بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔


Brief Commentary of Surah al-Kafirun


Translation: “Say, O disbelievers, I do not worship that (idols) you worship, nor do you worship the One whom I worship. And neither I am going to worship that you have worshipped, nor will you worship the One whom I worship. For you is your faith, and for me, my faith.”

Situation and time period during which revealed:

This Surah was revealed when some leaders of Makkah including Walid IbnMughirah and AasIbn Walid put a proposal to the Prophet (PBUH) saying that: You should worship our gods for one year and we will worship your God for the next one year. Some other persons put forth different proposals which all ultimately meant that the Prophet (PBUH) could anyway get ready to follow the ways of the disbelievers. So, Allah Almighty explicitly stated in this Surah that no such pact could take place between belief and disbelief so that the right could not stand distinct from the falsehood and belief and disbelief might get mixed up with one another. If the disbelievers are not ready to accept the truth, they can follow their way and stay ready to face the consequences. But the Prophet (PBUH) will surely act upon his religion. It shows that it is not permissible to make any pact with the disbelievers which may lead the Muslims to adopt the formers’ ways. They can, however, make a peace treaty with the condition of strictly following their respective ways.

Ayesha(RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Two Surahs are best to be recited in the two sunnah rakaats of Fajr Salah: Surah Al-Kafirun and Surah Al-Ikhlas. The blessed Companions (RA) narrate that the Prophet (PBUH) would generally recite these two Surahs (Surah Al-Kafirun and Surah Al-Ikhlas) in the Maghrib Salah. The Prophet (PBUH)evenused to encourage the Companions (RA) to recite Surah Al-Kafirun before going to bed. In short, we should, apart from other recitals, also recite the four Quls (Surah Al-Kafirun, Surah Al-Ikhlas, Surah Al-Falaq and Surah Al-Nas) while going to bed.

Some words repeatedly occur in this Surah. Two verbs have once been used in the present tense and secondly in the future tense. It indicates that neither it is possible in the present that the Prophet (PBUH)may worship their godswhile also believing in Oneness of Allah and they worship his God while also associating partners with Him, nor is it possible in the future.

There is no religion that calls for tolerance and kind treatment to others more than Islam. Islam has always maintained the rights of others. The Islamic Shariah in no way compels people to convert to Islam. It has remained content only to teaching the truth and preaching it. The Quran says: “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 256) Likewise, the holy Quran says: “And say, the truth is from your Lord. Now, whoever so wills may believe and whoever so wills may deny.” (Surah al-Kahf: v. 29)

The peace treaty of the Prophet (PBUH) with the Jews after migration to Madinah is very famous. Presenting high moral example, the Prophet (PBUH) also made the treaty of Hudaibiya with the disbelievers of Makkah. But no pact that may lead to acompromise in the fundamentals of Islam can take place. For example, we can never make a pact, if someone puts the condition that we will have to worship idols, associate any partners with Allah, not accept Muhammad (PBUH) as the last prophet, not perform salah in the mosque, or stop proclaiming adhan.

The lesson for us in this Surah: Allah alone is worthy of worship. Associating any partners with Him is a severe crime which cannot be forgiven in the hereafter.

We can compromise only on the point that other people may live freely according to their faith in the Islamic country and we will live according to our faith. We should, however, continue to invite them to Islam through our words and deeds.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (