Surah Al-Ma’idah : Chapter 5 (line 1-10) The Table

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

1. O you who believe! Fulfill your commitments. Livestock animals are permitted for you, except those specified to you; but not wild game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. God decrees whatever He wills.

2. O you who believe! Do not violate God’s sacraments, nor the Sacred Month, nor the offerings, nor the garlanded, nor those heading for the Sacred House seeking blessings from their Lord and approval. When you have left the pilgrim sanctity, you may hunt. And let not the hatred of people who barred you from the Sacred Mosque incite you to aggression. And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience, and do not cooperate with one another in sin and hostility. And fear God. God is severe in punishment.

3. Prohibited for you are carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and animals dedicated to other than God; also the flesh of animals strangled, killed violently, killed by a fall, gored to death, mangled by wild animals-except what you rescue, and animals sacrificed on altars; and the practice of drawing lots. For it is immoral. Today, those who disbelieve have despaired of your religion, so do not fear them, but fear Me. Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My favor upon you, and have approved Islam as a religion for you. But whoever is compelled by hunger, with no intent of wrongdoing-God is Forgiving and Merciful.

4. They ask you what is permitted for them. Say, “Permitted for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you.” You train them according to what God has taught you. So eat from what they catch for you, and pronounce God’s name over it. And fear God. God is Swift in reckoning.

5. Today all good things are made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste believing women, and chaste women from the people who were given the Scripture before you, provided you give them their dowries, and take them in marriage, not in adultery, nor as mistresses. But whoever rejects faith, his work will be in vain, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.

6. O you who believe! When you rise to pray, wash your faces and your hands and arms to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles. If you had intercourse, then purify yourselves. If you are ill, or travelling, or one of you returns from the toilet, or you had contact with women, and could not find water, then use some clean sand and wipe your faces and hands with it. God does not intend to burden you, but He intends to purify you, and to complete His blessing upon you, that you may be thankful.

7. And Remember God’s blessings upon you, and His covenant which He covenanted with you; when you said, “We hear and we obey.” And remain conscious of God, for God knows what the hearts contain.

8. O you who believe! Be upright to God, witnessing with justice; and let not the hatred of a certain people prevent you from acting justly. Adhere to justice, for that is nearer to piety; and fear God. God is informed of what you do.

9. God has promised those who believe and work righteousness: they will have forgiveness and a great reward.

10. As for those who disbelieve and reject Our revelations-these are the inmates of Hell.


My Interpretation: 

Gabriel starts these revelations with talking more about what is permitted to the people. Yes eating meat is allowed, but only from certain animals and in respect for the gift of food. So negative painful ways of killing an animal is not allowed. This is where “halal” rule of meat comes from in Islam. It really reminds me of the way the Native Americans used to honor their food from the Great Spirit that was given to them. They would bow in respect to the animal that died to give them the food, and this in general created a more spiritual atmosphere of respect and piety.

Women are to be treated as equal partners in life and to not be used as mistresses, or side relationships. They are to become men’s wives and to be treated with respect. This is ordained in Islam. No wonder so many women converted to Islam, after they saw the protection and respect given to them!

Being clean and courteous in prayer is  important, not to burden the people, but to purify their minds spiritually to help them live a good life.