108 - Al Kauthar (Abundance)

6 Tafsir(s) related to verse 108.1

Al-Jalalayn

We have assuredly given you, O Muhammad (s), Abundance — [the name of] a river in Paradise and his [the Prophet’s] pool around which his community shall gather; al-kawthar also means the abundant good [that has been given to the Prophet], such as prophethood, the Qur’ān, intercession, and the like.

Al-Tustari

We have assuredly given you Abundance [al-Kawthar].He said:When al-Qāsim died in Mecca and Ibrāhīm in Medina, the Quraysh said that Muḥammad had become heirless. He was angered by this. Then the verse came down, We have assuredly given you Abundance, [that is], "We are consoling him and compensating him with Abundance (al-Kawthar)." "[Al-Kawthar] is a pool from which you can give whomever you wish a drink, with My permission, and refuse whomever you wish a drink from it, with My permission."

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(Lo! We have given thee Abundance") [108:1-3]. Said Ibn 'Abbas: "This Surah was revealed about al-'As ibn Wa'il. He met the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, as he was entering the Sacred Mosque while the Prophet was coming out of it. They met at the gate of Banu Sahm and started talking to each other while the chiefs of Quraysh were sitting in the mosque. When al-'As entered the mosque, they asked him: 'Who were you talking to?' He said: 'I was talking to that man without posterity', meaning the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, had lost 'Abd Allah, his son from Khadijah, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this Surah". Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Fadl informed us> Muhammad ibn Ya'qub> Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Jabbar> Yunus ibn Bukayr> Muhammad ibn Ishaq> Yazid ibn Ruman who said: "Whenever the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was mentioned, al-'As ibn Wa'il al-Sahmi used to say: 'Leave him be, he is just a man without posterity; he has no offspring: If he were to die, no one would mention him again and you will be rid of him'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Lo! We have given thee Abundance") to the end of the Surah". 'Ata' reported that Ibn 'Abbas said: "Al-'As ibn Wa'il used to pass by the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and say: 'Indeed I am insulting you, and truly you are without posterity, without no male offspring to survive you'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Lo! it is thy insulter) i.e. al-'As (who is without posterity) insofar as the good of this world and of the life to come are concerned".

Ibn Al Kathir

«لَقَدْ أُنْزِلَتْ عَلَيَّ آنِفًا سُورَة»

(Verily, a Surah was just revealed to me.) Then he recited,

إِنَّآ أَعْطَيْنَـكَ الْكَوْثَرَ - فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ - إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الاٌّبْتَرُ

(Verily, We have granted you Al-Kawthar. Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice. For he who hates you, he will be cut off.) Then he said,

«أَتَدْرُونَ مَا الْكَوْثَرُ؟»

(Do you all know what is Al-Kawthar) We said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said,

«فَإِنَّهُ نَهَرٌ وَعَدَنِيهِ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ،عَلَيْهِ خَيْرٌ كَثِيرٌ، هُوَ حَوْضٌ تَرِدُ عَلَيْهِ أُمَّتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، آنِيَتُهُ عَدَدُ النُّجُومِ فِي السَّمَاءِ، فَيُخْتَلَجُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْهُمْ فَأَقُولُ: رَبِّ إِنَّهُ مِنْ أُمَّتِي، فَيَقُولُ: إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثَ بَعْدَك»

(Verily, it is a river that my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, has promised me and it has abundant goodness. It is a pond where my Ummah will be brought to on the Day of Judgement. Its containers are as numerous as the stars in the sky. Then a servant of Allah from among them will be (prevented from it) and I will say: "O Lord! Verily, he is from my Ummah (followers).'' Then He (Allah) will say: "Verily, you do not know what he introduced (or innovated) after you.)'' This is the wording of Muslim. Ahmad recorded this Hadith from Muhammad bin Fudayl, who reported from Al-Mukhtar bin Fulful, who reported it from Anas bin Malik. Imam Ahmad also recorded from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said,

«دَخَلْتُ الْجَنَّةَ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِنَهْرٍ حَافَتَاهُ خِيَامُ اللُّؤْلُؤِ، فَضَرَبْتُ بِيَدِي إِلَى مَا يَجْرِي فِيهِ الْمَاءُ، فَإِذَا مِسْكٌ أَذْفَرُ، قُلْتُ: مَاهَذَا يَا جِبْرِيلُ؟ قَالَ: هَذَا الْكَوْثَرُ الَّذِي أَعْطَاكَهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»

