سورة المائدة   

Surah Name: Al-Ma'idah Meaning:The Table Spread

  • Revealed at Madinah
  • Completion and Perfection of Islam as Deen (way of life) declared in this Surah.

    With reference to its revelation, it is amongst those Surahs, which were revealed at the end. Part of it was also revealed on the eve of the last Hajj of the Holy Prophet-SW, after which he-SW lived for only about eighty days. Certain Sections were revealed at the time of the Conquest of Makkah, while some on journey to Hudaibiyah. Whereas Surah An-Nisa' discusses mutual relations, dealings and the rights and duties, this Surah lays further emphasis on practising them. The believers are being specifically instructed: "Fulfill your undertakings."

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 16
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 120
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 5
  • Rukū / Section 11 contains Āyāt / Parts 9
  • Siparah/ Volume 6 & 7


لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ

LuAAina allatheena kafaroo min banee israeela AAala lisani dawooda waAAeesaibni maryama thalika bima AAasaw wakanoo yaAAtadoon(a)

Cursed were those who disbelieved from among the Children of Israil by the tongue of Daud-AS and Isa-AS, son of Maryam-AS.


كَانُواْ لاَ يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ

Kanoo la yatanahawna AAan munkarin faAAaloohu labisa ma kanoo yafAAaloon(a)

They would not desist from the evil they committed. Vile is what they have been doing!


تَرَى كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَبِئْسَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لَهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ أَن سَخِطَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَفِي الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ

Tara katheeran minhum yatawallawna allatheena kafaroo labisa mqaddamat lahum anfusuhum an sakhita Allahu AAalayhim wafee alAAathabi hum khalidoon(a)

You-SW will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve. Vile surely is what their souls have sent forth for them, so that Allaah-SWT became incensed against them; and in torment they shall abide.


وَلَوْ كَانُوا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالله والنَّبِيِّ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَا اتَّخَذُوهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء وَلَـكِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

Walaw kanoo yuminoona bi(A)llahi wa(al)nnabiyyi wama onzila ilayhi maittakhathoohum awliyaa walakinna katheeran minhum fasiqoon(a)

And had they believed in Allaah-SWT and the Prophet-SW and what has been sent down to him, they would not have taken them for friends; but many of them are transgressors.


لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

Latajidanna ashadda a(l)nnasi AAadawatan lillatheena amanoo alyahooda wa(a)llatheena ashrakoo walatajidanna aqrabahum mawaddatan lillatheena amanoo allatheena qaloo inna nasara thalika bianna minhum qisseeseena waruhbanan waannahum la yastakbiroon(a)

Surely you-SW will find the Jews and polytheists the bitterest of mankind in enmity towards those who believe. And surely you-SW will find the nearest in affection to the believers those who say: we are Christians. This, because among them are priests and monks and because they are not stiff-necked.


وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ

Waitha samiAAoo ma onzila ila a(l)rrasooli tara aAAyunahum tafeedu mina a(l)ddamAAi mimma AAarafoo mina alhaqqi yaqooloona rabbana amannafa(o)ktubna maAAa a(l)shshahideen(a)

And when they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger-SW, you-SW see their eyes overflow with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say: our Rabb-SWT ! We believe; so write us down with the witnesses.


وَمَا لَنَا لاَ نُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَمَا جَاءنَا مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَنَطْمَعُ أَن يُدْخِلَنَا رَبَّنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الصَّالِحِينَ

Wama lana la numinu bi(A)llahi wama jaana mina alhaqqi wanatmaAAu an yudkhilana rabbuna maAAa alqawmi a(l)ssaliheen(a)

And why should we not believe in Allaah-SWT and in what has come down to us of the truth? And we long that our Rabb-SWT will enter us with the righteous people.


فَأَثَابَهُمُ اللّهُ بِمَا قَالُواْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Faathabahumu Allahu bima qaloo jannatin tajree min tahtiha alanharu khalideena feeha wathalika jazao almuhsineen(a)

Therefore Allaah-SWT will reward them, for what they said, with Gardens beneath which streams flow, to abide therein forever. Such is the recompense of the well doers.


وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ

Wa(a)llatheena kafaroo wakaththaboo biayatina olaika ashabu aljaheem(i)

And those who disbelieved and belied Our-SWT Signs, they shall be the inmates of the Flaming Fire.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Upon the infidels of the Bani Israil, Allah-SWT's Displeasure was announced by all the Prophets-AS sent unto them and they were accursed as a nation. Prophet Daud-AS conveyed them the same Message, later repeated by Prophet Isa-AS. This continuous display of Allah-SWT's Annoyance was not due to any discrimination or personal vendetta but for their disbelief, disobedience to Allaah-SWT and their trespassing the limits set by Him-SWT . The irony was that they never even stopped anyone from evil doing i.e. some who themselves did not indulge in sin acquiesced with the other sinners. It indeed was a wrong attitude by itself and amounted to compromise with the evil. Many amongst them went so far as to make friends with the disbelievers and participated in their abominable activities, like the Muslim of today, who from his appearance, attire, conduct and mannerism, portrays the profile of an unpaid slave of the Jews and the Christians. The Western attire is held in great esteem even in the Arab States, while the Eastern dress is taken as a symbol of backwardness.


