Surat Al-Kawthar A river in Paradise
إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ (1) • 1. Verily, We have granted you (O Muhammad ()) Al-Kawthar (a river in Paradise); فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ (2) • 2. Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only). إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ (3) 3. For he who makes you angry (O Muhammad ()), - he will be cut off (from every good thing in this world and in the Hereafter).
Its names: 1) Surat Al-Kawther: Because it starts with a verse contains this word. 2) Surat "إنا أعطيناك الكوثر" This name is popular between the salaf. IbnAbbas said: "Suratإنا أعطيناك الكوثر" was revealed in Makkah. Also, Al-Bukhari in his Sahih selected this verse as an address for one of his chapters because this Sura Started with this verse.
Its virtues: • Narrated Anas (), "While we were with the Messenger of Allah in the Masjid, he dozed off into a slumber. Then he lifted his head smiling. We said, `O Messenger of Allah! What has caused you to laugh' He said, (Verily, a Surah was just revealed to me.) Then he recited, (إنا أعطيناك الكوثر، فصل لربك وانحر إن شانئك هو الأبتر.) Then he said, (Do you all know what is Al-Kawthar)? We said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, (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 Judgment. 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.)‘’
Time of revelation: • It is between Makkeyya and Madaneyyah, the most probable that it has been revealed twice.
The reason of its revelation: • Many narrations talked about the reason: 1) IbnAbbas () narrated that كعب بن الأشرف came to Makkah, then Quraish told him: you are their master (the master of his people), do you see this man (Mohammad) the cut off (الأبتر) who claimed that he is better than us? And we are feeding the pilgrims, watering them and being servants for Al-Ka'bah." Then Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf said: “You are better than him → so this Sura was been revealed".
2) IbnAbbas said: "العاص بن وائل" met the Prophet at the door of Masjid and started talking to him till they entered the Masjid where some people of Quraish were in. then they asked (العاص): ‘who was the man you were talking to?’ He (العاص) said: He is the cut off (because the son of the Prophet عبدالله has died.( → So this Sura was revealed.
3) IbnJuraij said: ‘When Ibrahim (the son of the prophet ) died, Quraish said: “Mohammad became a cut off”, so the Prophet was sad, then Allah revealed this Sura as a consolation for him .
Also there are many narrations show that the man who said (cut off) is either: أبو جهل أو أبو لهب أو عقبة بن أبي معيط أو الوليد بن المغيرة → From all of these narrations, we can conclude that the reason of revelation was: That Quraish was considering the Prophet and his followers weak, and they were mocking at his son's death: القاسم وعبدالله in Makkah or إبراهيم in Al-Madina. →Allah revealed this Sura to show them that: - His Prophet and his followers will be victorious. - The death of his sons is not a blemish in him. - Any one hates him is considered a cut off, he will be deprived from every good (no good reputation nor any good trace).
The theme of Surat Al-Kawther: • The abundance of goodness has several aspects. Allah reminded His Prophet with two graces: 1) The continual gifts upon His Prophet in this life and in the Hereafter (Al-Kawther river is one of the gifts). 2) Cutting off every one hated you. Also Allah ordered His Prophet to purify the prayers to Him and to sacrifice to Him only as a gratefulness to Allah .
The relation between Surat Al-Kawther and its theme: Allah bestowed upon His Prophet great graces, one of them: is Al-Kawther River which has an extension (Tank). Every one will follows the Prophet will drink from that extension which is the Tank (Al-Hawdh) on the day of Judgment, and who ever refuses following him will be deprived. Then Allah ordered His Prophet to pray and sacrifice for His sake alone. Then He gave the glad tiding to the Prophet that He will cut off his enemies and help his supporters.
The reason of its beginning: In Surat (Al-Ma'oon): Allah warned from some of the bad manners and encouraged to good manners. In Surat Al-Kawther Allah talked about the recompense of the good and the bad manners.
The relation between its beginning and the end of Surat Al-Ma'oon: The end of Surat Al-Ma'oonالذين هم عن صلاتهم ساهون، الذين هم يراؤون ويمنعون الماعون. Allah talked about some descriptions of hypocrites. One of these descriptions is miserliness. Then the beginning of Surat Al-Kawther: Allah the Most Generous- gave Al-Kawther (the great graces to His generous Prophet .)
The relation between the beginning of Surat Al-Kawther and it's end: الكوثر، والأبتر: both are opposites. الكوثر is the great gift, الأبتر is the cut off from every thing good. It started with the great graces from Allah upon His Prophet in this life and in the Hereafter, one of the graces is the river "Al-Kawther". The end of Surat Al-Kawther: is a glad tiding to the Prophet that his enemies will be disgraced, and every one hates the Prophet will be humiliated and cut off from every good.
The relation between the Parts of this Surah and its theme: Allah bestowed upon His Prophet many graces, and ordered him to purify prayers and slaughtering the sacrificial camels to Him a lone. Slaughtering is a kind of thanking Allah for all the graces and it is also an act of worship to Allah . The one who hates him will receive His punishment.
The relation between this Sura and Al-Ma'oon: 1) أرأيت الذي يكذب بالدين: this is about the disbelievers who deny the Recompense. And this is the opposite of Al-Kawther: إنا أعطيناك الكوثر. This is for the believer. Also one of the meanings of Al-Kawther is: A river in Paradise → believing in it means: the believing in the Last Day the recompense). 2) ولا يحض على طعام المسكين: who repulses the orphan and stops feeding the poor because of his meanness. And this is an opposite of وانحر= Slaughter the sacrificial animal, which is an act of charity to the others. 3) فويل للمصلين ، الذين هم عن صلاتهم ساهون الذين هم يراؤون : This is for the hypocrites who delay their Salat from their fixed times, and who made good deeds just to be seen → opposite to فصل لربك= Urges to pray to Allah . 4) All the bad descriptions in Surat Al-Ma'oon are the same as الأبتر whose deeds have been cut off from every good.
The relation between this Sura and Surat Al-Kafiroon: Surat Al-Kawther is a kind of introduction for Surat Al-Kafiroon. When Allah gave the glad tiding to His Prophet to encourage him to announce the dissociation of shirk and all its acts.
The general explanation: • Surat Al-Kawther, Ad-Dhuha and Ash-Sharh: are purely directed to the Prophet . In all of them, Allah supported him, promised him with every thing good and the blessed end will be for him . The fools of Quraish who used to mock at the Prophet and scoff of him by saying that he is أبتر, they will be cut off. In the ignorance time, they used to boast with the plenty of sons (boys). When they saw that the Prophet sons died they called him (cut off), then Allah supported his Prophet with this Sura to clear any sadness or sorrow might come to his heart .
الكوثر :Allah said: إنا: It is a pronoun to emphasize that Allah alone who conferred a great favor upon him .
Al-Kawther: It's a term for (الكثرة= abundance), and it comes unlimited (the opposite to what they abused him with (cut off). The Prophet is surrounded with the great graces from all his sides, for example: - The Prophecy: This great link between The Most Gracious Allah and His Prophet . - Al-Qur'an: which is full of good things, its bounty is in every Sura, verse and letter. - The prayers of the Chiefs (angels) in the high dwellings (heavens) upon him , and also the prayers from all the people who mentioned his name on the earth, with several generations till the Day of Judgment.
- All the rewards of the good deeds that Muslims do, he will have the same reward because he guided them to. - The five times Al-Athan a day announcing his name following Allah's name. The graces are great and unlimited upon the Prophet . This is the general meaning of Al-Kawther, and also one of the meanings of Al-Kawther is: The river in Paradise which Allah gave it to His Prophet .
أعطيناك: A verb in the past tense because Allah already decreed it before the creation of the heavens and earth by fifty thousand years. • فصل لربك وانحر: 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. Worship 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, قلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (162) لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (163) (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)(Al-An’am)
Allah guided His Prophet to thank Him for the great graces that He gave him by purifying the acts of worships (prayers and sacrifice) from Shirk. Sincerity is the way and the purpose for the deeds to be accepted. Allah said: in SuratAz-Zumar: ألا لله الدين الخالص. 3. Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only. إن شانئك هو الأبتر: شانئك: every one hates you. الأبتر: cut off, and it’s the opposite of الكوثر. Allah did indeed fulfill His promise to the Prophet , every one who hates him his fame will be cut off, and also "The Barakah" will be cut off (no Barakah in his age, life, money, children,… and all other aspects of his life.) 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.
Lessons from Surat Al-Kawther: 1) When you walk in the way of Da'wah (Calling to Allah ) with sincerity, you will face many problems, you maybe offended and exposed to harmful acts, but be sure that Allah will never leave you, He will be with you, Support you and guide your heart to rest. Al-Da'wah to Allah with sincerity will never be cut off. How come!!!? And it's been joined with Allah .
2) The way of faith, guidance and light is full of good deeds and has plenty of graces. But the way of evil, error for guidance and Kofr is coming to lack, deficiency and shortage. Even if the way of evil has a long term or had deep roots, one day it will be cut off.
3) Allah gave His Prophet lots of good deeds. Al-Kawther river is one of them. Anas bin Malik () narrated, the Prophet () said: 'Do you know what Al-Kawthar is?' We said: 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said: 'It is a river that my Lord has promised me in Paradise. Its vessels are more than the number of the stars. My Ummah will come to me, then a man among them will be pulled away and I will say: "O Lord, he is one of my Ummah" and He will say to me: 'You do not know what he did after you were gone." (Sahih) (An-Nisa’I 905)
Abu Dharr narrated: "I said: 'O Messenger of Allah! What about the vessels of the Hawdh?' He said: 'By the one in Whose Hand is my soul! Its vessels number more than the stars of the heavens and the planets on a clear dark night. (They are) among the vessels of Paradise, whoever drinks from them, he will never be thirsty again. Its longest breadth is the same as its length, like that which is between "Amman to Aylah, its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey.''' (Sahih). (2445. At-Termidhi)
Thawban narrated to me from the Messenger of Allah who said: 'My Hawd (is as large as) from 'Adan to Amman of Al-Balqa', its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Its cups are as numerous as the stars, whoever drinks one drink from it, he will never be thirsty after that again. The first people to arrive at it are the poor among the Muhajirin with disheveled heads, dirty clothes, those whom the women of favor would not marry, nor would the doors be opened for them.' (Sahih).
. It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: "When the Prophet of Allah was taken up into Paradise" – or words to that effect – "he was shown a river whose banks were transparent" – or hollowed out – corundum. The angel who was with him struck with his hand and brought out some musk. Muhammad said to the Angel who was with him: "What is this?" He said: "This is Al-Kawthar which your Lord has given to you". (Sahih). (Abu Dawud 4748)
Al-Hawdh: is a place where the water is gathered, placed in the gathering land on the Day of Resurrection. The nation of the Prophet only will drink from it. The water of Al-Hawdh is coming from Al-Kawther river.
The following Hadiths are describing the people who will drink from Al-Hawdh. Ka'b bin 'Ujrah narrated: "The Messenger of Allah said to me: 'I seek refuge in Allah for you O Ka'b bin 'Ujrah from leaders that will be after me. Whoever comes to their doors to approve of their lies and supports them in their oppression, then he is not of me and I am not of him, and he will not meet me at the Hawd. And whoever does not come to their doors, and he does not approve of their lies and he does not support them in their oppression, then he is from me and I am from him, and he will meet me at the Hawd. " (Hasan). (At-Termidhi 614)
Zaid bin Arqam, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "Indeed, I am leaving among you, that which you hold fast to them, you shall not Be misguided after me. One of them is greater than the other: The Book of Allah is a rope extended from the sky to the earth, and my family – the people of my house- and they shall not split until they meet me at the Hawdh, so look at how you deal with them after me." (Sahih). (3788. At-Termidhi)
The Prophet () said: (Do you all know what is Al-Kawthar)? We said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, (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 Judgment. 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.” (Muslim)
5) Allah ordered His Prophet and his nation to perform worships to Him alone (sincerity). 6) (Strange opinions) One of the opinions about وانحر: is to put your right hand on the left hand in prayers, as Ali said. Other opinion is to rise your hands in prayer.
7) Allah said: فصل لربك وانحر→ The prayer came before sacrifice (the same as in the Day of Eid Al-Adha: we pray then sacrifice). 8) Most of the Suras in Al-Qur'an that talk about graces, always followed with orders to worship Allah as a thank to Him . Slaughtering (sacrifice) is a kind of giving thanks (شكر) because it’s an act of worship. The same as العقيقة after the child birth (as a kind of Shokr).
9) Allah promised His Prophet in Surat Ad-Duhaولسوف يعطيك ربك فترضى: 5. And verily, your Lord will give you (all i.e. good) so that you shall be well-pleased. and in Surat Al-Kawther, Allah mentioned: what He gave him → Al-Kawther.
10) Most of the verses that talk about العطاء = the givings, the verse contains the special name of Allah (الرب) as in: Al-Kawtherإنا أعطيناك الكوثر، فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ (2) Ad-Duhaوَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى (5) Tahaقَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِي أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى (50) Al-Isra’ كُلًّا نُمِدُّ هَؤُلَاءِ وَهَؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَبِّكَ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا (20) An-Naba’ جَزَاءً مِنْ رَبِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا (36) The Lord الرب: The only One who upbrings people with what He gives them.
11) Allah said أعطيناك not آتيناك, why? الإيتاء: is giving something then it might be taken back as in SuratAal-Imran: (3:26) تؤتي الملك من تشاء وتنزع الملك ممن تشاء (آل عمران) You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will But العطاء : is giving without taking back what you give (for ever). Allah said to Solomon ():) Saad 38:39) هذا عطاؤنا فامنن أو أمسك بغير حساب "This is Our gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked." → Allah gave Al-Kawther river to His prophet for ever.
12) As Al-Kawther is one of the great graces upon the Prophet , Allah ordered him to thank Him by Praying and sacrifice for His sake alone. The prayer is Allah's right and performing it is the highest grade in thanking Allah . Sacrifice is people's right and performing it is the highest act of charity to the people, because Arabs used to slaughter camels as a kind of generosity. [النحر used for camel's type, but الذبح is used for slaughtering cows and sheep]. → The prayer and the sacrifice together → means: That the best way to thank Allah is by establishing Allah's right and people's right.
13) In the Qur'an: prayers always come before charity وأقيموا الصلاة وآتوا الزكاة The prayer is an important pillar of Islam: - First thing that the person will be accounted for. - Never been cancelled even during wars, sickness and any other critical cases. - It's been performed at least five times a day, but sacrifice can be performed just when the person has money, and not frequently like prayers.
Allah said: إنا أعطيناك الكوثر، فصل لربك وانحرin the first verse Allah talked about Himself, إنا أعطيناك, but in the second verse: لربك and He didn't say: فصل لنا → this is in Arabic Language calls الالتفات has a purpose: to draw the attention of listeners.
فصل لربك وانحر : The prayer and the sacrifice are the best acts worships, because: in the prayer the human is being humble to his Lord in his heart and limbs, and in Sacrifice he becomes nearer to Him with providing money and money is one of the most beloved thing to human being.
إن شانئك هو الأبتر: Allah said: هو the pronoun is to emphsize that this specific description ( hating the Prophet ) is a reason to be cut off.
