Abraha began gathering a big army. He asked permission from the Najâshi, who sent his personal elephant, Mahmûd, and eight other elephants with Abraha’s army. When the news of Abraha’s plan reached the Arabs, they prepared to oppose the attack. Abraha defeated the armies of several Arab tribes along the way to Makkah, and he took one of their leaders, Nufail bin Habeeb, as a prisoner and used him for a guide. As he approached Makkah, the people of Tâ’if decided that instead of trying to fight Abraha, they will help him out, so that he would not destroy their own temple. So they sent with him one of their leaders named Abû Righâl.