|1) Say: O disbelievers! 2) I do not worship what you worship, 3) and you do not worship what I worship. 4) I will never worship what you worship, 5) and you will never worship what I worship. 6) You have your religion and I have mine.1|
“Say: O disbelievers!” openly and clearly “I do not worship what you worship,” I clear myself of what you worship, outwardly and inwardly “and you do not worship what I worship,” because you do not worship Allah sincerely, alone. Your worship of Him, mixed as it is with the worship of others besides Him, cannot truly be called worship. “I will never worship what you worship, and you will never worship what I worship,” this sentence has been repeated. The first instance shows that what is said is a statement of fact, the act will not happen. The second instance shows that the state of affairs has now been set in stone. It is for this reason that Allah proceeds to differentiate the two groups by saying, “You have your religion and I have mine,” just as Allah says, “Say, ‘Each man acts according to his nature, but your Lord knows best who is best guided on the Path’” and “If they deny you, say, ‘I have my actions and you have your actions. You are not responsible for what I do and I am not responsible for what you do.’”
1. Muslim records on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah recited this Surah al-Kafirun and Surah Ikhlas in the two Rak`ahs of Tawaf. Muslim also records from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah recited these two Surahs in the two optional Rak`ahs of the Fajr prayer.
Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah recited these in the two Rak`ahs before the Morning prayer and the two Rak`ahs after the Sunset prayer on approximately ten or twenty separate occasions.
Ahmad also recorded that Ibn `Umar said,
|“I watched the Prophet on twenty-four or twenty-five occasions reciting these two Surahs in the two Rak`ahs before the Fajr prayer and the two Rak`ahs after the Sunset prayer.”|
2. al-Isra’ (17): 84