Meaning of Quran

Al-Ma’un | The Small Kindnesses

With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

[107:1] Have you seen him who denies the Requital?

[107:2] So, he is the one who pushes away the orphan,

[107:3] and does not persuade (others) to feed the needy.

[107:4] So, Woe to those performers of Salah,

[107:5] who are neglectful of their Salah,

[107:6] who (do good only to) show off,

[107:7] and refuse (to give even) small gifts.


Overview of Surah Al-Ma’un

  1. Title and Position: Surah Al-Ma’un is the 107th chapter of the Quran. The title “Al-Ma’un” translates to “Small Kindnesses” or “The Necessary Assistance,” referring to the acts of basic charity and assistance that are highlighted in the surah.
  2. Verses and Structure: This surah contains 7 verses. It criticizes those who are neglectful of their prayers and overlook small acts of kindness, emphasizing the importance of sincerity in worship and social responsibility.
  3. Themes and Messages: The main themes include the condemnation of superficial religious practices, the importance of sincerity in worship, the significance of helping the needy, and the denouncement of those who are stingy and deny small kindnesses.
  4. Significance in Islamic Thought: Surah Al-Ma’un is significant for its emphasis on the intrinsic link between faith and ethical behavior, underscoring that true belief manifests in both sincere worship and active compassion towards others.

Detailed Explanation

  1. Critique of Hypocrisy in Worship: The surah begins by criticizing those who are careless in their prayers, performing them to be seen by others rather than out of genuine devotion to God.
  2. Neglect of Social Duties: It highlights the failure of certain individuals to assist the needy and their disregard for small acts of kindness, reflecting a lack of true understanding and practice of Islam’s teachings.
  3. Condemnation of Stinginess: The surah condemns those who withhold even minor assistance or basic necessities (al-ma’un), illustrating their selfishness and detachment from the community’s well-being.
  4. Moral and Spiritual Lessons: Through its condemnation of hypocrisy and stinginess, the surah teaches that authentic faith is demonstrated through sincere prayer and active compassion, encouraging believers to live a balanced life of devotion and social responsibility.


  1. Why is Surah Al-Ma’un named “Small Kindnesses”?
    • The surah is named “Al-Ma’un” to underscore the importance of basic acts of charity and assistance, which are essential expressions of one’s faith and humanity.
  2. What does the surah suggest about the relationship between prayer and charity?
    • It suggests that prayer and charity are interconnected aspects of a believer’s life. Sincere worship should naturally extend to compassionate actions, with each reinforcing the other.
  3. How does Surah Al-Ma’un define true religious practice?
    • True religious practice, according to the surah, is defined by sincerity in worship, evident in attentive and devoted prayers, and by generosity and kindness, especially in assisting those in need.
  4. What lesson can be learned from the criticism of hypocritical behavior in the surah?
    • The lesson is that outward appearances of religiosity are insufficient without the accompanying ethical conduct and sincerity. True belief is reflected in one’s actions towards others and in the genuineness of one’s worship.

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