To You Be Your Religion And To Me Be Mine, By Imam Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah and from Him proceeds all Grace.
Brothers and Sisters! The dealings of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, with other religions can best be described in the verse of the Quran:
“To you be your religion, to me be mine.” [Surah al-Kafirun]
The Arabian Peninsula during the time of the Prophet was a region in which various faiths were present. There were Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, polytheists, and others not affiliated with any religion. When one looks into the life of the Prophet, one may draw on many examples to portray the high level of tolerance shown to people of other faiths.
But mind you, there’s no any place in the teachings of Islam that indicate that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) participated in non Muslims worships, in their religious celebrations, in their festivals or in their religious services. Yes, we must peacefully coexist together, tolerate each other, assist each other, do halal businesses together, do things together for the progress and development of our country, but in terms of religion, to them be their religion and to us be our religion.
Allah the Most High said in Surah al-Kafirun:
“Say: “Oh, you who disbelieve! I do not worship that which you worship, Nor do you worship That Which I worship. Nor will I worship that which you have been worshipping, Neither will you worship That Which I worship. To you your religion and to me mine.”
It is narrated by Imam Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to recite this Surah with Surah Al-Ikhlas in two raka’at following tawaf of the Ka’abah; it is also narrated by Imam Muslim that he used to recite them in the two raka’at of fajr prayer; and Imam Ahmad narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to recite them in the two raka’at before fajr prayer and in the two raka’at of maghrib prayer. It has also been narrated that Surah Al-Kafirun is equivalent to one quarter of the Quran. The Prophet, (Peace be upon him), also said: “Read: ‘Say: ‘Oh, you who disbelieve,’, then sleep at the end of it because it is freedom from shirk (associating partners with Allah).”
This Surah is freedom from shirk and it is an order to purify our faith (for Allah only) and the Words Say: ‘Oh you who disbelieve,’ includes all those who disbelieve in the world although those specifically addressed are the pagans of the Quraish. It was said that they proposed that the Messenger of Allah, (Peace be upon him), worship their gods for a year, then they would worship that which he worshipped (Allah) for a year, and so on. And so this Surah was revealed containing an order to the Prophet, (Peace be upon him), to declare his rejection of all that which they worship, and to say: I do not worship that which you worship, that is, their idols and the partners they associate with Allah.
“Nor do you worship that which I worship,” that is, Allah, Alone without partners.
“Nor will I worship that which you have been worshipping, neither will you worship that which I worship,” that is, I will not follow your mode of worship and I will worship only Allah in the way which pleases Him.
“Neither will you worship that which I worship” means, neither will you follow the Commands of Allah and His prescribed way of worship; indeed you have invented a thing for yourselves, as in His Words:
“They follow nothing but their own opinions and the (vain) desires of themselves, and Guidance has already come to them from their Lord.” [Al-Quran, 53:23]
And so he rejected all of their shirk, for the Messenger of Allah, (Peace be upon him), and all those who follow him worship Allah in the way prescribed by Him; for this reason the testimony of the Muslim is: La ilaha illallah, Muhammad ar-Rasulullah – None is worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And there is no way to worship Him except that which was brought by the Messenger of Allah, (Peace be upon him). The polytheists worship deities besides Allah in a way not permitted by Allah and so He told the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to say to them: “To you your religion and to me mine”, as in His Words:
“And if they reject you, then say: ‘To me my deeds and to you your deeds and you are innocent of my accounts and I am innocent of yours…” [Al-Quran, 10:41]
“For us our deeds and for you your deeds.” [Al-Quran, 28:55]
According to Imam Al-Bukhari your religion means kufr (disbelief) and my religion means Islam.
Abu Abdillah ash-Shafi’i says that the verse: “To you your religion and to me mine” shows that the disbelievers are one people … because disbelief in all its many manifestations has one thing in common – that is, falsity.
Allah the Most High said:
“Say (O Muhammad Peace be upon him): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” [Quran, 3:64]
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
May the peace, mercy, guidance, protection and blessings of Allah be upon you all.
Your beloved brother:
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. You can reached him through: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.