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 14 contains Āyāt / Parts 8
  • Siparah/ Volume 6 & 7


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ وَإِن تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْآنُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ عَفَا اللّهُ عَنْهَا وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tasaloo AAan ashyaa in tubda lakum tasukum wain tasaloo AAanha heena yunazzalu alquranu tubda lakum AAafa Allahu AAanha wa(A)llahu ghafoorun haleem(un)

O’ you who believe! Ask not of things which if disclosed to you, may annoy you, and if you ask of them while the Quran is yet being revealed, they may be disclosed to you. Allaah-SWT has pardoned that, and Allaah-SWT is Forgiving, Forbearing.


قَدْ سَأَلَهَا قَوْمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَصْبَحُواْ بِهَا كَافِرِينَ

Qad saalaha qawmun min qablikum thumma asbahoo biha kafireen(a)

Surely people have asked questions before you-SW, and were then found disbelieving therein.


مَا جَعَلَ اللّهُ مِن بَحِيرَةٍ وَلاَ سَآئِبَةٍ وَلاَ وَصِيلَةٍ وَلاَ حَامٍ وَلَـكِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

Ma jaAAala Allahu min baheeratin wala saibatin wala waseelatin wala hamin walakinna allatheena kafaroo yaftaroona AAala Allahi alkathiba waaktharuhum layaAAqiloon(a)

It is not Allaah-SWT who appointed anything like the Bahirah or the Sa'ibah or the Wasilah or the Ham; but it is the disbelievers who have fabricated a lie against Allah-SWT, and most of them do not reflect.


وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ

Waitha qeela lahum taAAalaw ila ma anzala Allahu waila a(l)rrasooli qaloo hasbunama wajadna AAalayhi abaana awalaw kana abaohum la yaAAlamoona shayan wala yahtadoon(a)

And when it is said to them: come to what Allaah-SWT has sent down and to the Messenger-SW, they say: enough for us is what we found our fathers on. What! Even though their fathers knew nothing nor were guided.


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo AAalaykum anfusakum la yadurrukum man dalla itha ihtadaytum ila Allahi marjiAAukum jameeAAan fayunabbiokum bima kuntum taAAmaloon(a)

O’ you who believe! On you rests the case of yourselves; whoever strays can do you no harm so long as you keep yourselves guided. To Allaah-SWT is the return of you all; then He-SWT will declare to you all what you did.


يِا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ شَهَادَةُ بَيْنِكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ حِينَ الْوَصِيَّةِ اثْنَانِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ أَوْ آخَرَانِ مِنْ غَيْرِكُمْ إِنْ أَنتُمْ ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَأَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةُ الْمَوْتِ تَحْبِسُونَهُمَا مِن بَعْدِ الصَّلاَةِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللّهِ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ لاَ نَشْتَرِي بِهِ ثَمَنًا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى وَلاَ نَكْتُمُ شَهَادَةَ اللّهِ إِنَّا إِذًا لَّمِنَ الآثِمِينَ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo shahadatu baynikum itha hadara ahadakumu almawtu heena alwasiyyati ithnani thawa AAadlin minkum aw akharani min ghayrikum in antum darabtum fee alardi faasabatkum museebatu almawti tahbisoonahuma min baAAdi a(l)ssalati fayuqsimani bi(A)llahi ini irtabtum la nashtaree bihi thamanan walaw kana tha qurba wala naktumu shahadata Allahi inna ithan lamina alathimeen(a)

O’ you who believe! The testimony among you, when you are face to face with death, at the making of a bequest shall be that of two equitable persons from among you, or two others from among those not of you if you be journeying in the land and death afflicts you. You should detain the twain after the Salat. If you be in doubt, and they should swear by Allaah-SWT affirming: we shall not barter it for a price, even though he be a kinsman, and we shall not hide the testimony of Allah-SWT, lest we should be of the sinners.


فَإِنْ عُثِرَ عَلَى أَنَّهُمَا اسْتَحَقَّا إِثْمًا فَآخَرَانِ يِقُومَانُ مَقَامَهُمَا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الأَوْلَيَانِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللّهِ لَشَهَادَتُنَا أَحَقُّ مِن شَهَادَتِهِمَا وَمَا اعْتَدَيْنَا إِنَّا إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Fain AAuthira AAala annahuma istahaqqa ithman faakharani yaqoomani maqamahuma mina allatheena istahaqqa AAalayhimu alawlayani fayuqsimani bi(A)llahi lashahadatuna ahaqqu min shahadatihima wama iAAtadayna inna ithan lamina a(l)ththalimeen(a)

If then it is later ascertained that the twain had been guilty of a sin, two others should take their place from amongst those who were sinned against, the two nearest of kin, and they should swear by Allaah-SWT affirming: our testimony is worthier of credit than their testimony and we have not trespassed, for then we would have been among the wrong-doers.


ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِالشَّهَادَةِ عَلَى وَجْهِهَا أَوْ يَخَافُواْ أَن تُرَدَّ أَيْمَانٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللّهَ وَاسْمَعُواْ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

Thalika adna an yatoo bi(al)shshahadati AAala wajhiha aw yakhafoo an turadda aymanun baAAda aymanihim wa(i)ttaqoo Allaha wa(i)smaAAoo wa(A)llahu la yahdee alqawma alfasiqeen(a)

That should make it more likely that their testimony would be according to the fact thereof, or they shall fear that other oaths would be admitted after their oaths. And fear Allaah-SWT and hearken, and Allaah-SWT does not guide a wicked people.


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

Questions are asked in pursuit of knowledge, a pre-requisite for action, and to acquire knowledge one has to ask those who know. But useless probing and irrelevant questions are incorrect, particularly in a situation when the Quran is being revealed. Whatever be the question, an answer will certainly be given, and it is quite possible that the answering revelation may not be according to the desire of and as such not liked by the seeker. So it is better to ask only relevant questions which are necessary for guidance. Besides, the revelation of the Quran is confined to a specific period, which indicates that, after this, the Chain of Divine Revelation will discontinue, as the process of answering here has been specifically associated with revelation of the Quran. Once it is completed, though asking useless questions would still be undesirable, there will be no answers revealed any longer. This proves that after the Holy Prophet-SW, whoever claims that he receives revelations shall be an imposter.


Now whatever has happened in the past must be forgotten as Allah-SWT is Forgiving, Clement. He-SWT is very Tolerant and none save Him-SWT could have had the patience to tolerate this creation, especially the people of today. The preceding nations also tried to probe aimlessly and ended up in disbelief by practising what Allah-SWT did not reveal, pretending as if it was from Him-SWT . He-SWT did not make any Bahirah, Sa'ibah, Wasilah and Ham etc. nor did He-SWT allow the practices associated with them.     


It is important to mention here that it is not wise to split hair with the Shaikh too, and whatever is advised must be practised in its simple meanings. Unnecessary probing may result in restrictions. For example, a Shaikh advises a seeker to recite Darud Sharif; so one must simply recite any Darud Sharif, as much as one can easily do. Probes like when, which one and how much will surely entail restrictions. Now if he does not abide by them it will not benefit him, rather he might go astray, like these polytheists who fabricate their own beliefs and act accordingly.


Bahirah was the mammal whose milk would be dedicated to the idols. Sa'ibah was animal let free in the Name of Allah-SWT, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Ham was a stallion camel who had mated with a certain number of female camels, and was also dedicated to idols. Wasilah was a dromedary, which had delivered continuously female offspring and never a male. The infidels were the fabricators of all such absurdities. Inviting restrictions through irrelevant questions, inventing rituals and then taking them as good, were certainly evil practices. The problem with the non-believers is that to prove the truth of their religion they often lie over Allaah-SWT and it is indeed stupid. Wasn't their disbelief enough to invoke the doom that they went on to lie over Allaah-SWT ?


And when they are invited to the Din of Allah-SWT, asked to practise what is revealed in the Quran and follow the Holy Prophet-SW, they say that they cannot possibly abandon the customs of their fore-fathers. For if they did, it would mean that their ancestors were ignorant and stupid. They may be asked whether their ancestors had a Divine Book or the teachings of a Prophet-AS? And if they had, did they abide by those teachings? Two conditions have been laid down here for following somebody in belief and practice. It is surely not wise to follow every other person, nor is it justified to follow someone just because others are doing so. The first thing to do is to determine one's own aim and the destination. Once this is done, one should look for someone with the knowledge of the path leading to that destination. When this is assured, it must then be seen whether his destination is also the same as of the seeker. If so, there is no harm in following him. This is called "conformity" (Taqlid) or following in the footsteps of someone.


Those noble and pious souls who, within themselves, were institutions of knowledge and were on the most elevated level of practice; who took guidance from the Holy Prophet-SW before taking each and every step; following them in pursuit of Allah-SWT's Pleasure is indeed conformity with Ai'mah. This is the criterion for leadership set by the Quran unlike the prevalent leadership which has contributed nothing save destruction, deceit, frauds and oppression to the nation. It is indeed a grave misdeed to elect ignorant and non practicing persons as the leaders of the nation; whereas the Quran declares uprightness, both in knowledge and in practice, to be the basic quality for leadership.


 It is obligatory for every Muslim to strive to his level best. After having put in his best efforts he should be at peace. If others still do not follow the right path, it is their decision. But the one engaged in this effort must himself remain steadfast and should continue to exert fully to be a source of guidance for others. If people do not listen to the truth, it is up to them, as everyone will indeed return to Allaah-SWT for direct reckoning.


Life and death are closely inter-linked. If one approaches death he should bequeath in the presence of two responsible and honest Muslims, failing which, well reputed persons from other communities may also be taken as witnesses. Especially if one is afflicted with a terminal illness while on a journey he can make someone as his executor, preferably a Muslim. However, a non-Muslim can also be appointed and requested to convey his belongings to his heirs, who may distribute them in accordance with Shari’ah.


Now if a conflict arises amongst the heirs, they must produce witnesses who must be detained till Salat to take an oath after it or the claimant must testify. If the plaintiff is identified as heir in the light of Shari’ah, his due right should be given, he must take an oath. If he refuses to take an oath, the case may be decided against him. Or else the court may also decide to have on oath by the defendant. The oath must be made as fervent and impacting as possible. This fervour or intensity can be added to the situation by a choice of the place and timings. For example, he may be asked to take an oath after Salat, in ablution inside a masjid, failing which he will lose the case.


In short, two important matters discussed here are (1) that a Muslim who is about to die must, if possible, appoint an executor, upon such wealth or property which is not known to the heirs. This executor may be a non-believer, who is to deliver it to the heirs. If the executors are more than one it is still better. And (2); if the heirs have a dispute they must produce witnesses, failing which they must take an oath with full fervour as explained above. And always fear Allah-SWT, and do not forget that He-SWT does not allow the wrongdoers to receive guidance unless they renounce their misconduct. Unless one repents and mends his ways Allaah-SWT does not force him into piety. In fact some of the sins are so grave that as a punishment, the sinner is deprived of repentance.