Al-Kafirun

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  Sura 109 of the Quran  
سورة الكافرون
Sūrat al-Kāfirūn
The Disbelievers

Arabic text · English translation


Classification Meccan
Other names (Eng.) Atheists, The Unbelievers
Position Juz' 30
Structure 6 verses
Hilye by unknown calligrapher.jpg

Sūrat al-Kāfirūn (Arabic: سورة الكافرون‎) is the name of the 109th Sura (chapter) of the Qur'an. Al-Kafirun means "the Unbelievers."

Like many of the shorter Suras, the Sura of the Unbelievers takes the form of an invocation, telling the reader something they must ask for or say aloud. Here, the passage asks one to keep in mind the separation between belief and unbelief both in the past and the present, ending with the often cited line "To you your religion, and to me mine".

It was revealed in Mecca when the Muslims were persecuted by the polytheists of Mecca.

Arabic Verses[edit]

.بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

1. قُلۡ یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ

2. لَاۤ اَعۡبُدُ مَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ

3. وَ لَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ عٰبِدُوۡنَ مَاۤ اَعۡبُدُۚ

4. وَ لَاۤ اَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدۡتُّمۡ

5. وَ لَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ عٰبِدُوۡنَ مَاۤ اَعۡبُدُؕ

6. لَکُمۡ دِیۡنُکُمۡ وَلِیَ دِیۡنِ

Surah Al Kafirun Bismillahi r-rahmani r-rahim

1. Qul ya ayyuha al-kafirun

2. La a'budu ma ta'budoon

3. Wa-laaaa antum 'aaaybiduna maaa a'bud

4. Wa-laaaa ana 'aaaybidunm maaaa 'abadtum

5. Wa-laaaaa antum 'abiduna maaaa'bud

6. Lakum dinukum wa-liya dini

English Translation of verses[edit]

English Translation by Muhammad Shameem, Mohammad Wali Raazi and Muhammad Taqi Usmani:

Say, "O disbelievers, [1] I do not worship that which you worship, [2] nor do you worship the One whom I worship. [3] And neither I am going to worship that which you have worshipped, [4] nor will you worship the One whom I worship. [5] For you is your faith, and for me, my faith." [6]

English Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall:

Say: O disbelievers! [1] I worship not that which ye worship; [2] Nor worship ye that which I worship. [3] And I shall not worship that which ye worship. [4] Nor will ye worship that which I worship. [5] Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion. [6]

English Translation by Yusuf Ali:

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


[Qur'an 109:1-6]

1. 1Say, "O you disbelievers/unbelievers [who knowingly cover up the truth, who obstinately reject faith, disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, and in Al-Qadar (Predestination, Fate, Destiny), etc.],2

1. Surat Al-Kafirun: The Disbelievers. This surah of six verses was revealed in Makkah. It takes its name from the word al-kafirun in the first verse. Kafir means one who rejects faith in one, some, or all the principles of faith that must be believed in by a believing Muslim. The surah tells the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and all other Muslims to be sure, determined, and steadfast in their faith against the unbelievers, and that they should not compel the unbelievers to accept faith.

It defines the right attitude to those who reject Faith: in matters of Truth we can make no compromise, but there is no need to persecute or abuse anyone for his faith or belief.

The man of Faith holds fast to his faith, because he knows it is true. The man of the world, rejecting Faith, clings hard to worldly interests. Let him mind his worldly interests, but let him not force his interests on men sincere and true, by favor, force or fraud.

The Prophet mentioned that this surah is disassociation from shirk (worship of anything other than Allah) for him who recites it. (Narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi.)

2. Faith is a matter of personal conviction, and does not depend on worldly motives. Worship should depend on pure and sincere Faith, but often does not: for motives of worldly gain, ancestral custom, social conventions or imitative instincts, or a lethargic instinct to shrink from enquiring into the real significance of solemn acts and the motives behind them, reduce a great deal of the world's worship to sin, selfishness, or futility. Symbolic idols may themselves be merely instruments for safeguarding the privileges of a selfish priestly class, or the ambitions, greed, or lust of private individuals. Hence the insistence of Islam and its Teacher on the pure worship of the One True God. The Prophet firmly resisted all appeals to worldly motives, and stood firm to his Message of eternal Monotheism.

2. I do not worship what you worship.1

1. This verse is a declaration that there can be no reconciliation between faith in God and other so-called, invented deities.

3. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.1

1. The unbelievers to whom the verse is addressed, or whom God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, is addressing are those who are so obstinate in rejecting the faith that God informed His Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, that they would never believe.

4. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.

5. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.

6. You have your religion/faith/way (atheism, agnosticism, deism, theism, paganism, idolatry, polytheism, henotheism, pantheism, animism, reincarnation, etc., with whatever it will bring you), and I have a religion (Islamic Monotheism, with whatever it will bring me)."

Hadith[edit]

As for the esteem in which Muhammad held this Surah, it can be judged from the following few ahadith:

Hadrat Abdullah bin Umar has related that on many an occasion he heard Muhammad recite Surahs Qul Ya- ayyuhal- kafirun and Qul Huwu-Allahu ahad in the two rakahs before the Fajr obligatory Prayer and in the two rakahs after the Maghrib obligatory Prayer. Several traditions on this subject with a little variation in wording have been related by Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Marduyah from Ibn Umar.

Hadrat Khabbab says: "The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said to me: when you lie down in bed to sleep, recite Qul ya-ayyuhal kafirun, and this was the Holy Prophet's own practice also; when he lay down to sleep, he recited this Surah." (Bazzar, Tabarani, Ibn Marduyah).

According to Ibn Abbas, Muhammad said to the people: "Should I tell you the word which will protect you from polytheism? It is that you should recite Qul ya-ayyuhal kafirun when you go to bed."(Abu Ya'la, Tabarani).

Hadrat Anas says that Muhammad said to Hadrat Mu'adh bin Jabal; "Recite Qul ya-ayyuhal-kafirun at the time you go to bed, for this is immunity from polytheism." (Baihaqi in Ash-Shu'ab).

Both Fardah bin Naufal and Abdur Rahman bin Naufal have stated that their father, Naufal bin Muawiyah al-Ashjai, said to Muhammad: "Teach me something which I may recite at the time I go to bed." Muhammad replied: "Recite Qul ya-ayyuhal kafirun to the end and then sleep, for this is immunity from polytheism." (Musnad Ahmad, Aba Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Abi Shaibah, Hakim, Ibn Marduyah, Baihaqi in Ash-Shuab). A similar request was made by Hadrat Jabalah bin Harithah, brother of Hadrat Said bin Harithah, to Muhammad and to him also he gave the same reply. (Musnad Ahmad, Tabarani).

Imam Ahmad recorded from ibn Umar that the Messenger of God recited in the two Rakahs before the morning prayer and the two Rakahs after the Sunset prayer on ten or twenty different occasions: Say O' al-Kafirun and say He is God, the One (surah 112, al-akhlas).

External links[edit]

  • Surah Al-Kafirun (Complete text in Arabic with English and French translations)

Other Information[edit]

Previous sura:
Al-Kawthar
Sura 109 Next sura:
An-Nasr
Arabic text