This article is concerned with Surah Al-Kafirun. It starts with a brief introduction showing its place and time of revelation, the meaning of Al-Kafirun, and the other names of Surah Al-Kafirun. It also discusses Surah Al-Kafirun translation, transliteration, Tafseer, and meaning in English, as well as its lessons and Benefits and Virtues of Surah Al-Kafiroon.
Here we will learn the following:
Introduction to Surah Al-Kafirun
Surah Al-Kafirun is a Makki Surah that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) before Hijra. It is one of the small surahs of the 30th Juz’. It was revealed after Benefits and Virtues of Surah Al-Kafiroon.
‘Al-Kafirun’ is an Arabic word that means: the disbelievers. The Surah is named Al-Kafirun as it mainly teaches the Prophet (PBUH) how to respond to the polytheists in Makkah, as we will further discuss in Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer and Asbab-n-Nuzul.
Among the most interesting facts of Surah Al-Kafirun is that it is also named Surah Al-Ikhlas like Surah Al-Ikhlas (Qul howa Allahu ahad). It was suggested that Surah Al-Kafirun is concerned with the Ikhlas of deeds (Purifying your deeds for the sake of Allah) while Surah Al-Ikhlas is concerned with the Ikhlas of speech.
Why Was Surah Al-Kafirun Revealed (Asbab al-n-Nuzul)?
Surah Al-Kafirun was revealed in response to a group of polytheists who came to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), trying to convince him to leave parts of his religion and accept parts of their religion.
They tried to convince him in several ways; they offered to make him their king and get him married to the most beautiful women, where the prophet (PBUH) should give up his dawah to Islam in return.
They also offered him a deal to worship Allah for one year, and in return, The Prophet (PBUH) would worship their idols the next year, which is completely insane.
Allah (SWT) revealed Surah Al-Kafirun to teach the Prophet (PBUH) and all Muslims how to respond to them.
What is The Maksud of Surah Al-Kafirun?
The Maksud of Surah Al-Kafirun is the declaration of innocence from shirk (associating partners with Allah) and Kufr (disbelief in Allah). It clarifies that Allah is the One true God, and His religion -Islam- is the only true one, in which Allah wouldn’t accept any other. Any concessions in the religion of Allah are not allowed, and that should be clear to every Muslim.
Each Muslim should be aware of the differences between his own belief and non-Muslims and ‘Kafirun’ beliefs. There should be clear discrimination in order not to get confused.
Moreover, Muslims should declare their own identity without timidity or shyness unless they fear being harmed or tortured.
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What Is Surah Al-Kafirun Translation and Transliteration in English (Verse by Verse)?
Surah Al-Kafirun is one of the smallest Surahs of the Quran. It consists of only six short verses. 109 Surah Al-Kafirun doesn’t include the name of Allah or any of His attributes.
قُلْ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ
Qul yaaa-ayyuhal kaafiroon
Say, “O disbelievers,
لَآ أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Laaa a’budu maa t’abudoon
I do not worship what you worship.
وَلَآ أَنتُمْ عَـٰبِدُونَ مَآ أَعْبُدُ
Wa laaa antum ‘aabidoona maaa a’bud
Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
وَلَآ أَنَا۠ عَابِدٌۭ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ
Wa laaa ana ‘abidum maa ‘abattum
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
وَلَآ أَنتُمْ عَـٰبِدُونَ مَآ أَعْبُدُ
Wa laaa antum ‘aabidoona maaa a’bud
Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِىَ دِينِ
Lakum deenukum wa liya deen
For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”
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What Is Tafseer of Surah Al-Kafirun And its Meaning in English (Verse by Verse)?
Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer is so simple that its words are repeated. However, with different indications, as we will discuss in the following paragraphs.
A. Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer Verse #1
‘Qul’ means “say,” a speech from Allah to prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Many surahs in the Quran started by ‘Qul’ as we previously discussed in Tafseer of Surah Al-Ikhlas, Tafseer of Surah Al-Falaq and Tafseer of Surah Al-Naas.
‘yaaa-ayyuhal kaafiroon’ means O those disbelieved. That’s the start of the message Allah taught Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to tell Al-Kafirun. Al-Kafirun is a general word that refers to all non-Muslims who disbelieved and rejected Islam; the polytheists, the Christians, the Jews, the hypocrites … etc.
B. Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer Verse #2
‘Laaa a’budu maa t’abudoon’ That’s a declaration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Muslims’ innocence of polytheism and disbelief. It means simply: I don’t worship (Now) what you worship.
C. Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer Verse #3
‘Wa laaa antum’ aabidoona maaa a’bud’ means, and you (Kafirun) don’t worship what I worship. This shows that belief and disbelief couldn’t be mixed together and that there’s a clear discrimination between true religions and false ones.
This verse is repeated in verse number 5. However, it shows an added meaning.
D. Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer Verse #4
‘Wa laaa ana ‘abidum maa ‘abattum’ means: And I – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – wouldn’t, in the future, worship what you (Kafirun) worship.
Allah clarified that the polytheists’ negotiations with The Prophet (PBUH) should be over. The verse indicates it is impossible for The Prophet (PBUH) to accept any of their offers to give up calling to Allah’s religion or make concessions in any part of it.
E. Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer Verse #5
‘Wa laaa antum’ aabidoona maaa a’bud’ This verse appears the same as verse number 3. However, it has added meanings.
Firstly, it emphasizes the impossibility of accepting their false offers. As their offers were repeated, the verses were repeated to confirm the refusal and to deny any possibility of backing down.
Secondly, This verse indicates that Al-Kafirun don’t perform worship as the prophet (PBUH) does, while verse number 3 indicates they don’t worship his God’ Allah.
F. Surah Al-Kafirun Tafseer Verse #6
‘Lakum deenukum wa liya deen’ means for you (Kafirun) is your religion, and for me (Prophet Muhammad) is my religion.
Some people falsely claim that this verse indicates freedom in accepting or rejecting Islam. However, this verse actually makes a clear discrimination between truthfulness and falsehood not to be mixed together in confusion. It is also a declaration of innocence of what Al-Kafirun (the disbelievers) worship other than Allah, making it clear that we don’t accept any of this Kufr or polytheism.
Allah said in the Quran that Islam is the only religion accepted by Allah.
What Are Lessons of Surah Al-Kafirun and Life Applications?
The lessons of Surah Al-Kafirun are too strong and beneficial. In the following few paragraphs, we will discuss some of them.
1. Appreciate and Announce Your Belief in Pride
Islam is the true religion of Allah, so a Muslim should be proud of his belief and declare it with no shame. A Muslim should know and acknowledge the differences between his belief and others’ beliefs and not to mix up the truth with falsehood.
2. Don’t Give Up your Religion (or part of it) for The Sake of Others.
Accepting deals or offers of concessions in Islam is not acceptable. Non-Muslims will try to negotiate with Muslims to give up parts of their belief or practice. However, a true Muslim should never acquiesce in their offers.
3. Surah Al-Kafirun Shows the Truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the most honest and truthful. If by any means He (PBUH) was a liar or aiming to achieve a higher position in Makkah by calling to Islam, he wouldn’t have rejected all these attractive offers to be their king, to get rich and to marry the best of their women.
You can also find the tafseer of the following surahs helpful:
- Best Tafseer Surah Al-Falaq – Lessons, Benefits, and Maqsud
- Maksud And Tafseer of Surah Al-Fatiha With Transliteration
- Top 10 Practical Lessons And Benefits of Surah Al-Fatihah
- Learn All You Need to Know About Tafseer Surah Al-Ikhlas
- Learn All About Surah Al-Fil – 2022 Best Guide
- Best Tafseer Surah Al-Naas – Maksud, Benefits, And Lessons
- The benefits and Virtues of Surah Al-Masad – Comprehensive Tafseer
- Top Benefits and Virtues of Surah Al-Nasr – Comprehensive Tafseer
What Are the Benefits of Surah Al-Kafirun?
The benefits of Surah Al-Kafirun are various and numerous. Recitation of Surah Al-Kafirun before sleep is a declaration of freedom from ‘shirk’ (associating partners with Allah), as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said. (Mishkat al-Masabih 2161)
Also, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to recite it in the two rakaats of tawaf, before and during Fajr Prayer, after Maghrib prayer, and at sleep.
It was also narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that Surah Al-Kafirun is equivalent to a quarter of the Quran. ( Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2893)
Conclusion | What is The General Meaning of Surah Al-Kafirun?
The virtue of Surah Al-Kafirun is one of the great Makki Surahs that are worth proper understanding. Although it is only a few verses, it is a clear declaration of the oneness of Allah and the truthfulness of Islam.
Surah Al-Kafirun has many lessons and benefits mentioned in Hadiths narrated in Sunnah. It teaches Muslims never to accept any concessions in their religion. It is also a declaration of innocence from shirk and Kufr. That’s why prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recited it more often, day and night.