Asalam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh
Surah Kafiroon - Dream Student Notes - Nouman Ali Khan
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This is an intimidating surah to study because of its simple language, yet nothing is as simple as it looks. Also there is repetition and we need to understand the reasons and wisdom behind it with deep study.
Discussion and linguistic and literary analysis of this surah is quite complex, so it's been watered down for us in this lesson, yet remaining coherent.
Connection with Surah al-Kauthar:
In Surah al-Kauthar, the kuffar had insulted the Prophet (saws) (and had called him batara Muhammadun - Muhammad is cut off (in lineage)). Allah SWT responded to that language in the last ayah when He said inna shaaniaka huwa al-abtar. But when they called him something, Allah SWT has given him (saws) has the right to call them something back. And instead of insulting them, the word used for them is al-kafiroon.
So from the very beginning, it's not even addressing them directly. It's not "ya ayyuha al-kafiroon" [oh you who disbelieve], rather, it's "qul ya ayyuha al-kafiroon [say; oh you who disbelieve] ... ." In other words, Allah SWT is telling His Messenger to now call them al-kafiroon. The insult they hurled at him was abtar, and the word hurled against them by Allah is al-kafir. We'll look at this difference in more detail a little later but for now:
1) Their insult didn't have any reality. The reality of his name or his legacy not being mentioned anymore just isn't true. It's in fact the opposite - his mention will be made until the Day of Judgment. So he's farthest from being abtar.
On the other hand the allegation Allah makes against them and the name he calls them fits perfectly.
2) When they tried to criticize the Prophet (saws) it wasn't a criticism of his character or his behavior or his actions, because there's nothing to criticize there. But when Allah SWT criticizes them, He uses an attribute that's tied to an action. So it's not just a bad word for them, but kafir (disbeliever, denier, rejecter) represents a crime which they are actually guilty of, and something they are blameworthy of.
The second connection
with Surah al-Kauthar is that the kuffar are called "shaniak" - the enemy. And shani is the worst kind of enemy. It's as if we are learning Allah's definition of who is the enemy of Prophet (saws). It's being further defined here: it's the ones who are bent upon kufr after years and years of da'wah. After years and years of the softest approach. Years and years of warning, and they not only not get the message but insult the Messenger (saws). These people are the worst kind of enemy because of their kufr. So instead of using the same word, Allah calls them kafir here because there is no difference. Later on in the Madani Qur'an Allah SWT commands His Messenger (saws) in Surah Tahreem:9 to make struggle against the kuffaar and munafiqeen and be harsh towards them. We will understand later why he (saws) is told to be harsh when we see that the Messenger (saws) by nature is not harsh. He's soft and merciful (many aayaat dedicated to how merciful he is (saws)). Even in the Makki Qur'an when Allah's Messenger (saws) talks to the kuffaar, he's always soft with them. This is a tough ayah, revealed against the people of disbelief.
The other thing is these kuffar outnumbered and outpowered the believers at this point. Politically and socially. On top of that status, they're belitting the Prophet (saws) by saying he doesn't even have sons to carry his name. And they felt all this put them in a position of strength, and put the Prophet (saws) in a position of weakness. One of the things they offered him as a compromise was "we'll accept your religion for a year and you accept ours for one year. Then we'll come back to ours next year, and we'll alternate." In other words, we'll all share Islam for a season, and then shirk for a season. Give and take. Or we'll give you wealth and whatever else, just leave us alone. Don't bother us in our practices. So they offered the Prophet (saws) this compromise.
This sentiment of compromise tells us two things: 1) they'd figured out that this man would never stop calling to whatever he's calling to. And they knew they weren't going to let go either, so they knew they had to come to a political compromise. Get him to give a little, and give a little of their own. In the Qur'an Allah says in Surah Qalam:9 - they really want that you soften up a little bit so they can soften up a little. Both compromise a little bit so that all can be happy. That's what they want. They've understood that he (saws) would never give up Islam altogether so they'll just take a piece of it. And they know he (saws) would never accept all of their religion so they're OK with him accepting just a part of it. And this is one of the classic tricks of Shaytan. Allah says in the Qur;an in Surah Baqarah:208 - Those of you who claim to believe enter into the fold of Islam, into submission, completely and absolutely while not following the footsteps of Shaytaan. In other words, entering into Islam but not completely is following the footsteps of Shaytaan. He doesn't necessarily want us to leave Islam, just compromise a part of it. He wants a little at first, then next time he comes around a little more, and so on.