Whatever a human being does is recorded for the life of the Hereafter, and indeed the Bani Israil are up for bad bargains, which will be extremely harmful. They will have to face the Divine Wrath and bear the agony jointly, for intermingling with the disbelievers in this world. Now what can be done to make amends? The only course of action open to them is to correct their beliefs, i.e. to believe in Allah-SWT, His-SWT Messenger-SW and what has been revealed to him-SW in the form of Quran and renounce the friendship of the disbelievers. In short, they must reform their precepts and practices and look for noble company, but the problem is that the majority amongst them are disobedient and evildoers.


And the Jews are vigorous in their enmity with Muslims as compared to the Christians: although they, the Christians and the polytheists are all enemies of Islam, yet the Christians are less malicious than the other two factions. This is because amongst the Christians are certain people who are God-fearing. At that time, as compared to the Jews, more Christians were blessed with faith,  because amongst them were priests and monks who had renounced the love of this world and were not arrogant. They worked with sincerity and devotion for Allah-SWT, and vested interest or avarice could not force them to bargain over their religion. Because of these sincere scholars and saints there are people amongst the Christians apt to reform and are not die-hard opponents of Islam as the Jews and the polytheists. Again, among these scholars and saints are also black sheep who bargain on religion, but the sincere ones do affect the hearts of those associated with them. It must be remembered that the saints and scholars are the heart of a society. If they go astray the whole nation is ruined, and if they act righteously the whole society is reformed in no time.


The fact that these Christian priests and monks or scholars and saints are on the right path is proved by the fact that words of truth influence them. The criteria for any person, be it a spiritual mentor, a scholar or a jurist, to be on the right path is that piety inspires him and what is devoid of virtue, whether a word or an action, repels him. Neither he approves of it nor is he influenced by it. This is the standard given here for evaluating the piety of the Christian scholars and saints. The circumstances were that the Holy Prophet-SW ordered the Muslims terribly oppressed by the Makkans to migrate to Abyssinia, as their ruler Najashi was a Christian renowned for his justice. Eleven men, subsequently joined by a contingent of eighty two men. women and children, migrated there. The Makkans could not tolerate this relief to Muslims and sent a delegation to the Court of Najashi with gifts. They portrayed the Muslims as fugitives who had renounced their religion, and demanded their repatriation. The King summoned the Muslims; Hadhrat J'affar-RAU bin Abi Talib explained the Message of Islam in such succinct and impressive words that tears began to roll down the cheeks of the King and he proclaimed: "If this is a true statement, it surely is the teaching of a Prophet-SW I cannot order such people to leave my country". The Makkan delegation was told to return with their gifts. Later, when the Muslims returned to Madinah, Najashi sent along a delegation of seventy of his scholars and pious men.


When they called on the Holy Prophet-SW and heard him-SW recite Quran they couldn't help crying and embraced Islam. On return to Abyssinia they apprised the King of their experience and he also embraced Islam. While discussing the sincerity, piety and noble intentions of these people a rule of thumb is also laid down, that whoever fulfills the above criteria, deserves this eulogy. These men, the erstwhile followers of Prophet Isa-AS, when they heard the Quran from the Holy Prophet-SW tears began to flow from their eyes. It was because their hearts had the capability to discern the truth: readily accepting it they declared: “Our Rabb-SWT , we believe, now list us among those who corroborate the Holy Prophet-SW. We have no reason for not believing. How can we not believe when we desire to be enlisted as Allah-SWT's righteous servants."


The foundation of piety is faith. To begin with, one must have faith based on sincerity of the heart. Actions must also be based on true devotion; this is the only way of joining the righteous. If someone acts contrary to this and considers himself a saint, he lives in a fool's paradise. He is either stupid or a hypocrite as he is ingesting poison and praying for long life. Those who reform themselves, in beliefs and in conduct, with sincerity, whether formerly Christians or non-believers, once they embrace Islam, .their previous conduct is washed away. And when they practically demonstrate their obedience to Allah-SWT, they are blessed with unlimited Grace in this world and also in the Hereafter. Paradise will be their abode as a reward of striving with sincerity and devotion. Whereas those who deny the teachings of a Prophet-SW indeed deny Allaah-SWT ’s Words. This denial has two levels. Firstly, if Allah-SWT's Message is altogether rejected, such people are disbelievers and deserve to be condemned to Hell forever. If, however, there is no denial but the practices are not in accordance with Divine teachings, such people are grave sinners and Fasiqin. If He-SWT chooses to forgive or punish, it is entirely upto Him-SWT , though they shall not reside in Hell forever. Sooner or later they will be delivered.