. Surah 109 - Al-Kaferoon
. In The Name of Allah, the Compassion, the Compassionate

Freedom in Belief

(1) Tell the disbelievers:

(2) I will not worship what you worship

(3) For you do not adore the Ideal that I adore

(4) And I do not adore what you do adore

(5) For you do not believe what I believe.

(6) Your faith is one thing and my faith is something else.


  The theme of this surah is obviously freedom of faith. It seems to draw up the right attitude to faith, that one’s religion is his own business and not the business of any body else. This is the basis of individual responsibility. This surah articulates one of the basic tenants of Islam which is explained elsewhere in the Qur’an in the same spirit and principles.

    It was narrated that a group of polytheists suggested to Muhammad that they worship his God for a period of time on condition that he worships their gods for the same duration until both parties come to terms on whose religion was most suitable for all, This kind of compromise is not farfetched since it is noted in the earlier surah of the Pen (No.68) where the prophet was ordered “not to bend to the falsifiers. They wish you to gloss over their faith and they gloss over yours” so that the cards would be mixed and the new faith will be drowned in misinformation.

    Those people, if ever they existed or will exist, were told in this surah in no uncertain terms that I shall not worship what you worship, nor will you worship what I worship because you do not adore the same Ideal. Faith is no matter for coercion as expressed in surah No. 18 (The Cave) “say to them this is the truth from the Lord your God and it is up to you then to believe it or not”.

    No two contradictory beliefs can be right at the same time. As in surah No.34 (Saba’) “say who is it that provides for you from the heavens and the earth, say it is God. So it is either you or we that are right or wrong”. We cannot be both right or both wrong at the same time since we both disagree.

.. .Ibrahim AbuNab (1931-1991)