Surah 109: al-Kaafiroon

"Al-Anfal (60)" by Mahmoud Helmy is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  1. Say, “O disbelievers!
  2. “I serve not what you serve,
  3. And you are not serving what I serve,
  4. And I am not serving what you served,
  5. And you are not serving what I serve.
  6. To you is your Code, and to me is my Code.

2. The word here derives from “slave,” so “serve” is more correct than “worship.”

3. Yes, Allah is a “what” and not a “who” here. Much ink has been spilled on this, but by the principal of parsimony and by the other deficiencies of the text, it’s just another mistake.

4. Yes, the infelicities in the verbs are original.

Surah Ordering

This is taken in the tasfir to be a powerful putdown of the polytheists, which makes sense up until the last ayah, which deflates much of the surah. I believe the last ayah dates from the time after the death of Abu Talib and is an attempt at reconciliation, or at least co-existence, with the polytheists that did not exist in the Quran’s language before. If the last line was “OF you” and not “to/for you,” it would express a consistent thought, but it doesn’t.