Ash-Shaykh Abdur-Raqeeb al-Kawkabaani, hafidaho-Allah, was asked the following question,
رجل يسأل ما حكم ركوب الفيل في بلد يعتاد ذلك؟
“A man is asking what is the ruling on riding an elephant in a country that is customarily known for it [, so what is the ruling on this]?”
لا أرى في ذلك مانعاً وبالله المستعان
“I don’t see any prevention for that, and Allah’s aid is sought.”
Ash-Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee, hafidaho-Allah, also mentioned that it is permissible.
Note: It comes in some of the books that are ascribed to the Salaf for dream interpretation that riding an elephant in a dream is a sign of oppression. However, there is nothing to prove that this action is wrong or abusive to the elephant. Dameeri mentioned in his book Hayaatul Hayawaan a couple of narratives showing that the people of the past would ride elephants. Allah knows best.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman