QURAN SUMMARY: AL MAIDAH

Surah Maidah Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Maidah Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME: المائدة, Al-Ma’ida.

Name taken from Verse 112 where there is a mention of the “Table Spread”.

١١٢  إِذْ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ هَلْ يَسْتَطِيعُ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ۖ قَالَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

112  [And remember] when the disciples said, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] said,” Fear Allah, if you should be believers.”

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: The Table Spread.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 5

SURAH MAIDAH TOTAL VERSES: 120

SURAH MAIDAH TOTAL WORDS: 2,837

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 1,249

TOTAL LETTERS: 12,206

REVELATION PERIOD:

Medinan, Approx. 628 – 629 AD. 

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, Believers, Israelites, Christians, Adams’s two sons, Moses, Christ/Jesus, Jesus Disciples. 

SURAH MAIDAH MAIN TOPICS:

Rulings regarding hunting, Lawful Food, Ablution, Israelites Banned For Forty Years, Adam’s sons Story, Stealing punishment, Mention of Those Who Were Made Apes, Jesus Not Son of God, Expiation Of Oaths, Drink, Intoxication, Gambling, Rejection of categories of domestic animals which the pre-Islamic Arabs used to dedicate to their various deities, Jesus Disciples Demand For Table Spread From Heaven.

SURAH MAIDAH KEY VERSES:

٦  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَٰكِنْ يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

6  O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.

٣٢  مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

32  Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

٣٣  إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَنْ يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ مِنْ خِلَافٍ أَوْ يُنْفَوْا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

33  Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,

٤٥  وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالْأَنْفَ بِالْأَنْفِ وَالْأُذُنَ بِالْأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ ۚ فَمَنْ تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَهُ ۚ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

45  And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

٥١  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

51  O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

٨٢  لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا ۖ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَوَدَّةً لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّا نَصَارَىٰ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

82  You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah; and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.

١٠٠  قُلْ لَا يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ ۚ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

100  Say, “Not equal are the evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.” So fear Allah, O you of understanding, that you may be successful.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

1-4(Rulings Regarding Hunting Not Permitted in the State of Ihram, Do Not Violate the Sanctity of Scared House & the Sacred Months, Harram/Unlawful Meat and Animals, Hunting Instructions & Lawful Food), 5(Lawful to You Is Food & and To Marry Women Of People Of The Book), 6(Wudhu/Ablution & Tayammum), 12-13(God Had Already Taken Covenant From Israelites, God Promised To Bless Them if They Establish Prayer & Zakat/Charity, but God Cursed Them as They Failed ), 14-19(Covenant From Christians, but They Disbelieved When They Say That Allah Is Christ, the Son of Mary), 20-26( Moses Saying to his People To Enter in Holy Land, Their Fear, Banned for Forty Years), 27-31(Adam’s Sons Abel and Cain Story), 32(One Man Killing Is Like Whole Humanity Killing), 33 (“Fasad Fil Arz”/ Corruption in Land Is the Worst of all Sins, Punish Them, Cut Hand Legs OR Exile Them), 38(Thief/ Stealing Punishment: Hand Cut), 41-47(Traits of Jews, if They Come to You Judge Between Them in Justice, God Sent for Them Torah, Famous Commandments of Torah “an Eye for an Eye, a Nose for a Nose, an Ear for an Ear, a Tooth for a Tooth”), 48(if God Willed All Had One Religion), 51(Don’t Take Jews and Christian as Your Helpers & Allies, They Are Allies of One Another), 54(Those Who Become Murtid / Apostate: Allah Will Bring Forth [in Place of Them] a People He Will Love and Who Will Love Him), 60(Mention of Those Who Were Made Apes, Monkeys & Swine), 62-665(Jews Slander Against God,”the Hand of God Is Chained”), 69( Jews, Christian, Sabaeans All Can Go in Paradise), 70-71(Israelites Attitude Towards Messengers, Either Denied or Killed), 72-75( Jesus Not Son of God, Both Jesus and his Mother Used To Eat), 82(Christians Are Nearer to Muslims Than Jews & Polytheists/ Mushriks), 89(Kafara/ Expiation Of Qasams/Oaths), 90-91(Drink, Intoxication, Gambling: Avoid It That You May Be Successful), 94-95(Hunting Forbidden in State Of Ihram), 96(all Seafood Is Lawful/Halal), 100(Evil & Good Are Not Equal Although You See Abundance of Evil), 101-102(Don’t Ask Details Questions Like the Nation of Musa While Quran Is Revealing, as if Shown to You, You Would Find Yourself in More Hardship), 103( Mention&Rejection of Bahirah, Saibah, Wasilah, Ham: Certain Categories of Domestic Animals Which the Pre-Islamic Arabs Used To Dedicate to Their Various Deities), 106-107(Two Men Witness Testimony for Inheritance/Will), 110(God’s Ihsan/Favor Upon Jesus, Miracles, Saved Him From Israelites), 112-115(Jesus Disciples Demand for Table Spread From Heaven, Allah Approved, but Said That if Disbelieve Afterwards Then Severe Punishment), 116-117(Allah Question to Jesus “O Jesus, Son Of Mary, Did You Say to The People, ‘Take Me and my Mother as Deities Besides Allah?, Jesus Reply That I Said Them to Worship Allah, my Lord and Your Lord and I Was a Witness Until Dwelt Among Them)