Br. Nouman's teacher used to give the example of dam with a little tiny crack in it. You don't need to destroy the dam - all you need is a tiny crack. It's going to grow bigger and bigger until the whole thing is gone. The rest takes care of itself, and this was the strategy of the Quraish. But in the previous surah, Allah has given the Prophet (saws) al-kauthar, so much that nobody can give him anything that can compete. So no matter what you give him, power, money, wealth, it can't compete. He's not bribable. Further, he (saws) can't be threatened, because again in the previous surah, the enemy is gone (huwa al-abtar). He's taken care of by Allah. So at this point, the Prophet (saws) need not be afraid or give in to them. He's being told, go straight to their faces and tell them yaa ayyuha al-kafiroon. Very profound placement of this surah, connected with the one before it. No need to be concerned with how they're going to react, based on assurances in the previous surah.
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ
Say, "O disbelievers,
Introductory comments to surah:
The kuffar were willing to give a little bit, but Allah still called them kafiroon. He (SWT) didn't call them compromisers or even mushrikoon. This is important. The people who disbelieve in the Qur'an are called "al-ladheena kafaroo," and they are addressed directly in the Qur'an at only one place, in Surah Tahreem:7, when they will addressed on the Day of Judgment. Perhaps it is the angels or believers saying this to them because elsewhere in the Qur'an Allah tells us that He won't address the kuffar.
Now the Quraish weren't saying we reject your god, yet they were still called kuffar. When they were asked who created the heavens and the earth, Allah swears they will surely say Allah. Kufr means rejecting Allah, shirk means accepting Allah but associating other partners. So their crime from what we understand based on their words is that of shirk. But in this surah, Allah calls them al-kafiroon. It's a very strong term. This difference is important. Why use this term?
These offers of compromise were coming from Aswad b. Abdil Muttalib, Umayyah b. Khalf, Waleed b. Mughirah and other such people, the leaders of Quraish at the time. Giving da'wah has some parallels with making a sale. The customer has the higher position, especially if the salesman sounds desperate. So the kuffar think he (saws) is in the weaker position because he is giving da'wah, and they think they can cut a deal with him to their advantage. Allah tells His Messenger, no you're not desperate, actually you don't even need to respond, I will respond. Just tell them this. Qul.
Kafiroon is used in the noun form, not in the (weaker) verb form. It refers to their being engaged in disbelief in the past, present and future, persistently. In other words Allah is talking to people who are at the point of no return. He's addressing "cemented" disbelievers, who it is clear are never going to change. And Allah is the One who is sure, so He's calling them that, not the Prophet. If the surah had said "alladheena kafaroo," it leaves open the possibility of them believing in the future. But the use of "al-kafiroon" shuts that. Their fate is sealed.
This answers an important question - this surah is not talking about all the kuffar. It's talking specifically about a section of people who have been given the best opportunity to accept Islam. They received the most effective da'wah from the most effective da'iee with the best character. There is none better than him. He's exhausted his efforts and they haven't budged. The only description left for them is al-kafiroon.
Why kufr and not shirk?
All these years when they refused to leave their shirk, refusal and denial and rejection, this is kufr.
Another meaning of the word kafir: Whenever Allah uses this word, He also says kufr of what. Like disbelieving in Allah, or His Signs, or His Messengers, or the Qur'an, etc. But here, nothing specific is mentioned, so it means all of these things. They think they believe in Allah and worship Him at the Ka'aba, but they really don't. They disbelieved in the Messenger and His Signs. Also in their own fitrah (7:172). They denied on the outside as well as what was inside, and they are permanently kafiroon.
Another powerful meaning of the word kafiroon or kufr: It doesn't only mean refusal or denial or rejection, it can also mean denial of a favor. Kufraan an-ni'mah in Arabic, to be ungrateful for a favor. They are a people who received the favor of Allah, especially because of the du'a of Ibrahim (as) (last ayah of Surah Quraish). They received protection from Ashaab-ul-Feel, they got to go on their merchant trips in both seasons, and above all this, they received Allah's Final Messenger as a result of Ibrahim (as)'s du'a. And they are so ungrateful.
