Surah Al Kafirun

Surah Al Kafirun, 109:1-6 (Those who reject Faith – the Disbelievers)

1) Say : O ye that reject Faith!
2) I worship not that which ye worship,
3) Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
4) And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
5) Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
6) To you be your Way, and to me mine.

Some of the leading disbelievers of Makka had proposed to the Holy Prophet a compromise between Islam and their ancient faith such as they conceived it, so that their idols might also have an honourable mention in the adoration of the worshippers. The Holy Prophet resisted all appeals to worldly motives, and stood firm to his message of eternal unity of Allah. This surah breathes a spirit of uncompromising abhorrence to idolatry. There can be no common ground between the worship of “the one” and the many- monotheism and polytheism.

“Say : O ye that reject Faith!” openly and clearly “I worship not that which ye worship,” I clear myself of what you worship, outwardly and inwardly “Nor will ye worship that which I worship.” because you do not worship Allah sincerely, alone. Your worship of Him, mixed as it is with the worship of others besides Him, cannot truly be called worship. “And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship.” this sentence has been repeated.

The first instance shows that what is said is a statement of fact, the act will not happen. The second instance shows that the state of affairs has now been set in stone. It is for this reason that Allah proceeds to differentiate the two groups by saying, “To you be your Way, and to me mine.” just as Allah says, “Say: “Everyone acts according to his own disposition: But your Lord knows best who it is that is best guided on the Way.”” (Surah Al Isra’, 17:84) and “If they charge thee with falsehood, say: “My work to me, and yours to you! ye are free from responsibility for what I do, and I for what ye do!”” (Surah Yunus, 10:41)

Sahih Muslim records on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah recited this Surah Al Kafirun and Surah Ikhlas in the two Rak’ahs of Tawaf. (Sahih Muslim, Book #007, Hadith #2803)

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) recited in the two (supererogatory) rak’ahs of the dawn (prayer): ” Say: O unbelievers,” (Surah Al Kafirun) and “Say: Allah is one” (Surah Al Ikhlas).  (Sahih Muslim, Book #004, Hadith #1575)

Ahmad recorded from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah recited these in the two Rak’ahs before the Morning prayer and the two Rak’ahs after the Sunset prayer on approximately ten or twenty separate occasions.

Ahmad also recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “I watched the Prophet on twenty-four or twenty-five occasions reciting these two Surahs in the two Rak’ahs before the Fajr prayer and the two Rak’ahs after the Sunset prayer.”

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