IbnTaimeyah had precious words about Surat Al-Kawther: إن شانئك هو الأبتر: The one who will be cut off from his impact, family, money and so on. He will not get the benefits from his good deeds, he will spend his life with nothing, no supporters once he is in need, he will not taste the sweetness of faith in his worships. → This is the recompense of every one hates the Prophet , or hated what he came with, or refused to obey him because of his vain desires. Every one preferred disobeying him, or preferred people's talks and books rather than Al-Qur'an and As-Sunna, or even interpretation the Hadiths that talks about Allah's names and attributes as he likes. → he will enter in the meaning of the word شانئ
Allah gave His Prophet the opposite of the cut off الأبتر He gave him Al-Kawther (abundant goodness) in this life and in the Hereafter: • For example: - In this life, He gave him the guidance, support, victory, opening breast, rest, satisfaction, honor and bounties. No one has the same delight in this life as he haي. - In the Hereafter: He gave him Al-Waseelah (Station in Paradise) and Al-Fadheelah (a rank above the rest of creation), and send him upon araised platform (Al-Maqam Al-Mahmood( he will be the first one whom the door of Paradise will be opened to, also he will have Lew' Al-Hamd and the Hawdh… etc). - The followers of Sunna dye but they still have a continuous fame as far as they grasped Al-Qur'an and Al-Sunna, but the people of innovation dye and their fame will die with them إن شانئك هو الأبتر.
فصل لربك وانحر: The Prophet did what Allah ordered him to do, he was praying and giving sacrifice more, he was praying till his feet became cracked, and in the Farewell he slaughtered 63 she-camels, and he was slaughtering also in Eids and in different occasions.
Some examples about people hated the Prophet : 1) عتبة بن أبي لهب was abusing the Prophet so the Prophet said: "O Allah, empower one of the dogs on him". When Otbah went to Ash-Sham with convoy, they had a rest in their way, and Otbah said: I am afraid from the invocation of Mohammad. The people with him said: No don't be afraid, then they put their luggage around him and they were guarding him. Then a lion came and took him.
2) Abu Lahab also was abusing the Prophet when he died, he was left without being buried for three days, because an infections disease appeared, and Quraish was afraid from it. So they sprinkled water on him, pulled him and threw him behind the wall.
3) Narrated 'Amr bin Maimun: 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) said, "While Allah's Messenger was offering Salat (prayer) near the Ka'bah, there were some Quraish people sitting in a gathering. One of them said, Don't you see this Mura'ey (the one who does deeds just to show off)? Who amongst you can go and bring the dung, blood and the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of the slaughtered camels of the family of so-and –so and then wait till he prostrates and put that in between his shoulders?' The most wretched amongst them (Uqba bin AbiMu'ait) went (and brought them) and when Allah's Messenger prostrated, he put them between his shoulders. The prophet remained in prostration and they laughed so-much-so that they fell on each other. A passer by went to Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet ), who was a young girl in those days. She came running and the Prophet was still in prostration. She removed them (the abdominal contents of the camel) and cursed at the Quraish on their faces. When Allah's Messenger completed his prayer, he said, "O Allah! Destroy the (infideis of Quraish.' He said so thrice and added, 'O Allah! Destroy 'Amr bin Hisham, 'Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaiba bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin 'Utba, Umaiyya bin Khalaf, 'Uqba bin AbiMu'ait and 'Umara bin Al-Walid'." • 'Abdullah added, "By Allah! I saw all of them dead in the battlefield on the Day of Badr, and they were dragged and thrown in the Qalib (a well) at Badr. Allah's Messenger then said, 'Allah's Curse has descended upon the people of the Qulib". ( Al-Bukhari 520)
4) Narrated Anas: There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet . Later on he reverted to Christianity again, and he used to say: "Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him." Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is the act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them." They again dug the grave deeply for him (and buried him), but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is an act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them." They dug the grave for him as deep as they could (and buried him). But in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground). (Al-Bukhari 3617).