The Quran

Commentaries for 5.5

Al Maida (The food) - المائدة

5.5 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(This day) the day of the pilgrimage (are (all) good things) that which has been immolated (made lawful for you. The food) the animals immolated (of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you) as long as it is not prohibited, (and your food) your immolated animals (is lawful for them) both the Jews and Christians can consume that which the Muslims immolate. (And so are the) free (virtuous women of the believers) are lawful for you to marry (and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you) lawful for you to marry (when ye give them their marriage portions) their dowry, in surplus of the price given to the prostitute in exchange for sex (and live with them in honour) in wedlock, (not in) flagrant (fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines.) This was revealed about the women of Mecca when they boasted to the women of Medina. Allah said: (Whoso denieth the faith) Allah's divine Oneness, (his work is vain) in this world (and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter) he will be of those who have been duped since he will be deprived of Paradise and enter hell.
5.5 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Today the good, the delicious, things are permitted to you, and the food of those who were given the Scripture, that is, animals slaughtered by the Jews and Christians, is permitted to you, and permitted to them is your food. Likewise, the believing, free, married women, and the married women of those who were given the Scripture before you, are permitted to you for marriage, if you give them their wages, their dowries, in wedlock, in marriage, and not illicitly, fornicating overtly with them, or taking them as lovers, so as to fornicate with them secretly. Whoever disbelieves in faith, that is, [whose] apostatises, his, prior good, work has indeed failed, and so it counts for nothing and he will not be rewarded for it, and in the Hereafter he shall be among the losers, if he dies in this state [of unbelief].
5.5 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Permitting the Slaughtered Animals of the People of the Book
After Allah mentioned the filthy things that He prohibited for His believing servants and the good things that He allowed for them, He said next,
الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَـتُ
(Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibat.) Allah then mentioned the ruling concerning the slaughtered animals of the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians,
وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ
(The food of the People of the Scripture is lawful to you..) meaning, their slaughtered animals, as Ibn `Abbas, Abu Umamah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Al-Hasan, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan stated. This ruling, that the slaughtered animals of the People of the Book are permissible for Muslims, is agreed on by the scholars, because the People of the Book believe that slaughtering for other than Allah is prohibited. They mention Allah's Name upon slaughtering their animals, even though they have deviant beliefs about Allah that do not befit His majesty. It is recorded in the Sahih that `Abdullah bin Mughaffal said, "While we were attacking the fort of Khaybar, a person threw a leather bag containing fat, and I ran to take it and said, `I will not give anyone anything from this container today.' But when I turned I saw the Prophet (standing behind) while smiling.'' The scholars rely on this Hadith as evidence that we are allowed to eat what we need of foods from the booty before it is divided. The scholars of the Hanafi, the Shafi`i and the Hanbali Madhhabs rely on this Hadith to allow eating parts of the slaughtered animals of the Jews that they prohibit for themselves, such as the fat. They used this Hadith as evidence against the scholars of the Maliki Madhhab who disagreed with this ruling. A better proof is the Hadith recorded in the Sahih that the people of Khaybar gave the Prophet a gift of a roasted leg of sheep, which they poisoned. The Prophet used to like eating the leg of the sheep and he took a bite from it, but it told the Prophet that it was poisoned, so he discarded that bite. The bite that the Prophet took effected the palate of his mouth, while Bishr bin Al-Bara' bin Ma`rur died from eating from that sheep. The Prophet had the Jewish woman, Zaynab, who poisoned the sheep, killed. Therefore, the Prophet and his Companions wanted to eat from that sheep and did not ask the Jews if they removed what the Jews believed was prohibited for them, such as its fat. Allah's statement,
وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ
(and your food is lawful to them.) means, you are allowed to feed them from your slaughtered animals. Therefore, this part of the Ayah is not to inform the People of the Scriptures that they are allowed to eat our food -- unless we consider it information for us about the ruling that they have -- i. e, that they are allowed all types of foods over which Allah's Name was mentioned, whether slaughtered according to their religion or otherwise. The first explanation is more plausible. So it means: you are allowed to feed them from your slaughtered animals just as you are allowed to eat from theirs, as equal compensation and fair treatment. The Prophet gave his robe to `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, who was wrapped with it when he died. They say that he did that because `Abdullah had given his robe to Al-`Abbas when Al-`Abbas came to Al-Madinah. As for the Hadith,
«لَا تَصْحَبْ إِلَّا مُؤْمِنًا، وَلَا يَأْكُلْ طَعَامَكَ إِلَّا تَقِي»
(Do not befriend but a believer, nor should other than a Taqi (pious person) eat your food.), This is to encourage such behavior, and Allah knows best.
The Permission to Marry Chaste Women From the People of the Scriptures
Allah said,
وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ
((Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers) The Ayah states: you are allowed to marry free, chaste believing women. This Ayah is talking about women who do not commit fornication, as evident by the word `chaste'. Allah said in another Ayah,
مُحْصَنَـت غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحَـتٍ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ
(Desiring chastity not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as boyfriends (lovers).) 4:25 `Abdullah Ibn `Umar used to advise against marrying Christian women saying, "I do not know of a worse case of Shirk than her saying that `Isa is her lord, while Allah said,
وَلاَ تَنْكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَـتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ
(And do not marry idolatresses till they believe.)'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Malik Al-Ghifari said that Ibn `Abbas said that when this Ayah was revealed,
وَلاَ تَنْكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَـتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ
(And do not marry idolatresses till they believe,) the people did not marry the pagan women. When the following Ayah was revealed,
وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
((Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time) they married women from the People of the Book. '' Some of the Companions married Christian women and did not see any problem in this, relying on the honorable Ayah,
وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
((Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time) Therefore, they made this Ayah an exception to the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah,
وَلاَ تَنْكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَـتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ
(And do not marry the idolatresses till they believe,) considering the latter Ayah to include the People of the Book in its general meaning. Otherwise, there is no contradiction here, since the People of the Book were mentioned alone when mentioning the rest of the idolators. Allah said,
لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ
(Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture and the idolators, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence.) and,
وَقُلْ لِّلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ وَالاٍّمِّيِّينَ ءَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ
(And say to those who were given the Scripture and to those who are illiterates: "Do you (also) submit yourselves'' If they do, they are rightly guided.) Allah said next,
إِذَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ
(When you have given them their due), This refers to the Mahr, so just as these women are chaste and honorable, then give them their Mahr with a good heart. We should mention here that Jabir bin `Abdullah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Al-Hasan Al-Basri stated that when a man marries a woman and she commits illegal sexual intercourse before the marriage is consummated, the marriage is annulled. In this case, she gives back the Mahr that he paid her. Allah said,
مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِى أَخْدَانٍ
(Desiring chastity, not illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends (or lovers).) And just as women must be chaste and avoid illegal sexual activity, such is the case with men, who must also be chaste and honorable. Therefore, Allah said,
غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ
(...not illegal sexual intercourse') as adulterous people do, those who do not avoid sin, nor reject adultery with whomever offers it to them.
وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِى أَخْدَانٍ
(nor taking them as girl-friends (or lovers),) meaning those who have mistresses and girlfriends who commit illegal sexual intercourse with them, as we mentioned in the explanation of Surat An-Nisa'.
5.5 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
"The food of the People of the Book" also includes what has been slaughtered by them.
"The food of the People of the Book is lawful for you and your food for them" means that there are no restrictions either on us or on them to take food together. The Muslims are permitted to take meals with the People of the Book and they with the Muslims. But the repetition of the sentence "all good and pure things have been made lawful for you" is very significant. It shows that the Muslims should not partake of their food, if the people of the Book do not observe those rules which are essential from the point of view of the Islamic Law, or if they include unlawful things in their food and drink. For instance, if they do not mention the name of Allah over the animal they slaughter or mention any other name than that of Allah over it, the flesh would be forbidden for the Muslims. Likewise if liquor or pork or any other forbidden things is served, the Muslims are not permitted to sit at the same table with them.
The same rule also applies to the food and drink of other non-Muslims except that the Muslims are not permitted at all to eat the flesh of the animals slaughtered by non-Muslims. They are permitted to eat the flesh of the clean animals, slaughtered by the People of the Book only, if they duly pronounced the name of Allah over it.
This refers to the Jews and the Christians. Permission to marry only their women has been given, and that, too, with the provision that they should be chaste (muhsanat). There is a difference of opinion in the details of the application of this permission. According to Ibn 'Abbas, a Muslim may marry from among the women of the People of the Book who are the subjects of the Islamic State, but is not permitted to marry from among the women of the People of the Book living in the regions which are at war with the Islamic State or are living in a territory of the unbelievers. The Hanafis differ a little from this and consider it undesirable, though not unlawful, to marry women from among the People of the Book living in a foreign territory. On the contrary, Said bin Musayyib and Hasan Basri are of the opinion that the Command is of a general nature; therefore there is no need to make any kind of distinction between the People of the Book whether they are subjects of an Islamic State or living in a foreign territory.
Besides this there also is a difference in the interpretations of the word muhsanat. According to Hadrat `Umar, it refers to virtuous and chaste women. That is why he excludes characterless women of the People of the Book from this permission. Hasan, Sha`bi and Ibrahim Nakha`i are of the same opinion and the Hanafis also approve of this. On the other side, Imam Shafi`i takes it to mean free women of the people of the Book as opposed to the slave-girls from among them.
The warning that immediately follows the permission given to marry women from among the People of the Book is very significant. The Muslim who makes use of this permission has been warned to guard his faith and morality very cautiously against the influence of his unbelieving wife. There is a genuine danger that his deep love might -tender him a prey to wrong creeds and acts of his unbelieving wife and he might lose both his Faith and morality, or he might adopt a wrong moral and social attitude which might be against the spirit of his faith.
5.5 Tustari - Al-Tustari
This day the good things are permitted to you…[Sahl] said:The good things refer to the provision which is lawful.His words, Exalted is He: