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Surah Al-Kafirun: You Have Your Own Religion and I Have Mine

Islam, as a religion, is characterized by completeness, comprehensiveness, integration, and clarity. Nothing is ever missing, lacking, or ambiguous about Islam.

Some enthusiastic advocates of Islam think it is fine to compromise some of its teachings or principles in order to appease others who belong to different faiths.

We shouldn’t question their intentions or motives. They can be very sincere to the faith of Islam, just as many of our dear readers are, but there is a major problem in the way they think.

The problem is described as follows:

When they try to compromise their religion, or at least a part of it, they act against what Allah the Almighty taught Prophet Muhammad and ordered him to act accordingly.

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Arabic text and translation of the meaning of Surah Al-Kafirun (Quran 109)

Arabic text and translation of the meaning of Surah Al-Kafirun (Quran 109)


Listen to recitation of Surah ِAl-Kafirun by Sheikh Mahmud Khalil Al-Husari, Egypt


In Surat Al-Kafirun, which is a Makkan Surah, Allah Almighty orders the Prophet to say to the unbelievers,

{You have your own religion, and I have mine.} (Al-Kafirun 109:6)

The idol worshipers of Makkah proposed they might worship the Prophet’s God (Allah) for one year if Prophet Muhammad would worship their gods (the idols) for one year.

Why did they think that way?

This has both a historical and philosophical background.

The polytheists were convinced that they were the followers of the religion of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). And that they were better than the Jews and Christians who believed that Ezra and Jesus were sons of Allah.

At the same time, Prophet Muhammad started to call people to embrace the religion he was sent to advocate. He made it clear that it was the same religion of Abraham.

Consequently, the polytheists of Makkah thought there was no need for them to forsake their religion and believe in Muhammad’s. Furthermore, they thought that the aforementioned compromise could be sought with him.

However, Allah the Almighty wanted to set things right and draw a distinct line between belief and disbelief, and between monotheism and polytheism. Surah Al-Kafirun was revealed.

The term ‘Say’ and its connotation

Surah Al-Kafirun reads what means,

{Say: ‘Unbelievers!

I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship.

I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship.

You have your own religion and I have mine.} (Al-Kafirun 109: 1-6)

The Qur’an orders Prophet Muhammad to address the unbelievers through the imperative form ‘Say’, which indicates that when it comes to faith, when it comes to creed, it all belongs to Allah. It’s Allah Who has the first and final say in it, not Muhammad, though he is a Messenger.

It is Allah Who defines faith and determines who’s a true believer and who isn’t, not Muhammad.

This in effect, refutes any and all allegations that Prophet Muhammad was the author of the Qur’an or the originator of Islam, not Allah, Glory be His.

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About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected].