In the Name of Allaah, the Most Beneficent, the
1. Verily, We have given you al-Kawthar,
2. So turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice,
3. For he who makes you angry, he will be cut off.
It is narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said, "The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi
wa sallam was dozing and then he raised his head and smiled, then either he said
to them (the Companions), or they said to him: "Why did you laugh?" The he
sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: "Verily, a soorah has been revealed to me."
Then he recited, < In the Name of Allaah, the Most Beneficent, the Most
Merciful, Verily We have given you Al-Kawthar > to the end of the Soorah. The he
asked, "Do you know what Al-Kawthar is?" They replied, "Allaah and His Messenger
know best." He said: "It is a river granted to me by my Lord, the Almighty, the
All-powerful in Paradise, in which is great goodness; its drinking vessels are
as (limitless as) the heavenly bodies. It refuses to allow one of the slaves to
drink, and the Prophet will say: "Oh, my Lord! He is one of my community." But
it will be said to him: "You know nothing of the innovations (in religion) that
they practiced after you.
It has been narrated about the pool of Al-Kawthar that it has two streams
running into it from the heavens which emanate from the river known as Al-Kawthar
and its drinking vessels are as limitless as the stars in the sky. (Narrated by
Muslim, Abu Dawood and An-Nasaa'i) Many qurraa' (scholars of Quranic recitation)
have taken this as proof that the Soorah was revealed in Madinah, while many
fuqahaa' have deduced from it that the basmalah is an integral part of the
Soorah and that it was revealed from it.
As for the Words of Allaah: < Verily, We have given you Al-Kawthar > it has
already been mentioned that Al-Kawthar is a river in Paradise and Imaam Ahmad
has narrated, on the authority of Anas, that he recited this Soorah and then he
said: "The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: "I have been
given Al-Kawthar and it is a flowing river in Paradise which does not flow along
a normal channel, but instead its banks are domes of pearl and I struck its
earth with my hand and it was a strong-smelling musk, and its pebbles were
pearls." Ibn Jareer has narrated, on the authority of Anas, that he asked the
Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam about Al-Kawthar and he said:
"It is a river in Paradise, given to me by my Lord, whose colour is whiter than
milk and whose taste is sweeter than honey; upon it are birds whose necks are
like those of camels." `Umar said: "Oh, Messenger of Allaah! It is an ostrich."
He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam replied: "Its meat is more delicate and tender
than that, O `Umar."
Al-Bukhaari relates on the authority of Ibn `Abbaas, that he said Al-Kawthar is
the blessings bestowed on the Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam by Allaah.
Abu Bishr then told Sa`eed ibn Jubair (who narrated it from Ibn `Abbaas): "But
people say that it is a river in Paradise." Sa`eed replied: "The river in
Paradise is from the blessings bestowed by Allaah upon him sallallaahu `alayhi
wa sallam. Mujaahid said, "It is the abundant blessings of this world and the
Hereafter." And it has been confirmed that Ibn `Abbaas also explained it (Al-Kawthar)
as being a river.
Ibn Jareer narrates on the authority of Ibn `Abbaas that he said: "Al-Kawthar is
a river in Paradise, its banks are of gold and silver and its bed is of precious
stones and pearls and its water is whiter than snow and sweeter than honey."
