The Maida of Masih

The sura Maida (sura 5) of the Qur'an derives its name ("the Table") from verses 117 and 118 of the same:

"Jesus the son of Mary said: 'O God our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set, that there may be for us and for those who will come after us a solemn feast and a sign from Thee; and provide for our sustenance, for Thou art the best Sustainer.' God said, 'I will send it down to you; but if any of you disbelieves hereafter, I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the peoples.'"

According to these verses, Isa asked Allah to send a table with food which was to be a sign and a feast, both for those living at that time and for those who would come afterwards. Unfortunately, though this feast is mentioned in the Qur'an, and though it was to mark a solemn festival for those who would come after Isa, there is no feast in Islam for Isa Masih!

We who are familiar with the Holy Injil know that such a feast was indeed celebrated in the time of Isa, a feast which Christians have celebrated ever since. The Maida of Masih (Isa) is celebrated every spring, and was adapted by Isa from the Id al-Kurban of the Jews. It represents the last time Isa celebrated this Jewish feast before He Himself, as a sinless and perfect sacrifice, became the kurban for the forgiveness of our sins. In the Holy Injil (1 Corinthians 11:23-27), the apostle (rasul) Paul explains this feast as follows:

"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, 'This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.' In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

As seen from the Holy Injil, only believers may celebrate the Maida of the Masih, and it is the right and privilege of every true believer to share in the benefits of God's kurban.

The Qur'an reports that Allah will punish those who disbelieve after the giving of the Maida of the Masih (Isa), as no one before has been punished. We as believing Christians, who accept the sacrifice of Isa for the forgiveness of our sins, invite all who so believe to celebrate the Maida of the Masih.