A group of the Yahood witnessing this wonderful event left the scene with envy and wrath. Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) and his Hawaariyyoon and others sat down around the Maa-idah. A beautiful cloth was covering the food. Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) said: “Who among us will remove the cloth?” The Hawaariyyoon said: “O Ruhallaah, you are more entitled than us to open the cloth.”
Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) stood up and made a fresh Wudhu. Then he entered his musalla and performed a few raka’ts Salaat. Then he cried profusely for a long while. He supplicated to Allah Ta’ala for permission to open the Maa-idah (i.e. to remove the covering cloth), and for barkat (blessing) in the food. After his dua he returned and sat at the Maa-idah. As he removed the cloth he recited: “In the Name of Allah, the Best of Raaziqeen (Providers).”
Among the variety of foods on the Maa-idah was a huge fried filleted fish. Sham’oon, the leader of the Hawwaariyoon, asked: “O Ruhallaah! Is this food from the food of this world or from Jannat?” Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) responded: “Why do you not derive lesson from what you have seen of the Signs. Refrain from disputing these issues. I fear that you will be punished because of this Miracle.” Sham’oon said: “O Son of the Truth! I did not intend any disrespect.” Hadhrat Isaa said: “What you see is neither food from Jannat nor from this world. It is something which Allah has created in space with his power. Eat with the Name of Allah from that which you had asked for, and praise your Rabb, for He will increase it for you.”
Sham’oon then said: “O Ruhallaah! We love that you show us a miracle within this miracle.” Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) said: “Subhaanallaah! Is this what you have seen not sufficient for you that you ask for another miracle?” Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) then turned towards the fish and instructed: “O Fish! With the permission of Allah become alive as you were.” Allah Ta’ala gave life to the fish. The huge fish moved and became alive. Its scales and fins returned, and it began roaring noises like a lion. Its eyes glowed fiercely. The people were shocked with fear. Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) said: “What is wrong with you? You ask for a miracle. When your Rabb showed it to you, you detest it. O Fish! With the permission of Allah become as you were.” Once again the fish became a fried fish as it was earlier.
The Hawwaariyoon said: “O Isa! First you initiate the eating. We shall follow you.” Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) said: “I seek refuge with Allah. All those who had requested the Maa-idah should begin eating.” However, when the Hawwaariyyon saw that their Nabi abstained from eating, they developed a fear. They thought: Perhaps the Maa-idah has descended with Wrath and eating will result in their disfigurement. Thus they abstained. When Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) observed their attitude, he invited the poor and the sick, and ordered them to eat and praise Allah Ta’ala. 1,300 persons ate on this first occasion. Despite having ate to their satiation, there was no decrease in the food on the Maa-idah.