The Quran has recorded this particular miracle, in the following verses :
Imam Qurtubi has elaborated upon the disciples’ request saying that they continued to ask even after being forbidden by Jesus, for the following four reasons:
Imam Qurtubi also quoted Mujahid’s(d.103/681) view, which is that the table was not sent down as the people were threatened with punishment, if after the descent of the table, they refused to bring faith, and cancelled their request and refrained from such demands. Qurtubi considers this view to be incorrect. He then goes on to give a fuller description of this incident as follows. When the disciples requested such a table, Jesus stood up and weeping to his Lord, prayed, "O Allah, our Lord! Send to us a table from heaven, that it could be for us - the first and last of us - a solemn festival and a sign from You and provide us sustenance, as You are the best Sustainer." Allah accepted his supplication and replied, "I shall send it to you."
A red table between two clouds, one above and one beneath it descended. Whilst the people were staring in wonder upon it, Jesus was praying to his Lord, "O Allah! Make it a source of mercy and not a trial, You are my Lord to whom I ask for a miracle, so You give." The table landed in front of I`sa (Jesus), who prostrated immediately and so did the disciples with him.
Whilst engaged in prostration, a wonderful aroma assailed their nostrils, from the food, such an aroma they had never experienced before. Jesus then asked, "Who, from amongst you, is the most ardent worshipper of Allah, the most courageous, the nearest to his Lord and the most reliant upon the Sustainer? He is the one who should remove the cover off the table, so that we may eat from it and take the name of our Lord upon it and praise Him upon it." The disciples replied, "You, Jesus, are the most befitting and deserving of this act." Thus Jesus performed ablution, prayed Salaat and offered supplication, then sat by the table and removed the cover.
They were all surprised to find that the table was laden with varied provisions as follows : a huge fried fish, without bones, was placed in the center and different types of vegetables were set around it. Salt and vinegar flanked its head and five different kinds of bread were placed at its tail. Upon one bread were placed five pomegranates, dates were upon another, olives upon a third, cheese upon a fourth and eggs graced the last. Sham’oon, the leader of the disciples, asked, "Is this food that of paradise or the food of this world?" Jesus’ reply was, "This is food specially created for you, it is neither from paradise or this world. Allah said to it, "BE," and so it was."
The people asked for yet another sign in addition to the table, so Jesus ordered the fish to become alive which it did. The disciples told Jesus to eat from the food first, but Jesus refused saying, "Those who asked for it should eat from it." But the disciples feared to partake of the food, so Jesus called to the poor and said to them, "Eat from the provision of your lord, upon the invitation of your prophet and praise Allah upon it." The poor people fell upon the food and the disciples joined in, after which Jesus had to fix turns for the people, as they would all gather upon the table and cause congestion. The people ate from the table for forty days.
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