|Translation:||The Table Spread|
About Surah: Al-Ma-idah
This is a Madni surah, likely to have been revealed after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in sixth Hijri.
The Surah derives its name from the table-spread that was sent down as a miracle to the followers of Christ.
The third verse of this surah is believed to have been the final revelation from Allaah (SWT) to the Prophet ﷺ, as it declared the completion of the religion and its perfection. This surahs details many of the permissible and prohibited articles for the believers, and steps for performing rites of worship.
Addressing the People of the Book, Allaah (SWT) asks them to believe in the Messenger ﷺ, who is a confirmation to what they had previously received. The Children of Israel are reminded of the time when they refused to enter the Holy Land, that is Palestine, as it was possessed by tyrants whom they were scared of fighting. Only two followers of Musa (AS) were willing to stand by him in this confrontation, and so Allaah (SWT) forbade them from entering for forty years.
The two sons of Adam (AS) – Haabil and Qaabil – are mentioned, where the latter killed the former and buried him following the example of a crow digging in the ground. And this serves to explain the prohibition of murder, unless for a just cause. Various capital punishments are elaborated upon, which in Islam are aimed at preventing the crimes and maintaining harmony in the society. The prohibitions on intoxicants, gambling, fortune-telling, and sacrifices to anyone other than Allaah(SWT) are stated. The sanctity of the Ka’bah and its surrounding region should be always respected and hunting is prohibited in its vicinity.
Allaah (SWT) repeatedly enjoins to judge by what He Has revealed and to not be swayed by the influences of the opposition, especially the Prophet of the Book who failed to uphold what was revealed to them. Special care must be paid to not prohibiting what has been deemed permissible by Allaah (SWT), as was wrongly done by previous nations.
Refuting the claims of Christians, whether it is calling Isa (AS) the son of God, or belief in the Trinity, Allaah (SWT) declares that both Isa (AS) and his mother, Maryam (AS) were human beings and bearers of truth. The followers of Isa (AS) wished to eat from food from the heavens, and they were granted it as a feast as well as a sign to witness the miracle of Allaah (SWT). On the Day of Resurrection, Allaah (SWT) will questions Isa (AS) if he asked to be worshipped by his followers, and he will plead ignorance of any such association, and absolve himself of their acts. Only the truth will prevail on the Day of Resurrection.