Surah Al-Maida (5:110) Explanation


Then will Allah say: ‘Jesus son of Mary! Recount my favour to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the holy spirit so that you spoke to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold! You make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by my leave, and you breathe into it and it becomes a bird by my leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers, by my leave. And behold! You bring forth the dead by my leave. And behold! I restrained the Children of Israel from you when you showed them the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said: This is nothing but evident magic.


A scene of the Day of Judgement is described in this verse showing the responsibility and limitations of the prophets of Allah who are sent to preach the message to men with special reference to the message of Prophet Isa. Allah will speak to Prophet Isa recalling all His favours and mercies to him and to his mother, Hazrat Maryam, so that his followers should become ashamed of their ingratitude in corrupting that message when they could have profited by its purity and spiritual truth. This argument continues till the end of the Surah.

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The favours especially pertain to the power of miracles granted to Hazrat Isa which established him as the prophet of Allah. The miracles have been described as: Hazrat Isa talked in infancy while still in the cradle with as much clarity as in maturity; he was taught the Book, the wisdom, the law and the gospel, he moulded a lump of clay into the shape of a bird and breathed life into it with Allah s leave, he cured the blind and the lepers and brought the dead to life by Allah’s leave.

The word “by My leave’ are repeated with each miracle to emphasize the fact that they arose, not out of the power or will of Hazrat Isa but by the Will and Power of Allah.

Hazrat Maryam was the mother of Hazrat Isa. With a son of the virgin birth, she and Hazrat Isa became a miracle to all nations. This does not, however, mean that she or her son were not humans. It is against reason or revelation to call Hazrat Isa the son of Allah. He is called the son of Mary to emphasize this. He had no human father as his birth was a miracle. But it was not this which raised him to a high spiritual position as a prophet but because Allah raised him to this stature and gave him spiritual strength and power to perform miracles which were the ‘clear signs he brought.

The favours mentioned in this verse have also been mentioned at other places in the Quran: We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit..2: 87) The Holy Spirit with which he was strengthened was the angel who brought revelations to him.

“He shall speak to the people in childhood and maturity.. (3: 46)

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This is probably an allusion to the prophetic Wisdom which was to inspire Hazrat Isa from a very early age.

“And Allah will teach him the Book and the Wisdom and the law and the Gospel. (3: 48). The law and the gospel were included in the revelation given to Hazrat Isa. Although the Torah was an earlier revelation granted to the prophet Moses, it was not abrogated by the gospel, because the prophetic mission of Hazrat 1sa was based upon the law of Moses.

The Quran also says: I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, In that, I make for you out of clay, as it were, the Figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave….” (3: 49) This was to intimate to the children of Israel that, Hazrat Isa would fashion for them a higher vision brought to life by the inspiration granted to him by Allah which would become their real destiny.

It is possible that bringing forth of the dead’ by Hazrat Isa is a metaphorical description of his giving life to people who were spiritually dead.

Similarly, the healing of the blind and the lepers Can mean an inner regeneration of people who were spiritually diseased and blind to the truth.

Allah restrained the. Jews who disbelieved the prophetic message of Hazrat Isa and his miracles which they called magic, from doing any harm to him. they were seeking to take his life long before their final attempt to, crucify him which also failed, according to the Quran: “. But they killed him not, nor Crucified him… Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself…. (4: 157, 158)


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