109 Surah Kafiroon (qul ya ayyuhal kafirun) سورة الكافرون‎

سورة الكافرون
Surah Kafiroon
The Disbelievers

  • Classification: Meccan
  • Other names Atheists, The Unbelievers
  • Position Juzʼ 30
  • No. of verses 6


Surat al Kafirun (Arabic: سورة الكافرون‎, “The Unbelievers”) is the name of the 109th Sura (chapter) of the Qur’an.

Surat Kafiroon
Surah Kafiroon

Surah Kafiroon Transliteration:

  1. Qul yaa-ai yuhal Kafiroon
  2. Laa a’budu ma t’abudoon
  3. Wa laa antum ‘aabidoona maa a’bud
  4. Wa laa ana ‘abidum maa ‘abattum
  5. Wa laa antum ‘aabidoona ma a’bud
  6. Lakum deenukum wa liya deen.
Surah Kafiroon Translation
Surah Kafiroon Translation

Surah Kafiroon Translation – Sahih International:

  1. Say, “O disbelievers,
  2. I do not worship what you worship.
  3. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
  4. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
  5. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
  6. For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”

Surah Kafiroon Related Ahadith:

  • It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:
    “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to perform two Rak’ah before Fajr, and he used to say: ‘The best two Surah to recite in the two Rak’ah of Fajr are: “Say: Allah is One” [Al-Ikhlas (112)] and “Say: O you disbelievers.” [Al-Kafirun (109)]
  •  the Prophet (PBUH) teaches us to recite this Surah before going to sleep because it purifies us of shirk (associating others with Allah):

Recite Surah Al Kafirun and then go to sleep after coming to its end, for it is a clearance from shirk.” [Abu Dawud].

Simple Explanation of surah al kafirun

It is narrated by Muslim that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to recite this Surah with Surah Al-Ikhlas in two raka’at following tawaf of the Ka’bah; it is also narrated by Muslim that he used to recite them in the two raka’at of fajr prayer; and Imam Ahmad narrates that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to recite them in the two raka’at before fajr prayer and in the two raka’at of maghrib prayer.

It has also been narrated that Surah Al Kafirun is equivalent to one quarter of the Qur’an.

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also said: “Read: ‘Say: ‘Oh, you who disbelieve,’, then sleep at the end of it because it is freedom from shirk (associating partners with Allah).”

This Surah is freedom from shirk and it is an order to purify our faith (for Allah only) and the Words Say: ‘Oh you who disbelieve,’ includes all those who disbelieve in the world although those specifically addressed are the pagans of the Quraysh.

It was said that they proposed that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, worship their gods for a year, then they would worship that which he worshipped (Allah) for a year, and so on.

And so this Surah was revealed containing an order to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to declare his rejection of all that which they worship, and to say: I do not worship that which you worship, that is, their idols and the partners they associate with Allah.

“Nor do you worship that which I worship,” that is, Allah, Alone without partners.

“Nor will I worship that which you have been worshiping, neither will you worship that which I worship,” that is, I will not follow your mode of worship and I will worship only Allah in the way which pleases Him.

“Neither will you worship that which I worship” means, neither will you follow the Commands of Allah and His prescribed way of worship; indeed you have invented a thing for yourselves, as in His Words: “They follow nothing but their own opinions and the (vain) desires of themselves, and Guidance has already come to them from their Lord.” [Al-Qur’an 53:23]

And so he rejected all of their shirk, for the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and all those who follow him worship Allah in the way prescribed by Him; for this reason the testimony of the Muslim is La ilaha illallah, Muhammad ar-Rasulullah – None is worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And there is no way to worship Him except that which was brought by the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The polytheists worship deities besides Allah in a way not permitted by Allah and so He told the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to say to them: “To you your religion and to me mine”, as in His Words: “And if they reject you, then say: ‘To me my deeds and to you your deeds and you are innocent of my accounts and I am innocent of yours,’ ” [Al-Qur’an 10:41] and, “For us our deeds and for you your deeds.” [Al-Qur’an 28:55] According to Al-Bukhari your religion means kufr (disbelief) and my religion means Islam.

Abu ‘Abdillah ash-Shafi’i says that the verse “To you your religion and to me mine” shows that the disbelievers are one people … because disbelief in all its many manifestations has one thing in common – that is, falsity.

This is the end of the tafsir of Surah Kafiroon. All praise is due to Allah and from Him proceeds all Grace.

Lessons of Surah Al Kafirun

Never compromise your Muslim Identity.
This Surah purifies our faith and strengthens our Muslim identity. We must never sacrifice the teachings of Islam for anyone. We must not allow other people to harm our relationship with Allah.

Islam is guidance from Allah and is not based on human desires.
“…They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the guidance from their Lord!” (53:23)

This Surah is specifically addressed to the Quraish leaders.
This Surah addresses the Quraish leaders who Allah knew were never going to accept Islam. This Surah does not mean that we should leave non-Muslims and not call them to Islam. Muslims have a duty to teach and invite people to Islam.

Islam is a serious commitment and should not be viewed lightly.
The ridiculous proposal of the Quraish leaders showed that they did not take religion and the worship of God seriously. Islam is a lifelong commitment and should be practiced with sincerity and devotion.

Islam respects the right of freedom of religion.
Islam respects the right of people to choose what religion they follow. Islam does not allow the forcing of religion on others, and it also does not allow the compromising its own values, such as the belief that it is the true religion of God:

“There is no compulsion in religion: true guidance has become distinct from error, so whoever rejects false gods and believes in God has grasped the firmest hand-hold, one that will never break. God is all hearing and all knowing.”

References and Links

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