Sura al-Kafirun

Priority: b, Quality: b
From wikishia
Sura al-Kafirun
Sura al-Kawthar
Sura Number109
Revelation Number18
Verse Count6
Word Count27
Letter Count99\

This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Kafirun; to read its text see text:Sura al-Kafirun.

Sūra al-Kāfirūn (Arabic: سورة الكافرون) is the 109th sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' thirty. This sura is called al-Kafirun because it speaks about faithless ones. In this sura, God ordered the Prophet (s) to explicitly declare his renouncement of idol-worshiping and to say that he (s) would never turn to their religion and would not be in peace with them.

It is said that this sura was revealed when a group of disbelievers suggested that they would follow the religion of the Prophet (s) for a while and then the Prophet (s) should follow their religion for a while.

About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is mentioned in hadith that if it is recited before sleeping, it will bring security and if it is recited in obligatory prayers, it leads to forgiveness of the reciter and his parents and children.


  • Naming

This sura is called "al-Kafirun" because it speaks about faithless people and begins by addressing them. Other names are mentioned for this sura including "'Ibada" and "Jahd". Calling this sura "'Ibada" is because the word "'Ibada" and its derivations are mentioned in this sura several times and "Jahd" means rejection and is considered a name for this sura because it speaks about those who rejected the religion of God.[1]

  • Place and order of revelation

Sura al-Kafirun is a Makki sura and the eighteenth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of the Qur'an, it is the 109th sura[2] located in juz' thirty.

  • Number of verses and other characteristics

Sura al-Kafirun has six verses, twenty seven words and ninety one letters. It is a short sura and among Mufassalat (having several short verses). Sura al-Kafirun is one of the "Four Qul", the four suras beginning with "qul" (قُل).[3]


In Sura al-Kafirun, God orders His messenger (s) to explicitly declares his renouncement of idol-worshiping and announces that faithless ones too reject his religion, so they neither accept the religion of Prophet Muhammad (s), nor does their religion attract the Prophet (s); so, neither faithless ones worship what the Prophet (s) worships, and nor would the Prophet (s) ever worship what they worship. Thus, faithless ones should be disappointed of the Prophet (s) making peace with them.[4]

Content of Sura al-Kafirun[5]
The difference between the opinion and religion of the Prophet (s) with the creed of faithless ones
Introduction: verse 1
The Prophet's (s) mission for renouncement of faithless ones
First issue: verses 2-5
The difference between the worshiped ones of the Prophet (s) and faithless people
Second issue: verse 6
The difference between the Prophet's (s) religion and religion of the faithless ones
First point: verses 2-3
The worshiped ones of the Prophet (s) and disbelievers would never be the same
First point: verse 6
Faithless ones follow a religion they have made
Second point: verses 4-5
In the past too, the worshiped ones of the Prophet (s) and faithless people were never the same
Second point: verse 6
The Prophet (s) follows divine religion

Occasion of Revelation

About the occasion of revelation of this sura, exegetes, including al-Tabari, al-Tusi, al-Maybudi, al-Zamakhshari, al-Tabrisi and Abu l-Futuh wrote that some great chiefs of Quraysh who were leaders of ignorance and deviation, including Walid b. Mughira, 'As b. Wa'il, Umayya b. Khalf, Aswad b. 'Abd al-Muttalib and Harith b. Qays went to the Prophet (s) and suggested a mutual peace and told the Prophet (s), "you follow our religion for a while (one year) and worship our idols and for a while (one year) we will follow your religion and worship your God". The Prophet (s) adamantly rejected their suggestion and this sura was revealed.

Verse Six and Its Misinterpretation

In his commentary on verse six of this sura which says, "To you your religion, and to me my religion.", 'Allama Tabataba'i wrote that, here, someone may think that this verse allows people to choose religion freely and says that anyone can choose polytheism if he wishes, or that someone thinks that the verse orders the Prophet (s) that he (s) should not mind about their religion.

However, these interpretations are wrong. On the contrary, the verse is telling the Prophet (s) that he (a) would never turn to their religion and they would never accept the invitation of the Truth.[6] Furthermore, to reject another false interpretation, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i writes, "Some exegetes have said that the word "din" (religion) in this verse means "reward" and the verse means that the reward for my religion is mine and the reward for your religion is yours". Then, 'Allama Tabataba'i did not accept this and considered it a quite implausible interpretation.[7]

Merits and Benefits

About the merits of recitation of Sura al-Kafirun, it is narrated that a person told the noble Prophet (s), "Teach me something to say when I am about to sleep." The Prophet (s) advised him that "whenever he wants to sleep, recites Sura al-Kafirun and will be safe from polytheism."[8] Also, it is transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that the reward for recitation of this sura equals the reward for recitation of one fourth of the Qur'an.

Whoever recites Sura al-Kafirun and Sura al-Ikhlas in his obligatory prayers, God will forgive his parents and his children.[9] It is transmitted from him too, that "in the two rak'as of fajr prayer, recite every sura you like, but I like to recite Sura al-Ikhlas and Sura al-Kafirun."[10]

Also, some benefits are narrated from Sura al-Kafirun, including that Satan will go away from its reciter;[11] that whoever recites it ten times upon sunrise, his supplication will be fulfilled[12], and that if someone recites it hundred times in the night of Friday, he will meet the Prophet (s) in his dream.[13]

External Links


  1. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1269-1270.
  2. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 166.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1269-1270.
  4. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 373.
  5. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
  6. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 374.
  7. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 375.
  8. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 10, p. 550.
  9. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 127.
  10. Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 2, p. 136.
  11. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 10, p. 552.
  12. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 461.
  13. Nūrī, Mustadrak al-wasāʾil, vol. 6, p. 105.


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