The soft nature of the Messenger (saws) is described at many places in the Qur'an and is implicit in many other places (being told to be soft in argumentation etc.) and such harsh words cannot come from him (saws) so Allah (SWT) tells him "qul" - tell them. Just say it to them as He is telling him to. Kafiroon implies permanence. These are heavy words, very deep in meaning and they imply a finality. It is a very big, momentous and harsh thing to call people "al-kafiroon." He (saws) came as a mercy, with concern for humanity, but now he's being told say what even he doesn't like hearing himself.
It means that this special brand of kuffar will never get the message.
Just in that word "qul" there are so many lessons. The kuffar think they can choose who to worship, they think they have freedom of religion. The Prophet (saws) isn't presenting his opinion, he has no authority to change what he's bringing to them. Allah is saying HE will talk back to them, to let them know that he (saws) is in no position to compromise, he has no authority to do so, he can't make these decisions. He's only communicating with them, and that's why he's called a messenger. There's no room for compromise.
Who is this surah talking to?
It's not for all disbelievers. It's not for your neighbor, not for the Jews and Christians. It's specifically for a group of people who received the special favor of Allah for generations, and then the most special favor of Allah, and His Revelation heard by their own ears from the mouth of the Messenger (saws) himself and who still refused to believe. It's at this point they get this title.
Today we are very careless in how we understand the Qur'an and how we communicate it to others. We think we can just use this for any non-Muslim. It's not that simple. We shouldn't oversimplify and be careless with the Word of Allah. Imams Shaukani and Zamakhshari say these are specific kuffar, who Allah already knew will never believe. Can't throw around that word to anybody.
The kuffar proposed a compromise with two parts: we worship your god one year, and you worship ours for one year. And Allah SWT answers both proposals with rejections, separately, which is one understanding of the repetition in the surah. Two offers and two rejections. It's not just random repetition. We'll see more benefits to the repetition.
How did the Prophet (saws) deliver this message? The leaders are having their meeting, and he (saws) walks straight up to them and says yaa ayyuha al-kafiroon. Straight up, he didn't call them people of Makkah or Quraish or anything. You've rejected me, I'm rejecting you. He's saying he (saws) has nothing to do with them. Completely disassociating himself from them. This complete separation is pretty much a declaration of war. He's not even going to call them by a dignified name but just kafiroon, and it's not just him but he's been commanded.
The kuffar knew Prophet (saws) doesn't lie, even if they said so outwardly. They knew he (saws) only uses the best of language, so what is making him use these words now? How bad do you have to be to invite such language? It adds a level of disgust and ugliness to his message.
Despite the commandment for da'wah being to do it with utmost softness and good speech, at this point Allah is making clear that He doesn't care about these people anymore. The doors to da'wah are closed, and so are the doors to the Prophet (saws)'s mercy.
Use of Yaa ayyuha
This is used in formal settings in Arabic. For example, it's not used to address a child. The Prophet (saws) is accorded an extra degree of respect when being addressed Yaa ayyuha al-rasool or yaa ayyuha an-nabi. Same with al-ladheena aamanu. Use of ya ayyuha also implies that what is to come is no small talk, it's serious. Formality and distancing. It is an announcement of severing of all relationships with them. At this point, I have nothing to do with you and you have nothing to do with me. And all of this is just in the first ayah! We think it comes in the last verses, but this message is contained just in the first call.
The language so far shows how disgusted Allah SWT is with the compromise proposal they came up with. It's not just a simple "No," He SWT calls them kafiroon first. Almost like a curse. This is the anger of Allah manifest in these words.
لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
I do not worship what you worship.
We need to understand the definition of 'ibadah to understand this ayah. Briefly covered here, more extensive coverage in previous surahs. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah has 5 conditions in his definition of being an 'abd of Allah:
1) Need to have Obedience
to Allah (Ta'a). Also implies that obedience
to Allah trumps obedience to anything else. Can only obey Allah's Creation while it also means obeying Allah, and if you're disobeying Allah in the process this is already shirk and you're no longer 'abd.
2) Love (Hubb).
We have to love Allah 'azza wa jall more than anything else. Those who believe are intense in their love for Allah (2:165). We love different things, our family, assets, etc. but for believers all of that comes under love for Allah.