(I entered Paradise and I came to a river whose banks had tents made of pearls. So I thrust my hand into its flowing water and found that it was the strongest (smell) of musk. So I asked, "O Jibril! What is this'' He replied, "This is Al-Kawthar which Allah, the Mighty and Majestic has given you.'') Al-Bukhari recorded this in his Sahih, and so did Muslim, on the authority of Anas bin Malik. In their version Anas said, "When the Prophet was taken up to the heaven, he said,

«أَتَيْتُ عَلَى نَهْرٍ حَافَتَاهُ قِبَابُ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الْمُجَوَّفِ فَقُلْتُ: مَا هَذَا يَا جِبْرِيلُ؟ قَالَ: هَذَا الْكَوْثَر»

(I came to a river whose banks had domes of hollowed pearl. I said: "O Jibril! What is this'' He replied: "This is Al-Kawthar.'')'' This is the wording of Al-Bukhari. Ahmad recorded from Anas that a man said, "O Messenger of Allah! What is Al-Kawthar'' He replied,

«هُوَ نَهْرٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَعْطَانِيهِ رَبِّي، لَهُوَ أَشَدُّ بَيَاضًا مِنَ اللَّبَنِ، وَأَحْلَى مِنَ الْعَسَلِ، فِيهِ طُيُورٌ أَعْنَاقُهَا كَأَعْنَاقِ الْجُزُر»

(It is a river in Paradise which my Lord has given me. It is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. There are birds in it whose necks are (long) like carrots.) `Umar said, "O Messenger of Allah! Verily, they (the birds) will be beautiful.'' The Prophet replied,

«آكِلُهَا أَنْعَمُ مِنْهَا يَا عُمَر»

(The one who eats them (i.e., the people of Paradise) will be more beautiful than them, O `Umar.) Al-Bukhari recorded from Sa`id bin Jubayr that Ibn `Abbas said about Al-Kawthar, "It is the good which Allah gave to him (the Prophet).'' Abu Bishr said, "I said to Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Verily, people are claiming that it is a river in Paradise.''' Sa`id replied, `The river which is in Paradise is part of the goodness which Allah gave him.''' Al-Bukhari also recorded from Sa`id bin Jubayr that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Kawthar is the abundant goodness.'' This explanation includes the river and other things as well. Because the word Al-Kawthar comes from the word Kathrah (abundance) and it (Al-Kawthar) linguistically means an abundance of goodness. So from this goodness is the river (in Paradise). Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah said,

«الْكَوْثَرُ نَهْرٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ حَافَتَاهُ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، وَالْمَاءُ يَجْرِي عَلَى اللُّؤْلُؤِ، وَمَاؤُهُ أَشَدُّ بَيَاضًا مِنَ اللَّبَنِ، وَأَحْلَى مِنَ الْعَسَل»

(Al-Kawthar is a river in Paradise whose banks are of gold and it runs over pearls. Its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey.) This Hadith was recorded in this manner by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' Then Allah says,

فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ

(Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice.) meaning, `just as We have given you the abundant goodness in this life and the Hereafter -- and from that is the river that has been described previously -- then make your obligatory and optional prayer, and your sacrifice (of animals) solely and sincerely for your Lord. Woship Him alone and do not associate any partner with him. And sacrifice pronouncing His Name alone, without ascribing any partner to Him.' This is as Allah says,

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

(Say: "Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.'') (6:162-163) Ibn `Abbas, `Ata,' Mujahid, `Ikrimah and Al-Hasan all said, "This means with this the Budn should be sacrificed.'' Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi`, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Al-Hakam, Isma`il bin Abi Khalid and others from the Salaf have all said the same. This is the opposite of the way of the idolators, prostrating to other than Allah and sacrificing in other than His Name. Allah says,

وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ

(And do not eat from what Allah's Name has not been pronounced over, indeed that is Fisq.) (6:121)