SURAH MAIDAH BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACK GROUND

This Surah has 120 verses divided into 16 Rukus/Sections. It was revealed in Madina shortly after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah may be at the end of the 6 A.H or at the beginning of 7 A. H.  In Zil-Qaadah 6 A. H Prophet Muhammad with 1400 Muslims decided to go to Mecca for visiting Kaaba. The Meccans did not allow them to enter the city. The companions of the prophet were extremely angry over this. As per old tribal customs, it never happened and no-one can stop even their enemies and rivals from visiting the Kaaba. After much exchange of correspondence, they entered in a treaty by which it was agreed that the Muslims could visit Kaaba the following year. This treaty gave Muslims a chance of Propagating their message to people around. At the time of treaty, the companions of Prophet were thinking it as their defeat but it was actually a blessing in disguise as this treaty not only gave them peace from the attacks of Meccans but an opportunity to spread the message of Islam even outside Arabia. That is why this the time when Prophet Muhammad wrote letters to the rulers of surrounding kingdoms inviting them towards Islam.

This Surah revealed at a period which is different from that of Surah Baqarah, Ale Imran and Nisa as now Muslims have become a stable community and a visible power of Arab. They have already uprooted the conspiracies of neighboring Jews tribes and not only came out of the loss they received in the battle of Uhad but also successfully handled the last effort of Meccans who attacked in 5 AH along with all the joint forces of neighboring Arab tribes in the Battle of Ahzab. Islam was no longer just an ideology but has become a way of living and a State which governed over every aspect of the life of the people. Laws and rules for every dimension of Muslim life had already been formulated in previous Surahs.

In Bukhari Narrated by Umar bin Khattab: Once a Jew said to me, “O the chief of believers! There is a verse in your Holy Book Which is read by all of you, and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed as a day of celebration” Umar bin Al-Khattab asked, “Which is that verse?” The Jew replied, “This day I have perfected your religion For you, completed My favor upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (5:3) Umar replied, “No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet. It was Friday and the Prophet was standing at Arafat (i.e. the Day of Hajj)”

Major points discussed in this Surah are fulfilments of promises and pledges, cleanness of body and soul, Justice and living a righteous life. Because of its connection with the treaty of Hudabiyah and prophet intended visit of Kaaba, rules concerning the journey for Hajj has been mentioned. Halal/Lawful and unlawful food mentioned, the story of Adams two sons has been told to Muslims as it has many lessons esp that the righteous under no situation give up the right attitude and behavior.  Performance of Wudu/ablution, bath, punishment for Fasad fil Arz/Corruption in land and for theft have been specified. Drinking and gambling have been made unlawful. Expiation for the breaking of the oath has been laid down. Jews and the Christians were warned for their attitude, the errors of their dogmas have been clearly pointed out and invited to follow the Right Way of Islam.