Surah Kawthar Ayat 1 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 1
Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al-Kawthar.
To thee have We granted the Fount (of Abundance).
(O Prophet), We have surely bestowed upon you good in abundance.
Verily, We have granted you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) Al-Kauthar (a river in Paradise);
Lo! We have given thee Abundance;
Surely We have given you the Abundance;
We have truly given abundance to you [Prophet]––
Quran 108 Verse 1 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Kawthar ayat 1, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(108:1) (O Prophet), We have surely bestowed upon you good in abundance.
1. 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.
Have a look again at the background of this Surah given in the Introduction. The enemies thought that Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been completely ruined: he was cut off from the community and had become utterly helpless and powerless; his trade was ruined; his male children who could perpetuate his name were dead; the message that he presented was such that except for a handful of the people no one in entire Arabia, not to speak of Makkah, was prepared to listen to it. Therefore, failure and disappointment would be his lot as long as he lived and there would be no one in posterity to remember him when he died. Under such conditions when Allah said: We have granted you the Kauthar, this by itself gave the meaning: Your foolish opponents think that you are ruined and deprived of the good things that you enjoyed before Prophethood, but the fact is that We have favored you with unbounded good and countless blessings. This included the matchless moral qualities which the Prophet (peace be upon him) was blessed with; this included the great blessings of Prophethood and the Quran, the knowledge and wisdom that were granted to him; this included the blessing of Tauhid and also of such a system of life whose simple and intelligible, rational and natural, and comprehensive principles had the potential to spread throughout the world and of continuing to spread for ever afterwards. This also included the blessing of the exaltation of renown because of which the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) blessed name continues to be exalted throughout the world since 1400 years and will continue to be so exalted till Resurrection.
This also included the blessing that by his preaching eventually such a world-wide community came into being, which became the standard-bearer of truth in the world forever, which can claim to have produced the greatest number of the pious, virtuous and noble character people in any one nation, and which even when corrupted and deprived has the highest good in it as against every other nation of the world. This also included the blessing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his very lifetime witnessed his invitation and message attaining to the highest success and the preparation of a community which had the power to dominate the world. This also included the blessing that although on his being deprived of the male offspring the enemies thought he would be lost to posterity, yet Allah not only blessed him with the spiritual offspring in the form of Muslims, who will continue to exalt his name in the world till Resurrection but also granted him from his one daughter, Fatimah, the natural progeny, who have spread throughout world and whose only mark of distinction and pride is that they trace their descent from him.
These are the blessings which the people have seen and witnessed as to how abundantly Allah has blessed His Prophet (peace be upon him) within the world. In addition, Kauthar also implies two other great blessings which Allah will bestow on him in the Hereafter. We had no means of knowing these; therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself gave us news of them, and told us that Kauthar also implied them. First, the Fountain of Kauthar, which he will be granted on the Resurrection Day in the Plain of Assembly; second, the River Kauthar, which he will be granted in Paradise. About both such a large number of the Ahadith have been reported from him through such a large number of the reporters that there remains no doubt about their authenticity.
What the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about the Fountain of Kauthar is as follows:
(1) This Fountain will be granted to him on the Resurrection Day when there will be the cry of al-atash, alatash (thirst, thirst!) on every side. The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) community will gather together before him at it and will be watered thereby. He himself will be the first to arrive at it and will be occupying the central position.
He has said: This is a Fountain at which my Ummah will assemble on the Resurrection Day. (Muslim: Kitab as-Salat Abu Daud: Kitab as-Sunnah). I shall have arrived at the Fountain before you. (Bukhari: Kitab ar-Riqaq and Kitab al- Fitan; Muslim: Kitab al-Fidail and Kitab at-Taharah; lbn Majah: Kitab al Manasik and Kitab az-Zuhd. Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Hurairah).
I shall be there before you and shall bear witness on you, and by God, I am seeing my Fountain even at this time. (Bukhari: Kitab al-jana-iz Kitab al- Maghazi, Kitab ar-Riqaq).
Addressing an assembly of the Ansar, the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said: After me you will meet with selfishness and nepotism, endure it patiently until you meet me at the Fountain. (Bukhari: Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar and Kitab al-Maghazi; Muslim: Kitab al-Iman; Tirmidhi: Kitab al-Fitan).
I shall be near the middle of the Fountain on the Resurrection Day. (Muslim: Kitab al-Fadail).
Abu Barzah Aslami was asked: Have you heard something about the Fountain from the Prophet (peace be upon him). 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 belies it. (Abu Daud: Kitab as-Sunnah).
Ubaidullah bin Ziyad thought that the traditions about the Fountain were false; so much so that he belied all the traditions reported by Abu Barzah Aslami, Bara bin Aazib and Aaidh bin Amr. At last, Abu Sabrah brought out a writing which he had written down after hearing it from Abdullah bin Amr bin alAas, and it contained this saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Beware! Your place of meeting me will be my Fountain. (Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat Abdullah bin Amr bin alAas).
(2) Different dimensions of the Fountain have been given in different traditions, but according to a large number of the traditions it will extend from Aylah (the present Israeli seaport of Ilat) to Sana’a of Yaman, or from Aylah to Adan, or from Amman to Adan in length, and from Aylah to Juhfah (a place between Jeddah and Rabigh) in breadth. (Bukhari: Kitab ar-Riqaq; Abu Daud at Tayalisi: Hadith No. 995; Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat Abu Bakr Siddiq and Abdullah bin Umar; Muslim: Kitab at-Taharah and Kitab al-Fadail; Tirmidhi Abwab Sifat al-Qiyamah; Ibn Majah: Kitab az-Zuhd). From this it appears that on the Resurrection Day the present Red Sea itself will be turned into the Fountain of Kauthar. And the correct knowledge is only with Allah.
(3) About this Fountain the Prophet (peace be upon him) has told us that water will be supplied to it from the River Kauthar of Paradise (which is being mentioned below). Two channels from Paradise will flow into it and supply water to it. (Muslim: Kitab al-Fadail). According to another tradition: A canal from the River Kauthar of Paradise will be opened towards this Fountain. (Musnad Ahmad; Marwiyyat Abdullah bin Masud).
(4) According to the description of it given by the Prophet (peace be upon him) its water will be whiter than milk (according to other traditions whiter than silver, and according to still others, whiter than snow), cooler than snow, sweeter than honey; the earth of its bed will be more fragrant than musk; the water jugs set at it will be as numerous as the stars in the sky; the one who drinks from it would never thirst; and the one who is deprived of it will never have his thirst satisfied. These things with a little variation in wording have been reported in numerous Ahadith (Bukhari: Kitab ar-Riqaq; Muslim: Kitab at- Taharah and Kitab al-Fadail; Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat I
1. Verily, We have granted you Al-Kawthar. 2. Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice. 3. For he who hates you, he will be cut off.) Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i, all recorded from Anas that he said, “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,
(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,
(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 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,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(And do not eat from what Allah’s Name has not been pronounced over, indeed that is Fisq.) (6:121)
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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.
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