The Enemy of the Prophet is Cut Off

Allah says,

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الاٌّبْتَرُ

(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.) meaning, `indeed he who hates you, O Muhammad, and he hates what you have come with of guidance, truth, clear proof and manifest light, he is the most cut off, meanest, lowliest person who will not be remembered. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah all said, "This Ayah was revealed about Al-`As bin Wa'il. Whenever the Messenger of Allah would be mentioned (in his presence) he would say, `Leave him, for indeed he is a man who is cut off having no descendants. So when he dies he will not be remembered.' Therefore, Allah revealed this Surah.'' Shamir bin `Atiyah said, "This Surah was revealed concerning `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`ayt.'' Ibn `Abbas and `Ikrimah have both said, "This Surah was revealed about Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf and a group of the disbelievers of the Quraysh.'' Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf came to Makkah and the Quraysh said to him, `You are the leader of them (the people). What do you think about this worthless man who is cut off from his people He claims that he is better than us while we are the people of the place of pilgrimage, the people of custodianship (of the Ka`bah), and the people who supply water to the pilgrims.' He replied, `You all are better than him.' So Allah revealed,

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الاٌّبْتَرُ

(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.)'' This is how Al-Bazzar recorded this incident and its chain of narration is authentic. It has been reported that `Ata' said, "This Surah was revealed about Abu Lahab when a son of the Messenger of Allah died. Abu Lahab went to the idolators and said, `Muhammad has been cut off (i.e., from progeny) tonight.' So concerning this Allah revealed,

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الاٌّبْتَرُ

(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.)'' As-Suddi said, "When the male sons of a man died the people used to say, `He has been cut off.' So, when the sons of the Messenger of Allah

died they said, `Muhammad has been cut off.' Thus, Allah revealed,

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الاٌّبْتَرُ

(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.)'' So they thought in their ignorance that if his sons died, his remembrance would be cut off. Allah forbid! To the contrary, Allah preserved his remembrance for all the world to see, and He obligated all the servants to follow his Law. This will continue for all of time until the Day of Gathering and the coming of the Hereafter. May the blessings of Allah and His peace be upon him forever until the Day of Assembling. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Kawthar, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

The full meaning of the word kauthar, as used here, cannot perhaps be expressed in one word in any language of the world. This is an intensive form of the noun kathrat which literally means abundance, but the context in which it has been used does not give the meaning of mere abundance but abundance of good, of spiritual benefits and blessings, and of such abundance which is unbounded and limitless, and it does not imply any one good or benefit or blessing but abundance of countless benefits and blessings.

"I shall have arrived at the Fountain before you. " (Bukhari: Kitab ar-Riqaq and Kitab al-Fitan; Muslim: Kitab al-Fida and Kitab at-Taharah; lbn Majah,: Kitab al Manasik and Kitab az-Zuhd. Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat `Abdullah bin Mas'ud `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Abu Hurairah.)

Hadrat Abu Barzah Aslami was asked: "Have you heard something about the Fountain from the Holy Prophet? He replied: Not once, or twice, or thrice, or four or five times, but over and over again. May Allah deprive of its water the one who be lies it." (Abu Da'ud: Kitab as-Sunnah).

Traditions about this Fountain have been related by more than 50 companions, and the earliest scholars generally have taken it to mean the Fountain of Kauthar. Imam Bukhari has named the last chapter of his Kitab ar-Rigaq as Babun fil hawd wa qual-Allahu inna a `tainak al-Kauthar, and in a tradition from Hadrat Anas there is the explanation that the Holy Prophet said about Kauthar: "It is a Fountain at which my Ummah shall alight. "

Different commentaries of it have been reported from different scholars. Some of them take the Prayer to mean the five times obligatory Prayer (salat); some take it to imply the Prayer of `Id al-Adha, and some say that it implies the Prayer itself. Likewise, the meaning of wanhar and sacrifice according to some illustrious scholars, is to place the right hand over the left hand and to fold them on the chest in the Prayer; some say that it implies raising both hands with Allahu Akbar at the commencement of the Prayer; some say that it implies raising both hands at the commencement of the Prayer, at bowing for Ruku ` and after rising from Ruku `; and some say that it means performing the `Id al-Adha Prayer and then offering the animal sacrifice. But if the context in which this command has been enjoined, is considered, its meaning clearly seems to be: "O Prophet, when your Lord has granted you so many and so splendid blessing, then you should perform the Prayer only for His sake and offer sacrifice only for His sake." This Command was given in the environment when not only the pagans of Quraish but the pagans of entire Arabia and the world worshiped their self-made gods and offered sacrifices at their shrines. Therefore, the intention of the Command is "Contrary to the polytheistic practice, you should remain steadfast to your creed: your Prayer is only for Allah and your sacrifice also is for Him alone, as it has been said at another place: `Declare, O Prophet, my salat and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah, Lord of the universe, Who has no partner with Him. This is what I have been enjoined, and I am the first to surrender to Him.'(Al-An`am:162-163). This same meaning has been explained of it by Ibn 'Abbas. `Ata`, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Hasan Bari, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b al-Kurzi, Dahhak, Rabi` bin Anas, `Ata` al-Khurasani and many other major commentators (may Allah bless them all) (Ibn Jarir). However, this by itself is correct that when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) enforced by Allah's command the practice of the `Id al-Adha Prayer and the offering of animal sacrifice at Madinah, he himself gave the first place to the Prayer (salat and the second to the sacrifice, as commanded in the verses: Inna salati wa nusuki and fa-salli li-Rabbika wanhar, and enjoined an the Muslims also to do the same, i.e. they should first perform the Prayer and then offer the sacrifice. This is neither the explanation of this verse nor the occasion of its revelation but a deduction made by the Holy Prophet from these verses and his deduction of injunctions also is a kind of Divine inspiration.

