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(ENGLISH) COMMENTARY BY MUHAMMED ESED
( BY MUHAMMED ESED )
109 - AL-KAFIRUN
In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

        
REVEALED shortly after surah 107
1. SAY: "O you who deny the truth!
2. "I do not worship that which you worship,
3. and neither do you worship that which I worship! (1)

1 - In the above rendering, the particle ma ("that which") alludes, on the one hand, to all positive concepts and ethical values - e.g., belief in God and the believer's self-surrender to Him - and, on the other, to false objects of worship and false values, such as man's belief in his own supposed "self-sufficiency" (cf. 96:6-7), or his overriding, almost compulsive "greed for more and more" (surah 102).

4. "And I will not worship ~hat which you have [ever] worshipped,
5. and neither will you [ever] worship that which I worship. (2)

2 - Sc., "so long as you are unwilling to abandon the false values which cause you to deny the truth ".

6. Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine !" (3)

3 - Lit., "unto me, my moral law". The primary significance of din is "obedience"; in particular, obedience to a law or to what is conceived as a system of established - and therefore binding - usages, i.e., something endowed with moral authority: hence "religion", "faith.' or "religious law" in the widest sense of these terms (cf. first half of note 249 on 2:256); or simply "moral law", as in the above instance as well as in 42:21, 95:7, 98:5 or 107:1.

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