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CHAPTER V.

ENTITLED SURAT UL MÁIDA (THE TABLE).

Revealed at Madina.

INTRODUCTION.

ALTHOUGH, as is usual with all the long chapters of the Qurán, this chapter refers to a variety of matters of a general and miscellaneous character, e.g., rules respecting purification, laws concerning lawful and unlawful food, yet there are four points which attract the special notice of the reader. These are (1) the extended reference to the rites of the pilgrimage to Makkah; (2) the fierce hatred of the Prophet towards the Jews and his denunciations against them ; (3) the laboured effort to refute the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the Sonship of Christ; and (4) the repeated warning given to Muslims not to make friends of either Jews or Christians. Wherefore both the historic references of this chapter as well as the animus of the revelation point to a period late in the life of Muhammad as that to which it belongs-a period when successful warfare had made the Prophet indifferent alike to Jewish hatred and Christian friendship.

The statement of ver. 4, "This day have I perfected your religion for you," &c., has led some writers to regard this chapter as the last of the chapters of the Qurán, taken in their chronological order. Muslim authorities agree that this verse and a few others at the beginning of this chapter fairly claim the last place on the list of revelations. However, excepting this short section, there is nothing in this chapter to lead us to believe it to be chronologically the last in the Qurán. Nöeldeke and Muir both agree in placing chap. ix. at the end of the chronological list of Suras, the former, however, admitting that there are some verses in this chapter which fairly claim posteriority to all others in the Qurán. He refers especially to ver. 4, which he thinks was revealed when Muhammad, with perhaps a

presentiment of death being near, could say that all his enemies had lost their courage and that his religion was completed. It is for this reason he places it last in his historico-critical observations.

The revelations of this chapter are therefore of Madína origin.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

Following Nöeldeke for the most part, the dates within which the revelations of this chapter were made are as follows:

Vers. 1-11 belong to A.H. 10. The date of ver. 12 cannot be ascertained with certainty. Vers. 13 and 14 may be placed almost anywhere between A.H. 2 and 7, the probability being that they belong nearer to the latter than to the former date. Vers. 45-55, though referred by most Muslim writers to a period prior to the massacre of the Baní Quraidha, should nevertheless be placed later, i.e., prior to the expedition against the Jews of Khaibar in A.H. 7. Vers. 56-63, according to Muslim authorities, belong to the latter part of A.H. 3 or the early part of A.H. 4.

Of vers. 64-88, the most that can be said is that they belong to a period between A.H. 4 and 8, after many wars with the Jews, and before the final outbreak with the Christians. Vers. 89-104 belong to A.H. 4-6. The date of the remaining verses is uncertain, but may be fixed approximately at A.H. 5-8.

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Certain kinds of food, gaming, and lots forbidden

Muslims permitted to eat the food of Jews and Christians,

and to marry their women

The law of purifications

Believers reminded of the covenant of Aqabah
Muslims should forget old quarrels with brethren
God's favour to Muslims

Disobedience of Jews and Christians exposed

Jews and Christians are exhorted to accept Islám
The divinity of Christ denied

Jews and Christians not the children of God

Muhammad sent as a warner

Israel's rebellion at Kadesh Barnea

The story of Cain and Abel.

VERSES

I

2

3

4

4, 5

6

7

8

9-11

12

13-15

16-18

19, 20

21

22

23-29

30-34

The sin of homicide

The punishment of theft accompanied by apostasy
The faithful exhorted to fight for religion

The punishment of infidels

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Muhammad to judge the Jews and Christians by the law,

gospel, and the Qurán

Christians

Muslims forbidden to fraternise with Jews and Christians

Hypocrites threatened.

Believers warned and instructed

VERSES

35,36 37, 38 39

40. 41

42-44

45-55

56

57,58

59-61

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The hypocrisy and unbelief of the Jews rebuked.
Promises to believing Jews and Christians
Muhammad required to preach

He attests Jewish and Christian Scriptures

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Believing Jews, Sabeans, and Christians to be saved

The Jews rejected and killed the prophets of God

The doctrines of the Trinity and Christ's Sonship rejected
Disobedient Jews cursed by their prophets

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Jewish hatred and Christian friendship compared
Muslims to use lawful food, &c.

Expiation for perjury

Wine and lots forbidden

Law concerning hunting and gaming during pilgrimage

Pilgrimage and its rites enjoined .

The Prophet not to be pestered with questions.

