Surah Ma‘un (سورَةُ الماعون), meaning aid, is the 107th surah in the 30th juz of the Quran and has seven verses. Two other names of this surah are Ara’at al-Ladhī and al-Dīn. The surah specifically addresses those who deny the Day of Judgment.
Arabic Text and Translation
بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of God, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.
أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ ﴿1﴾
Did you see him who denies the Retribution?
فَذَٰلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ ﴿2﴾
That is the one, who drives away the orphan,
وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ ﴿3﴾
And does not urge the feeding of the needy.
فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ ﴿4﴾
Woe to those who pray
الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ ﴿5﴾
But are heedless of their prayers
الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاءُونَ ﴿6﴾
—who show off
وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ ﴿7﴾
But deny aid.
Benefits of Surah Ma‘un
The recitation of every surah brings certain benefits for the reciter. Surah Ma‘un has at least four benefits.
One of the Prophet’s descendants, Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad, has said, “Whoever recites Surah Ma‘un after their Asr prayer, Allah will protect him until the next afternoon.”
The Prophet (s) has also said, “Whoever recites Surah Ma‘un after their ‘Isha’ prayer, Allah will forgive him and protect him until the dawn adhan.”
Acceptance of Prayers and Fasts
Abu Jafar, Muhammad ibn Ali has said, “If someone recites Surah Ma‘un in their obligatory and supererogatory prayers, Allah will accept their prayers and fasts and will not reckon the things they have done in the life of this world.”
The Deniers of the Day of Judgment
In the first verse of Surah Ma‘un, Allah says to the Prophet and those who recite or listen to the verse, “Did you see him who denies the Retribution?” Those who deny the Day of Judgment cannot be called true believers or Muslims because believing in the Day of Judgment is one of the requirements and prerequisites of being a Muslim. It is one of the pillars of Islamic belief. If a person says the shahadah but does not believe in the Day of Judgment, he is not a true Muslim. Therefore, the verse addresses those who do not believe in the Day of Judgment, Muslim or non-Muslim. Who are they, and what do they do? The next verse enumerates some of their misconducts.
Driving the Orphans Away
Those who do not believe in the Day of Judgment do not care about what they do because they think they will not be brought into account. One of the wrong acts they commit is driving the orphans away. The verse says, “That is the one, who drives away the orphan.” Such people do not honor the orphans. In Islam and the Quran, Allah has emphasized honoring and helping orphans. Helping orphans financially is one of the greatest acts that has great rewards. The ones who deny the Day of Judgment refuse to help the orphans and drive them away. Such people will meet the consequences of their actions on the Day of Judgment.
Not Feeding the Needy
The third verse of Surah Ma‘un talks about how such individuals do not urge others to feed the needy. Instead of telling others and encouraging them to feed the needy, they do the opposite and dissuade them from doing so. Allah very much despises this grave sin.
Woe to Those Who Pray
If you look at this verse by itself, it would be misunderstood because it says woe to those who pray without saying why. Therefore, we have to look at the verse after it to know why Allah is saying woe to those who pray. So in this verse, Allah talks about another group of people. Such people perform the prayer, but they do not do it in the right way. Which of those who pray does Allah say woe to them? Let’s find out.
Being Heedless of Prayer
Verse five of Surah Ma‘un explains who Allah censures in the previous verse. They are those who are heedless of their prayer and take it lightly. Perhaps they do not focus during prayer. Maybe they do not pray on time or delay their prayers until the time for it is almost up. In any case, such people are heedless of their prayer.
The sixth verse of Surah Ma‘un talks about those who show off when doing good things and acts of worship. Instead of doing good deeds for the sake of Allah, they do it to show off to others, so they win their praise. Allah criticizes such people in this surah.
Allah says woe to people who do not give aid to others. Aid could mean any act of kindness, such as zakat, giving gifts to others, and helping the poor. Such people refuse to help others in any way. Therefore, Allah says woe to them.
The Quran Kids Course
If you want your kids to learn everything about Surah Ma‘un, we suggest you enroll them in the Quran Kids course. There are seven episodes about this surah in which Zainab, the host, tells the story of the surah. Download the app now.
Surah Ma‘un talks about those who deny the Day of Judgment. They are those who do not help the orphans and needy. In this surah, Allah also rebukes those who are heedless of their prayers, specifically, those who show off to others and do not come to the aid of those in need.
 Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 546.
 Quran Therapy, p. 166.
 Tafsīr al-Burhan, vol. 5, p. 767.
 Thawāb al-A‘māl, p. 126.