Tafseer : Surah-Al-Kawthar

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Surah-Al-Kawthar (The Abundance):

Kawthar (الكوثر) – from Kathra but an increase i.e. abundance or abundant good. This surah was revealed as a comfort and glad tidings of the abundance that Allah(SAW) had given the Prophet(SAW).

The reason for revelation

Al-‘Aas ibn Waail, spoke to the Prophet (SAW) at the door of the mosque. Al-‘Aas was asked by a group of Quraysh who he went to sit with afterwards who he was speaking to. He say Al-Abtar i.e.
the dismembered or an animal which has had its tail cut off or the one whose lineage has been cut off from male off-spring.  It was used as an insult to someone who has no male lineage and it was said to about the Prophet (SAW) after his son, Al-Qasim, had passed away.

The most popular meaning for Al-Kawthar is the name of a river in paradise.  It can also mean al-Hawdh (the pond) or the abundant good which the Prophet has been given i.e. Prophethood, Quran, intercession and the like.  In truth all of these three can be combined into one position.  More than 16 positions for the meaning of al-Kawthar have the been narrated.

There is a hadith in the Sahih of Imam Muslim narrated by Anas ibn Maalik who said – when we were sitting and the Messenger was amongst us, he slept briefly and he woke smiling. We asked why are you smiling, he said a surah has just been revealed to me. He then said, do you know what is al-Kawthar and we said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said it is, a river that my Lord has promised me upon which there is abundant good, it is the pool to which my ummah will come.

Some say it is either the river or the pond, others say it is both. Two tributaries from Heaven called al-Kawthar which lead to and meet up at the Hawdh.

The river banks of al-Kawthar are of gold and it runs over pearls. The water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey.  Members of the Prophetic household will give people to drink, after which they will never be thirsty after.

The Ummah will come to the pool on the day of judgement, its vessels are as many as the stars, a servant will be driven away by angels and the Prophet will say that they are from my ummah and they will say, you don’t know what they innovated after your passing.

“They were (1) hypocrites, (2) believers at the time of the Prophet (SAW) but apostated after his death (3) People of major sins and reprehensible innovations.” – Imam Nawawi

“These people are those who their brothers seeks forgiveness and apologies but is not forgiven.”  – Tabarani

As a result of Al-Kawthar the Prophet (SAW) and by extension us, are commanded to pray to our Lord and sacrifice (a camel) either specifically for Eid al-Adha or general.

Indeed the one who was rude to the Prophet (SAW), he will be the one who is abtar or cut-off i.e. his children became Muslim, he is cut-off from Allah’s Mercy and he is cut-off from any blessing in the world.

إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ – 108:1

Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al-Kawthar.

  • Inna ( إِنَّا  ) : Indeed we
  • Awthaynaka ( أَعْطَيْنَاكَ ) : Have given you
  • Al-kawthar( لْكَوْثَرَ ) : Al-Kawthar (abundant)

فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ – 108:2

So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].

  • Fasalli ( فَصَلِّ ) : So pray
  • Li-rabbika ( لِرَبِّكَ ) : to your lord
  • Wa-anhar ( وَانْحَرْ ) : and sacrifice

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ – 108:3

Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.

  • Inna ( إِنَّ ) : Indeed
  • Shaniyaka ( شَانِئَكَ ) : Your enemy
  • Huwa-al-abthar ( هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ ) : He (is) the one cut off


Tafseer of Surah-Al-Kawthar was completed on the 1st of February 2018 at the Islamic Center Coffee Hall, Milton Keynes by Ustadh Mohamed

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