The Quran

Commentaries for 5.115

Al Maida (The food) - المائدة

5.115 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Allah said) to Jesus, tell them: (Lo! I send it down for you) that which you have asked for. (And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward) after sending it down and eating from it, (him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures) of his time: I will turn them into swine. But after they ate from the food, they said: this is clear magic. Jesus said in response: O Allah! If you punish them for what they are saying, they are Your servants; but if you forgive them, You are Mighty in Your retribution towards him who does not repent.
5.115 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
God said, granting his supplication: ‘Verily I shall send it down (read munziluhā or munazziluhā) to you; but whoever of you disbelieves afterward, after it has been sent down, I shall surely chastise him with a chastisement wherewith I chastise no other being from among all the worlds’: and so the angels descended with it from heaven, on it were seven loaves and seven large fish, and so they ate of it until they were full, as related by Ibn ‘Abbās. In one hadīth it is said that the Table sent down from heaven consisted of bread and meat, and they were commanded not to be treacherous and nor to store anything for the next day: but they were and they stored some of it, and were [consequently] transformed into apes and swine.
5.115 Kashani - Kashani
but whoever disbelieves, [whoever] is veiled from this religion after it is sent down and has become clear, I shall surely chastise him with a chastisement wherewith I chastise no other being from among all the worlds', by virtue of the path having become clear and the religion and proof having been clarified and their preparedness existing, so that when they deny it they are doing so only out of obstinacy. Chastisement in the case of knowledge is more intense than chastisement in the case of ignorance, since the sensing of the fact that one is veiled from that [truth] necessitates a severe painfulness [in the chastisement].
5.112-115 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Sending Down the Ma'idah
This is the story of the Ma'idah, the name of which this Surah bears, Surat Al-Ma'idah. This is also among the favors that Allah granted His servant and Messenger, `Isa, accepting his request to send the Ma'idah down, and doing so as clear proof and unequivocal evidence. Allah said,
إِذْ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ
((Remember) when Al-Hawaryun said...) the disciples of `Isa said,
يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ هَلْ يَسْتَطِيعُ رَبُّكَ
أَن يُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ
(O `Isa, son of Maryam! Can your Lord send down to us a Ma'idah from heaven) The Ma'idah is the table that has food on it. Some scholars said that the disciples requested this table because they were poor and deprived. So they asked `Isa to supplicate to Allah to send a table of food down to them that they could eat from every day and thus be more able to perform the acts of worship.
قَالَ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
(`Isa said: "Have Taqwa of Allah, if you are indeed believers.'') `Isa answered them by saying, `Have Taqwa of Allah! And do not ask for this, for it may become a trial for you, but trust in Allah for your provisions, if you are truly believers. '
قَالُواْ نُرِيدُ أَن نَّأْكُلَ مِنْهَا
(They said: "We wish to eat thereof.'') we need to eat from it,
وَتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُنَا
(and to be stronger in faith,) when we witness it descending from heaven as sustenance for us,
وَنَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ صَدَقْتَنَا
(and to know that you have indeed told us the truth,) of your Message and our faith in you increases and also our knowledge,
وَنَكُونَ عَلَيْهَا مِنَ الشَّـهِدِينَ
(and that we ourselves be its witnesses.) testifying that it is a sign from Allah, as proof and evidence that you are a Prophet, and attesting to the truth of what you brought us,
قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَآ أَنزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيداً لاًّوَّلِنَا وَءَاخِرِنَا
(`Isa, son of Maryam, said: "O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us -- for the first and the last of us -- a festival...'') As-Suddi commented that the Ayah means, "We will take that day on which the table was sent down as a day of celebration, that we and those who come after us would consider sacred.'' Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that it means, "A day of prayer.''
وَءَايَةً مِّنْكَ
(and a sign from You. ) proving that You are able to do all things and to accept my supplication, so that they accept what I convey to them from You,
وَارْزُقْنَا
(and provide us sustenance,) a delicious food from You that does not require any effort or hardship,
وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَقَالَ اللَّهُ إِنِّى مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنكُمْ
("For You are the Best of sustainers.'' Allah said: "I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves...'') by denying this sign and defying its implication, O `Isa,
فَإِنِّى أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَاباً لاَّ أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَداً مِّنَ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among the `Alamin.) among the people of your time. Allah said in similar Ayat,
وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُواْ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ
(And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir'awn's people to enter the severest torment!'') 40:46, and,
إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ
(Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire. ) 4:145 Ibn Jarir said that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "Those who will receive the severest torment on the Day of Resurrection are three: The hypocrites, those from the people of Al-Ma'idah who disbelieved in it, and the people of Fir`awn.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "They said to `Isa, son of Maryam, `Supplicate to Allah to send down to us from heaven, a table spread with food.' He also said, `So the angels brought the table down containing seven fish and seven pieces of bread and placed it before them. So the last group of people ate as the first group did.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Ishaq bin `Abdullah said that the table was sent down to `Isa son of Maryam having seven pieces of bread and seven fish, and they ate from it as much as they wished. But when some of them stole food from it, saying, "It might not come down tomorrow,'' the table ascended. These statements testify that the table was sent down to the Children of Israel during the time of `Isa, son of Maryam, as a result of Allah's accepting his supplication to Him. The apparent wording of this Ayah also states so,
قَالَ اللَّهُ إِنِّى مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ
(Allah said: "I am going to send it down unto you...'') 5:115.
وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَءَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِى وَأُمِّىَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَـنَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِى أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِى بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِى نَفْسِى وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِى نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ - مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَآ أَمَرْتَنِى بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِى كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ - إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
5.115-119 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The Qur'an is silent as to whether the `tray' was sent down or not and there is no other authentic source of information. Possibly it was sent down, but it is equally possible that the Disciples themselves might have taken back their request after the warning in verse 115.
This refers to another error of the Christians. They had made Mary an object of worship along with Christ and the Holy Ghost, though there is not a word or hint in the Bible about this doctrine. During the first three centuries after Christ, the Christian world was totally unaware of this creed. Towards the end of the 3rd century, the words "Mother of God" were used for the first time by some theologians of Alexandria. Though the response which these words found in the popular heart was great, yet the Church was not at first inclined to accept the doctrine and declared that the worship of Mary was a wrong creed. Then at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., the words `Mother of God' were officially used by the Church. As a result `Mariolatry' began to spread by leaps and bounds both inside and outside the Church. So much so that by the time the Qur'an was revealed, the exaltation of the 'Mother of God' had eclipsed the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Her statues were set up in Churches and she was worshiped, implored and invoked in prayers. In short, the greatest source of reliance of a Christian was that he should obtain the help and protection of the `Mother of God.' Emperor Justinian in the preamble to one of his laws bespeaks her advocacy for the empire and his general, Narses, looks to her directions on the battlefield. Emperor Heraclius, a contemporary of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, bore her image on his banner and believed that because of its auspicious nature it will never be lowered. Though the Protestants after the Reformation did their best to fight against Mariolatry, yet the Roman Catholic Church still adheres to it passionately. Al-Ma `idah but it is equally possible that the Disciples themselves might have taken back their request after the warning in verse 115. 130. This refers to another error of the Christians. They had made Mary an object of worship along with Christ and the Holy Ghost, though there is not a word or hint in the Bible about this doctrine. During the first three centuries after Christ, the Christian world was totally unaware of this creed. Towards the end of the 3rd century, the words "Mother of God" were used for the first time by some theologians of Alexandria. Though the response which these words found in the popular heart was great, yet the Church was not at first inclined to accept the doctrine and declared that the worship of Mary was a wrong creed. Then at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., the words `Mother of God' were officially used by the Church. As a result `Mariolatry' began to spread by leaps and bounds both inside and outside the Church. So much so that by the time the Qur'an was revealed, the exaltation of the 'Mother of God' had eclipsed the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Her statues were set up in Churches and she was worshiped, implored and invoked in prayers. In short, the greatest source of reliance of a Christian was that he should obtain the help and protection of the 'Mother of God.' Emperor Justinian in the preamble to one of his laws bespeaks her advocacy for the empire and his general, Narses, looks to her directions on the battlefield. Emperor Heraclius, a contemporary of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, bore her image on his banner and believed that because of its auspicious nature it will never be lowered. Though the Protestants after the Reformation did their best to fight against Mariolatry, yet the Roman Catholic Church still adheres to it passionately.