We have to trust & rely
our Master. We have embody this attitude: I've accepted myself as a slave, I've accepted Him as the Master, so whatever instructions He gives me I have to trust that they are better for me. Whatever situation He's putting me through, I have to trust Him, in that no matter how hard obeying Him is in that situation, it is better for me. We have to trust that that's true.
When we do something, especially an act of 'ibadah, we have to do it sincerely for the sake of Allah alone. We can't mix with Allah other things. If we're giving sadaqah to the masjid, we can't think yeah it's a good tax writeoff, AND it's good sadaqah. We can't mix those intentions. This sincerity is talked about in the previous surah as well (fa Sallee li rabbik), and in other places as well (6:162).
We serve the deen in many capacities. In the beginning it's for Allah, but soon frustration and discontent kicks in and we start thinking we need to be in charge and our ego kicks in. Nobody appreciates me. We don't realize it but over time we begin to do it for appreciation. We have to maintain this ikhlas.
5) Terms of slavery.
When we get a job, there's a contract with the company. Spells out what each owes each other. It's an understanding. For example between a husband and a wife, or parent and child, or government and citizen. Usually these contracts are a result of compromise, and spells out each other's rights. With Allah, these terms are not a result of discussion and compromise. These come from above, we just take them. We are in no position to define or discuss these terms, we can't define what it means to worship or obey Allah. Those definitions are coming from Allah, and that's what makes us a slave. The kuffar are making tawaf, making sajdah, etc. but the terms of their worship are not as specified by Allah. They came up with it themselves. But Allah says if you do that it's unacceptable. The only way it's acceptable is if it comes from Allah, and the only way it comes to us is through the Messenger. If you worship Allah the way you want, you're not a slave.
is not just worship but also slavery. Two terms, combined in Arabic. So when the Messenger (saws) says laa a'budu ma ta'budoon, it doesn't just mean I will not worship, also I will not be enslaved to. Worship is specific acts, but we are always slaves of Allah whether we are doing those acts or not. This is a powerful concept - we are not to live our lives according to how Allah wants us to only in Jumuah or specific times, we are enslaved to Allah in between the prayers too. A lot of the time people worship Allah but don't act like His slave.
Partial English definitions contribute to this confusion. 'Ibadah includes both.
The Arabs refused to worship Allah alone, and also refused to be His slaves. There are two problems addressed in this surah. When they refused to direct their worship to Allah alone, that's a problem of worship. But when they refused to take care of the orphan and feed the needy and enjoin justice, when they refused to act like His slaves. The ayah says I will not be enslaved to, and I will not worship, what you have been worshipping. The Messenger (saws) is being told to talk about what they worship and what they are slaves of. They're worshippers of idols, false gods, and they are slaves of their own desires. The Prophet (saws) is refusing both of those things. The laa, according to some scholars, is more an emphasis on the future rather than the present, to quash any compromise ideas the kuffar might have had. It's never going to happen, get it out of your heads.
وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ
Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
wa laa antum 'abidoona ma a'bud.
And By the way, you are not worshippers of nor are you enslaved to what I worship.
'Abidoon again is a noun, so it signifies that never have you been in the past, nor are you now nor will you ever be in any way worshipping the same God as I do or be enslaved to Him. That has never happened and it will never happen - it's a guarantee they will remain in kufr.
Why is Allah SWT cursing them in this way
? The answer lies in another part of the Qur'an: 43:79. The Arabic word is ibram. It means to tie a rope for construction. They didn't have cement in the past, so they had to tie things together. It has to be a thick, strong rope, tied and twisted in very strong ways. Every part of the process is double to ensure the rope will never be loose. This is the word Allah uses to describe the commitment of the kuffar to remain kuffar. Have they tied their rope when it comes to this decision? Are they so sure about their decision to remain kuffar? If so, then We have tied up our rope also, i.e. they will remain in kufr. When the kuffar "tied their rope," the word used is a verb, signifying transience, but when Allah ties their rope, he uses a noun signifying permanence. On the day of judgment, perhaps the disbelievers will try to untie their rope. But it's too late then. fa inna mubrimoon. In this verse it was hypothetical, but in Surah Kafiroon it IS the case - they've most certainly tied their rope, made up their minds.
So the message is don't be confused, don't think you've ever worshipped what I worship, not even before I was a Messenger. The Prophet (saws) never did shirk, we know that, but he (saws) truly became Allah's slave after revelation came. This is reflected in the verb form in the previous ayah (a'budu).
These two ayaat have to do with the future now, taken together. I will not be compromising, and it's clear that you will not be compromising, you won't be coming to the slavery and worship of Allah alone.
وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
Now we turn to the past. Two ayaat for the future, two for the past.
wa laa ana 'abidun
. - and I am not a worshipper of. I have never ever been enslaved to maa 'abadtum, what you worshipped. Don't think that your god was the same as mine and don't think mine was the same as yours. The one I was worshipping before was never the same as yours. And if I haven't done so in the past, do you expect me to compromise now that revelation has come to me? It's even more impossible now.
وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ
Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
And now tied to the past - wa laa antum 'abidoona ma a'bud.
The second repetition is for the past. This is another understanding of the repetition.
A third way to understand: when you declare animosity to someone you use the harshest tone. Part of being harsh is to repeat. Like "I hate you! I hate you!"
It illustrates anger. They better get it right, if they didn't understand properly the first time around, here it is again.
The word maa is important. Allah didn't say man a'bud - and you don't worship WHO I worship. He SWT didn't say that. He said "what." "What" I worship. The word what is used for non-living things, not living things. Who is for living things. Twice!
One way to understand is to take it as referring to the acts of worship. You don't do those acts that I do. You will never take the form of worship and slavery that I do. They mean two different things.
: if taken as the actual being to which worship is directed, it's a way of saying what a pathetic falsehood you worship and what an amazing God I worship.
Difference between who and what: who involves an identity (like a name). What involves qualities (accountant, programmer, etc.). When maa is used, the question is about quality. So the quality of Allah, a True God is being highlighted (maa a'bud in ayah 3). What an amazing God I worship. When maa is used for them, (maa 'abadtum) what pathetic falsehoods you're following - what are the qualities of what you follow and what I follow. That's the word maa here. You think you're worshipping the same amazing Allah that I worship? Can your acts be attributed to Allah? Never! Do you really think the service I perform for my Master is comparable to what you do for your pathetic gods in front of you? Never.
The difference is made clear and wide by the use of the word maa. The nature of Allah is highlighted in the use of the word maa.
لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
For you is your religion, and for me is my religion."
Lakum deenukum wa leeya deen.
Probably one of the most misunderstood ayaat in the Qur'an in our times.
Commonly translated as to you be your religion and to me be mine.
is early - it's not deenukum lakum. It implies exclusivity. So what's being said is your way of life, your religion is only for you. It's never ever going to be for me. If lakum was after deenukum it wouldn't be "only." And wa leeya deen - and my deen is only for me when it comes to you. In other words, there's never going to be any exchange. That time is past.
In other words, I am leaving this town. These ayaat are a precursor to the hijrah of Prophet Muhammad (saws). Da'wah is done with these people, and now hijrah has to happen. His only purpose in Makkah is da'wah. But now he's saying the doors are closed - he's basically renounced his citizenship.
Now for one more angle. The word deen. It comes from the word dain, or loan in English. Something owed to you or something you owe someone in precise terms. Also used in Arabic for government because a gov't gives the people what they are owed and the people give the gov't what they owe. It's a precise exchange. A deen necessitates an authority. The Day of Judgment - when people get exactly what they deserve and pay exactly what they owe is also called Yaumu ad-deen.
So one of the meanings of lakum deenukum wa leeya deen is you will get exactly what you deserve. Your judgment will be only for you. And my judgment will be only for me. And you'll find out the consequences of your kufr when the day of Deen comes. So this is an open challenge, you want to head for Hellfire, it's only for you at this point. A special judgment for those bent upon kufr. And my special judgment is for me. Let's see who comes out on top in the end. It's an open challenge.
Some have misunderstood this to mean that the Prophet (saws) doesn't care whether they do shirk, you go your way I go mine, I'll mind my own business and you mind yours. This is a misinterpretation and a misreading of the ayah. To understand you just need to look at the context.
When was this ayah revealed? After a decade of da'wah. And at that point what they're being told is you keep it up, you keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep up what I'm doing and eventually we're not going to collide with words, we're going to collide with the sword. This is a precursor to the conflict that's about to come.
There's a conflict embedded inside these words because the mushrikoon are keeping their idols at the Haram, and the Messenger's job (saws) is to purify the religion of Ibrahim (as) by reclaiming the House of Allah for the purpose it was built for. He can't do it as long as there are idols there.
In order for his deen to be complete, their deen has to go. You keep doing your deen, I'll keep doing mine, and we'll see who comes out on top. In Surah Saff:9 Allah says He sent His Messenger with guidance and the deen al-haqq - the religion or judgment of truth - so it may overshadow and overcome and encompass all the other deens there are. Any other form will be overshadowed and overcome even if the mushrikoon hate it. So keep doing what you're doing but it's going to be overcome. My deen has already been guaranteed. The word deen comes up again in the next surah (wa ra'ita an-naasa ... ). We learn that conflict is announced in this surah, and in the next surah victory is announced.
A personal attack was made on the Prophet (saws) in the previous surah and his family - that his family is cut off and his name won't last. They thought his followers were unimportant and he had no children, but Allah SWT is saying that the Messenger (saws) alone is enough for these people. So He SWT doesn't command the believers together to say (qooloo) and He doesn't say laa na'budu (we don't worship ... ). It's qul and a'budu. Singular. Non-Muslim historians say sometimes that Muhammad depended on his followers for all that he achieved. But this surah shows us believers that it's not true.
In Surah Taubah Allah tells the Sahaba if they don't help him, Allah has already helped him. So that's not our attitude. He has already gotten help from Allah.
In Hunayn, some of the Sahaba got shocked and ran away and he's all alone and the archers are above the hill, and he (saws) is just standing there saying ana ar-rasoolu la kadhib - I'm the Messenger, I'm not a liar. He stood there by himself. This is the courage Allah SWT has given His Messenger.
The kuffar were looking to compromise with the Messenger, but Allah tells them he's not the one they should be dealing with. These are My decisions. The Messenger is only communicating. The response isn't even in his words - Allah is dictating it.
So at the end of the surah, lakum deenukum wa leeya deen.
The deen at the end is actually deenee. For rhetorical reasons, the final ya is removed. Just a kasra left now. This kind of omission is used for several purposes. One of them is for exclamation. We don't extend the vowel when we want to be emphatic. We don't say rabbee when we make du'a we say rabbi. It's short, we're desperate before Allah and it's a cry to Allah. Here is shows the emphatic power with which Allah's Messenger (saws) declares that it's his deen. The ya would refer to his deen, and his role has been minimized in this declaration and Allah's role has been maximized (by the word qul). It's as if Allah is saying, even at the end, don't mention yourself much. It's not really you who's making this decision. Subhanallah!
Really beautiful and eloquent conclusion to the surah.
Third and final point about the end of this surah. The last ten surahs are a good depiction not only of the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) but also of his legacy as it is tied to that of the Prophet Ibrahim (as).
Consider Mumtahinah:4. Ibrahim (as) and those with him said they were completely disassociating themselves, no doubt about it, from those and what they worship anything besides Allah. We are cutting ourselves off from you and your worship. Sound familiar? :) The verse goes on to say kafarna bikum - we are doing kufr of you people and your people. And now animosity and hatred has been born between us and you forever (that group in particular) until you believe in Allah the One and Only.
Isn't this another form of Surah Kafiroon and how the Messenger (saws) deals with Quraish? Even in his animosity to the Quraish he (saws) is repeating the legacy of Ibrahim (as). Not just in fa Sallee li rabbika wanHar. And Allah explains His ayaat in this manner. How beautifully things come together! How incredibly well history connects! The Prophet (saws) was told to speak alone, and Ibrahim (as) was told to speak with the few followers he had with him. The contrast is clear - Muhammad (saws) had more followers at that time is told to speak alone, because the kafiroon need to know what he's made of and they can't speak to him in this way.
May Allah 'azza wa jall give us an appreciation of the Qur'an and an understanding of it and a love of His Messenger (saws).
Barakallahu wa lakum fee Qur'an il-Hakeem, wa nafa'na wa iyyakum bi ayaati wa dhikri al-Hakeem.
[Please Make Du'a for the the brother who Transcribed this lecture for you.]