Tafseer of the Last Ayah Surah Kafiroon

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“To you be your religion, and to me my religion.” (109:6)

So the post today is dedicated to a bunch of ignoramuses who apparently has yet to learn the meaning of grade school Surah. During an argument with a particularly arrogant person instead of him admitting he was wrong, he instead felt the need to quote the above ayah of Surah Kafiroon to me.

After explaining to him he is accusing me of disbelief by quoting this he claimed that it was simple “Arabic vernacular” as other stupid people goaded him on and rushed to his defense because they were his friends. So today we’re going to examine the true meaning of the ayah and see if he really knows what he’s talking about.

Now the context of the Surah alone is enough to prove my point but because the person is ignorant/ arrogant (the worst combo) he claimed the verse by itself does not imply disbelief. Well, let’s look at what scholarship says in their interpretation of the meaning of “To you be your religion, and to me my religion.” (109:6)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
(To you be your religion.) means disbelief. (and to me my religion.) means, Islam. [1]

Tafsir Jalalayn:
“You have your religion, shirk (idolatry), and I have a religion’, Islam…” [2]

Tafsir Tabari:
“As for the passage: (you have your religion and I have my religion) that the Almighty said it means: you have your religion that you will never leave, because it has been stamped on you, and it was decided not to be removed so you will be dying upon it, and I will never leave the religion I have, because it has come from God’s knowledge…” [3]
So now the question remains, why did all this scholarship say the meaning of the verse is faith and disbelief? Do they all just not understand what “Arabic vernacular” is? Well, the reason pretty much every scholar in history says this refers to faith/disbelief has to do with the word “deen” دين‎ let’s break it down:

From Lane’s Lexicon:

“Dal-Ya-Nun …religion…took/receive a loan or borrowed upon credit…rule/govern/manage it…repayment/compensation” [4]

The word deen comes from the word dain, which means loan in English. Most Muslims will be familiar with the word in the following verse of Surah Fatiha:
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

King of the day of repayment/judgement (1:4)

It’s called this because people get what they deserve and they pay what they owe.

So the meanings of لَكُمۡ دِينُكُمۡ وَلِىَ دِينِ (To you be your deen, and to me my deen.) is:

1. You continue on your false religion/way of life and I will continue on my revealed religion/way of life. (i.e to you be your religion and to me be my religion)

2. You will get exactly what you deserve when you find out the consequences of your disbelief when the day of deen (repayment) comes. (i.e to you be your payback and to me my payback)

I think the main lesson here is we shouldn’t speak without knowledge concerning the Quran because the reality is when a person quotes this verse they are telling the person to continue in their disbelief and to await their payback for it.

Since these people haven’t learned basics yet (which explains the atrocious misunderstanding of Surah Kafiroon) allow me to show them what the Prophetﷺ says about calling a Muslim an unbeliever:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If a man says to his brother, O Kafir (disbeliever)!’ Then surely one of them is such (i.e., a Kafir). ” [5]

A powerful, powerful warning indeed.




[1] Tafsir of Ibn Kathir on Surah Kafiroon (109:6)

[2] Tafsir Jalalyn

[3] Jamiʿ al-bayan ʿantaʾwil ay al-Qurʾān, aka Tafsir al-Ṭabari

[4] Lane’s Lexicon, Volume 3, pages: 108, 109, 110, 111, 112

[5] Bukhari


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