Sending Down the Ma’idah
In Ayah 115, we learn about Allah’s reply. He said,
قَالَ اللَّهُ إِنِّى مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنكُمْ فَإِنِّى أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَاباً لاَّ أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَداً مِّنَ الْعَـلَمِينَ
“Allah said: ‘I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among the Alameen.’”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala agreed to their demand but placed a condition. His condition was that if anyone disbelieves after witnessing the ma’idah, he will be punished with a punishment that no one has ever experienced. It has been said that they were turned into pigs. Pig denotes greed. No one else had been been given this punishment previously.
Ibn Jareer said that Abdullah bin Amr radhiAllahu anhu said, “Those who will receive the severest torment on the Day of Resurrection are three: The hypocrites, those from the people of Al-Ma’idah who disbelieved in it, and the people of Fir`awn.”
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu anhu said, “They said to Eesa, son of Maryam, ‘Supplicate to Allah to send down to us from heaven, a table spread with food.’ He also said, ‘So the angels brought the table down containing seven fish and seven pieces of bread and placed it before them. So the last group of people ate as the first group did.”
Ibn Jareer recorded that Ishaq bin Abdullah said that the table was sent down to Eesa son of Maryam having seven pieces of bread and seven fish, and they ate from it as much as they wished. But when some of them stole food from it, saying, “It might not come down tomorrow,” the table ascended.
This was similar to Bani Israel’s doing. When they were sent man-o-salwa they were told not to store anything but they went against the command of Allah and stored some of it.
– The one who denies a sign after seeing it, his kufr is greater than the one’s who has never witnessed a sign. Similarly, the sin of a person with knowledge is greater than the one who has no knowledge.
– There are levels of punishment depending on one’s knowledge. The more a person knows the more his punishment will be. If a person despite gaining knowledge doesn’t change his ways, his punishment will be intense.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala enable us to understand Qur’an, act on it and save us from His punishment, aameen.