This sūrah of six verses was revealed in Makkah. It takes its name from the word al-kāfirūn or Al-Kaafirun (The Unbelievers) in the first verse. Kāfir means one who rejects faith in one, some, or all the principles of faith that must be believed in by a believing Muslim. The sūrah tells the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and all other Muslims to be sure, determined, and steadfast in their faith against the unbelievers, and that they should not compel the unbelievers to accept faith.
In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.
1. Say: “O you unbelievers (who obstinately reject faith)!
2. “I do not, nor ever will, worship that which you worship.1
3. “Nor are you those who ever worship what I worship.2
4. “Nor am I one who do (and will) ever worship that which you have ever worshipped.
5. “And nor are you those who do and will ever worship what I ever worship.
6. “You have your religion (with whatever it will bring you), and I have my religion (with whatever it will bring me).
1. This verse is a declaration that there can be no reconciliation between faith in God and other so-called, invented deities.
2. The unbelievers to whom the verse is addressed, or whom God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, is addressing are those who are so obstinate in rejecting the faith that God informed His Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, that they would never believe. (See sūrah 2: 6; 36: 7.)