Sūrat al-Kāfirun, no.109. Revealed in Makkah, 6 verses.
This Sūra was revealed in the early Makkan period when the Prophet (s) and the early Muslims were under a lot of pressure to abandon their mission or merge their beliefs with the polytheists. The Prophet (s) was firm and uncompromising.
Merits of reciting the Sūra
This Sūra has been given extraordinary importance in Hadith due to its strong content. It is recommended to recite this Sūra before sleeping as it is a disassociation from polytheism. Imam al-Sadiq (a) narrates from his father that after reciting this Sūra he would say ‘I worship only One God, I worship only One God’.
The Prophet (s) has said that the best companion to take on a trip who would be of great benefit is the recitation of al-Kāfirun, al-Nasr, al-Ikhlās, al-Falaq and al-Nās.
The Prophet (s) has also said: Whoever recites Sūrat al- Kāfirun is as if he has recited a fourth of the Quran. The rebellious Shayātin distance themselves from him, he will be free of polytheism, and he will be safe from the great fear (on the Day of Judgement).
Note: This reward will be for the one who absorbs the message of the Sūra and completely disassociates himself from polytheism.
Synopsis of Contents
The Sūra is a response to the polytheists who were demanding that they come together and worship both One God as well as their idols. This proposal was rejected and the Sūra firmly states that there can be no such compromise.
Some Lessons from the Sūra
1) There can be no compromise with the enemies of Islam.
2) The belief in only One God is completely disassociated from polytheistic beliefs.
Suggested verses for memorization in Arabic and English
The entire Sūra.
Activities for self-study
Check these verses which talk about the futility of belief in other gods; 5:76, 16:20, and 34:22.
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsir Namūne; https://www.al-islam.org/enlightening-commentary-light-holy-quran-vol-20/surah-shams-chapter-91; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English.