Translation and Tafsir of Surah al-Ma’un

Surah al-Ma’un is the 107th Surah of The Quran. Consisting of just seven Ayahs, this Surah deals with piety and charitable actions. Surah al-Ma’un, literally “Small Kindness”, discusses the actions of those who consider themselves Muslims, but behave otherwise. Such people deprive orphans of their rights, indulge in false vanity, and even in prayer, they rarely remember Allah and pray without any commitment.

This articles provides full translation and tafsir of Surah al-Ma’un. 

Translation and Tafsir of Surah al-Ma’un


First up, full Arabic text of the Surah, along with English translation.



1. Have you considered the person who denies the Judgement?

This ayah poses a simple question: what kind of person would deny the obvious truth? The answer is provided in the following ayahs of this Surah.

2. It is he who treats the orphan with harshness

A Muslim has numerous obligations towards orphans: those who do not give orphans their due, that is, do not feed and treat them with kindness, are disobedient towards Allah.

3. And does not urge others to feed the needy

Charity is another obligation on Muslims, and helping the poor and the needy is a mandatory act, assuming one is financially and physically capable of doing so. To not give charity would, as in the previous ayah, be an act of disobedience towards Allah.

4. So woe to those who pray

5. But are heedless in their prayer

Bowing in prostration to Allah, but not following any of the tenets of Islam, is a sign of an hypocrite. Such people are regular in prayers, and even observe fast and adhere to all other obligations of Islam, but when it comes to helping others and offering charity to their poorer brethren, they are heedless.

Indeed, such heedless prayers are of no use.

6. Those who perform good deeds only to show off

This ayah refers to those people who may pray in a congregation of believers, but they are not praying to seek the Mercy of Allah; instead, they are praying to show the world that they are religious and righteous. This, very clearly, is a sign of hypocrisy as such people do not pray for the sake of Allah SWT, but instead, they pray to get approval and praise from their fellow companions.

7. Yet forbid common kindness!

Common kindness is any action that is of use for others. It can be something as simple as a smile or a word of kindness spoken to others that might cheer them up. Allah says that people who deny and overlook small acts of kindness are the worst, as they bear nothing but ill-will towards their fellow human beings.


Surah al-Ma’un shows that hypocrites are those who pray only for outward appearance, and have no sincerity in prayer. Furthermore, it also tells us that hypocrites tend to treat people in a harsh manner, to the extent that they deny orphans their rightful share, are unkind towards others, and never offer charity to the poor and needy.

Surah al-Ma’un serves as a powerful reminder for us to stay steadfast in our prayers and be kind to Allah’s creations.

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Waseelah Smedley

Waseelah believes in expressing herself through her creativity. She focuses on learning from the lives of the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions.

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