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Tafsir at-Tabari
  Tafsir of Surah Ma`idah (5) Verse 114
Author: Ibn Jarir at-Tabari
Source: Tafsir at-Tabari
Article ID : TFS030002  [23552]  
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(At-Tabari concludes:) According to our view it is correct to say the following: Allaah (actually) sent down the table to those who asked Jesus to request it from his Lord. We maintain this in view of the information concerning this which we have related from the Messenger of Allaah, his Companions, and after them the exegetes, since these do not occupy any special position in the interpretation mentioned above. Furthermore, Allaah breaks no promise, and there will not be any contradiction in what he announces. Allaah proclaims in his Book that he will fulfil the request of his prophet Jesus, when he says: Verily I do send it down on you. It is impossible that Allaah would say 'verily I do send it down on you', and then not send it down. This verse deals with a proclamation of Allaah; thus nothing that contradicts it can ensure from him. Were it possible for Allaah to say 'verily I do send it down on you', and then not send it down, then he could also say: 'Whoever among you hereafter disbelieves, verily I will chastise him with a chastisement wherewith I chastise no other being', and someone thereafter could disbelieve without being punished by Allaah. In this case neither the promise nor the threat of Allaah would become true and valid; however, such things cannot be ascribed to Allaah.

Concerning what was on the table, some say correctly that there was food on it. It could have been fish and bread, or it could have been fruit from paradise. It is to no advantage if one knows what it was; neither is it any harm if one does not know, so long as the conclusions drawn from the verse correspond with the external wording of the revelation.

Allaah said: (At-Tabari says that) here Allaah gives to the people an answer to their demand which is addressed to his prophet Jesus, that he ask their Lord to send down to them a table. Allaah says: Verily I do send it down on you, you disciples, and you are to eat from it.

Whoever among you hereafter disbelieves: that is, whoever among you, after I have sent down the table to you and you have eaten from it, denies that I have sent Jesus as a messenger, and whoever does not acknowledge the Prophethood of my prophet Jesus, and whoever refuses obedience to me in my commands and prohibitions.

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