Something very similar was narrated on the authority of Ibn `Umar and At-Tirmizi
narrates something like it in a mawqoof form, while Ahmad has narrated it in a
< So turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice > That is, since We have given
you such blessings in this world and in the Hereafter, including the river
described previously, then devote your obligatory and your optional prayers to
your Lord Alone, likewise your sacrifices and all your acts of worship. Worship
Him Alone, without associating any partners with Him and sacrifice in His Name
Alone, without associating any partners with Him, as in the Words of Allaah: <
Say: Verily, my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are for Allaah,
the Lord of the worlds. No partner has He, this I have been commanded to do and
I am the first to submit [to Allaah]." > (Soorah Al-An`aam 6:162) Ibn `Abbaas, `Ataa',
`Ikrimah, Mujaahid and Al-Hasan are all agreed that the word nahr means halaal
slaughter - most of the scholars from amongst the pious Salaf agreed with this
and it is contrary to the practices of idolaters who prostrated themselves
before false gods and sacrificed animals in their name. Allaah, Most High says:
< And do not eat of that which was not slaughtered in the Name of Allaah > (Soorah
Al-An`aam 6:121) The word nahr was also interpreted as meaning the position of
the hands when slaughtering and to the raising of the hands in prayer, at the
time of the opening takbeer (saying "Allaahu Akbar" in the prayer) and an
instruction to face the Qiblah (the direction which Muslims face when they pray,
i.e. the Ka`bah in Makkah) when slaughtering; but all of these sayings are very
unusual, and the correct interpretation is the first, i.e. that it refers to
halaal slaughter. Because of this, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu `alayhi
wa sallam, used to pray `Eed prayer before slaughtering an animal, and he said:
"Whoever prayed and then slaughtered has performed the slaughter (correctly) and
whosoever slaughters before prayer, there is no slaughter for him." Then a
Companion named Abu Bardah stood up and said, "Oh, Messenger of Allaah! I have
slaughtered my sheep before the prayer for I knew that today was a day on which
the meat would be desirable (for slaughter)." He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam
said: "Your sheep is merely meat (i.e. it is not acceptable as a sacrifice). Abu
Bardah then asked: "I have a young, female goat which is dearer to me than two
sheep - is this sufficient recompense from me?" The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi
wa sallam said: "It would recompense you but it would not recompense anyone
after you." The correct interpretation of the verse, according to Ibn Jareer is:
So make all your prayers for your Lord and for Him Alone and for no other,
neither partner, nor deity; likewise make your sacrifices for Him Alone, not to
any idols - in gratitude to Him for the provision and generosity which He has
given you which is without equal.
< For he who makes you angry, he will be cut off > That is, the one who hates
you, oh, Muhammad, and hates that which you have brought (i.e. the Message of
guidance, truth and proof most clear and light most evident) is defective,
insignificant, despised and is cut off (from remembrance).
According to Ibn `Abbaas, Mujaahid, Sa`eed ibn Jubair and Qataadah, the Soorah
was revealed in regard to Al-`Aas ibn Waa'il, for it was said that Al-`Aas ibn
Waa'il used to say, whenever Allaah's Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam,
was mentioned: "Leave him, for he is a man who is cut off and is of no
consequence, and if he were killed, he would be forgotten." And so Allaah
revealed this Soorah. It was also said that it was revealed concerning `Uqbah
ibn Abi Mu`eet
Ibn `Abbaas and `Ikrimah are reported to have said that it was revealed in
regard to Ka`b ibn al-Ashraf and a number of the pagans of Quraish.
Al-Bazaar reports from ibn `Abbaas sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam that Ka`b ibn
Al-Ashraf approached Makkah and the people of Quraish said: "You are their
leader (i.e. the people of Makkah). Do you not see this weak, feeble, despised
man, who is without family or any who might help him and who is cut off from his
own people? He claims that he is better than we! We are the people of (the House
of) the pilgrims, the custodians (of the Ka`bah), the suppliers of water (to the
pilgrims)." He said: "You are better than he." So Allaah revealed this Soorah.
This is an authentic narration.
'Ataa` said that it was revealed concerning Abu Lahab; this was when the
Prophet's son died and Abu Lahab when to the polytheists and said: "When his
sons die, he will no longer be remembered." Far from that! On the contrary,
Allaah has preserved his memory for all the world to witness and has placed the
responsibility of (implementing) His Revealed Law upon their shoulders forever,
until the Day of Congregation and the appointed time arrives - peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him always till the Day of Assembly. This is the end
of the tafseer of Soorah Al-Kawthar, all praise is due to Allaah and from His
proceeds all Grace.