You are here: Home » Chapter 5 » Verse 1 » Translation
Sura 5
Aya 1

Chapter 5

The Tableal-Māʾidah ( المائدة )

120 verses • revealed at Medinan

»The surah that mentions the story of The Table from Heaven that God sent down at the request of the Disciples to be a clear sign to them of the unambiguous truth that Jesus was, indeed, the awaited Messiah and Prophet of God. It takes its name from “the table” (al-māʾidah) mentioned in verse 112 ff. A central theme of this surah is the regulation of lawful and unlawful food, obedience to which is part of the pledge between God and the believers (verse 1 ff. and verse 87 ff.). Part of the surah concerns hunting for food during the pilgrimage and respect for the rites of pilgrimage. God had also taken pledges from the Jews and Christians and the section between verse 13 and verse 86 deals with what these two communities did to their pledges, and with their relationships with the Muslims. The passage from verse 109 ff. deals with the afterlife and the verdict of the messengers on the behaviour of their respective communities. Jesus, in particular, is given prominence here: mention is made of the feast for which his disciples asked him to pray to God, which gives the surah its title, and of his renunciation of any claim to divinity.«

The surah is also known as The Feast, The Heavenly Food, The Repast, The Table-spread

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Yusuf Ali: In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا أَوفوا بِالعُقودِ ۚ أُحِلَّت لَكُم بَهيمَةُ الأَنعامِ إِلّا ما يُتلىٰ عَلَيكُم غَيرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيدِ وَأَنتُم حُرُمٌ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحكُمُ ما يُريدُ

Yusuf Ali

O ye who believe! fulfil (all) obligations.1 Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals, with the exceptions named:2 But animals of the chase are forbidden while ye are in the sacred precincts or in pilgrim garb:3 for God doth command according to His will and plan.4
  • This line has been justly admired for its terseness and comprehensiveness. Obligations: 'uqud: the Arabic word implies so many things that a whole chapter of Commentary can be written on it. First, there are the divine obligations that arise from our spiritual nature and our relation to God. He created us and implanted in us the faculty of knowledge and foresight; besides the intuition and reason which He gave us, He made Nature responsive to our needs, and His Signs in Nature are so many lessons to us in our own inner life; He further sent Messengers and Teachers, for the guidance of our conduct in individual, social, and public life. All these gifts create corresponding obligations which we must fulfil, (Cf. 30:30). But in our own human and material life we undertake mutual obligations express and implied. We make a promise; we enter into a commercial or social contract; we enter into a contract of marriage: we must faithfully fulfill all obligations in all these relationships, (Cf. 7:172 and 16:91). Our group of our State enters into a treaty: every individual in that group or State is bound to see that as far as lies in his power, such obligations are faithfully discharged. There are tacit obligations: living in civil society, we must respect its tacit conventions unless they are morally wrong, and in that case we must get out of such society. There are tacit obligations in the characters of host and guest, wayfarer or companion, employer or employed, etc., etc., which every man of Faith must discharge conscientiously. The man who deserts those who need him and goes to pray in a desert is a coward who disregards his obligations. All these obligations are inter-connected. Truth and fidelity are parts of religion in all relations of life.
  • That is, the exceptions named not only in the Qur-ān but in the Sunnah as well. (See 5:3-4 below). (R).
  • Cf. 5:94-96. Hunting and the use of game are forbidden “while ye are hurumun,” i.e., while ye are fl) in the Sacred Precincts, or (2) in the special pilgrim garb (iḥrām), as to which see n. 212, 2:196. In most cases the two amount to the same thing. The Sacred Precincts are sanctuary both for man and beast.
  • God’s commands are not arbitrary. His Will is the perfect Archetype or Plan of the world. Everything He wills has regard to His Plan, in which are reflected His perfect wisdom and goodness