The word shani' as used, in the original is derived from sha 'n, which means the hatred and spite because of which a person may start ill-treating another. At another place in the Qur'an it has been said: "(And O Muslims,) the enmity of any people should not so provoke you as to turn you away from justice." (AI-Ma'idah: 8). Thus, shani aka implies every such person who blinded by his enmity of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) should bring false accusations against him, slander and defame him and vent his personal spite against him by taunting and scoffing at him in every possible way.

Huwal abtar: "He himself is abtar", i.e. though he calls you abtar he in fact himself is abtar. Some explanations of abtar have already been given in the Introduction to the Surah. It is derived from batar which means to cut off, but idiomatically it is used in a comprehensive meaning. In the Hadith, the rak ah of the Prayer which is not coupled with another rak'ah is called butaira', i.e. the lonely rak ah. According to another Hadith "Every piece of work, which is in any way important, is abtar if it is started without the glorification and praise of Allah", implying that it is cut off from the root, It has no stability, and it is doomed to failure. A man who fails to achieve his object is abtar as also the one who is deprived of all means and resources. A person who is left with no hope of any good and success in life is also abtar. A person who has been cut off from his family, brotherhood, associates And helpers is also abtar. The word abtar is also used for the man who has no male child, or whose male child or children have died, for after him there remains no one to remember him and he is lost to posterity. after death. In almost all these meanings the disbelieving Quraish called the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) abtar. At this, Allah said: "O Prophet, not you but your enemies are abtar." This was not merely a "reprisal", but a prophecy out of the most important prophecies of the Qur'an, which literally proved true. when it was made, the people regarded the Holy Prophet as abtar, and no one could imagine how the big chiefs of the Quraish would become abtar, who were famous not only in Makkah but throughout Arabia, who were successful in life, rich in worldly wealth and children, who had their associates and helpers everywhere in the country, who enjoyed intimate relations with all the Arabian tribes, being monopolists in trade and managers of Hajj. But not long afterwards the conditions altogether changed. There was a time when on the occasion of the Battle of the Trench (A.H. 5) the Quraish had invaded Madinah with the help of many Arabian and Jewish tribes, and the Holy Prophet being besieged had to resist the enemy by digging a trench around the city. After only three years, in A.H. 8, when he attacked Makkah, the Quraish had no helper and they had to surrender helplessly. After this within a year or so the whole Arabia came under his control, deputations of tribes from all over the country began to visit him to take the oaths of allegiance and his enemies were left utterly helpless and resourceless. Then they were so lost to posterity that even if their children survived, none of them today knows that he is a descendant of Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, As bin Wail, or `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`ait, the enemies of Islam, and even if he knows it, he is not prepared to claim that his ancestors were those people. On the contrary, blessings are being invoked on the children of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) throughout the world; millions and millions of Muslims take pride in bearing relationship to him; hundreds of thousands of people regard it as a mark of honor and prestige to have descended not only from him but from his family and even the families of his Companions. Thus, some one is a Sayyid, another an 'Alavi, and `Abbasi, a Hashmi, a Siddiqi, a Faruqi, an `Uthmani, a Zubairi, or an Ansari, but no one is an Abu Jahli or Abu Lahabi. History has proved that not the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) but his enemies were, and are, abtar.  "

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said about the interpretation of Allah's saying (Lo! We have given thee Abundance): '(Lo! We have given thee Abundance) He says: We have given you, O Muhammad, abundant good and included in this abundant good is the Qur'an; it is also said that Abundance (al-Kawthar) refers to a river in Paradise which was given to Muhammad (pbuh);