Heathen Arab customs denounced

Wills to be attested by witnesses

The prophets ignorant of the characters of their followers

102-104

105-107 108

Jesus-his miracles-God's favour to him

The apostles of Jesus were Muslims

A table provided by Jesus for the apostles

Jesus did not teach his followers to worship him and his

mother

The reward of the true believer

God is sovereign

109, 110

III

112-114

115-118 119

120

IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

SECOND

MANZIL

|| (1) O TRUE believers, perform your contracts. (2) Ye R . are allowed to eat the brute cattle, other than what ye are commanded to abstain from; except the game which ye are allowed at other times, but not while ye are on pilgrimage to Makkah; GOD ordaineth that which he pleaseth. (3) O true believers, violate not the holy rites of GOD, nor the sacred month, nor the offering, nor the ornaments hung thereon, nor those who are travelling to the holy house, seeking favour from their LORD, and to please him. But when ye shall have finished your pilgrimage, then hunt. And let not the malice of some, in that they hindered you from entering the sacred temple, provoke you to transgress, by taking revenge on them in the sacred months. Assist one another according to justice. and piety, but assist not one another in injustice and malice therefore fear GOD; for GOD is severe in punish

(1) Perform your contracts. The command is general, and is introductory to the matters following.

(2) Ye are allowed, &c. See below, on vers. 4-6; also chap. ii. 174. The only flesh forbidden in the Qurán, if properly slain, is that of the swine; but tradition and custom decide many animals unfit for food. Wild animals, otherwise lawful, are forbidden during the pilgrimage.

(3) Holy rites, i.e., the rites connected with pilgrimage to Makkah. This passage relates to the heathen pilgrims and their offerings, tolerated for a short time after the capture of Makkah.

Sacred month. See Prelim. Disc., sect. vii.

The offering. An animal devoted to sacrifice might not be captured even from an infidel. A garland on the neck of an animal indicated its sacred character. It is related in the Tafsir-i-Raufi that a camel was stolen from Muhammad at Madína. Some time afterwards, when on a pilgrimage, he recognised his stolen camel in a caravan on its way to Makkah; but seeing the garland on its neck, he forbade his followers taking it. This story may be apocryphal, but it illustrates the force of this law.

The malice of some, i.e., in the pilgrimage A.H. 6, when the Muslims were stopped at Hudaibaya. See Prelim. Disc., p. 89.

Assist one another, &c., in the pilgrimage. The sense is closely connected with what precedes.

ing. (4) Ye are forbidden to eat that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and that on which the name of any besides GOD hath been invocated; and that which hath been strangled, or killed by a blow, or by a fall, or by the horns of another beast, and that which hath been eaten by a wild beast, except what ye shall kill yourselves; and that which hath been sacrificed unto idols. It is likewise unlawful for you to make division by casting lots with arrows. This is an impiety. On this day woe be unto those who have apostatised from their religion; therefore fear not them, but fear me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, and have completed my mercy upon you; and I have chosen for you Islám, to be your religion. But whosoever shall be driven

(4) Ye are forbidden, &c. See notes on chap. ii. 174.

Eaten by a wild beast, i.e., the flesh of an animal killed by a wild beast is forbidden unless it be found before life is extinct. In this case the flesh may be eaten, provided the hunter cuts its throat in the usual manner.

Sacrificed to idols. "The word also signifies certain stones which the pagan Arabs used to set up near their houses, and on which they superstitiously slew animals in honour of their gods."-Sale, Baidhawi.

These stones of the Ishmaelites were probably such as are referred to in Gen. xxviii. 18-22. They were the altars upon which sacrifices were offered to the idols Lát and Uzza, but which pointed to the blood which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel. is probable that every animal slain for food was offered as a sacrifice.

It

Lots with arrows. See note on chap. ii. 218, and Prelim. Disc., p. 196. Three arrows were ordinarily used. On one was written My God commands me, on another was written My God forbids me, and the third was blank. If the first were drawn, the way was clear; if the second were drawn, the matter was left in abeyance for one year, when arrows were again drawn; if the blank were drawn, it was returned to the bag and another trial was made, and so on until either first or second should be drawn (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

On this day. "This passage, it is said, was revealed on Friday evening, being the day of the pilgrims visiting Mount Arafat the last time Muhammad visited the temple of Makkah, therefore called the pilgrimage of valediction."-Sale.

This day have I perfected your religion. "And therefore the commentators say that after this time no positive or negative precept was given."-Sale.

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