? Is it a bird species in the sense that we know? I read something stating that there is no bird called ababil.
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

As it is known, TAYR is the plural of the word "tair", which means a flying bird. If it is used as “tayran”, it means they are some unknown, strange birds. In fact, it is narrated that those birds were some groups of strange birds that had not been seen there before, with black, green and white colors and with various sizes.

Ababil is the adjective or state of the word tayr. Besides, there is a bird species similar to a swallow known with the name ababil, which have curved feet; they could not fly when they landed on the ground; therefore, they built their nests in high places and flew by jumping from high places.

As it is mentioned in the explanation and translation of "Qamus", some scholars accept that ababil is the bird called mountain swallow. In general, this name became common because they were described as “like swallows” and “their palms are like the palms of dogs”. In that case, ababil is a word that explains tayr. And it is in accordance with the statement, “The word ababil has no singular form.” However, the imams of tafsir scholars did not say that ababil was the name of a kind of bird; they explained it as an adjective or state meaning groups, flocks coming one after another, etc. indicating their multitude; and the verse indicates the strangeness of these birds; therefore, it does not seem appropriate to understand ababil as a word explaining tayr; it should be a coined word.

As we have said, it is widely accepted that their sizes are like swallows and that it was reported from Ibn Abbas that their beaks are like bird beaks and their palms are like palms of dogs; however, all of the narrations state that they are not one species of bird but various birds with different sizes and colors.

In that case, it means they are flocks of small and big birds with various colors like black, white, green and multicolored birds coming one after another, the big ones being like eagles that fly over carrions and black birds, the medium ones being like crows and the small ones being like swallows that hunt flies; it is also narrated that they come from the direction of Yemen and the sea.

The attack of a current of birds like a storm hit them as a big misfortune in a strange way.

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