Showing posts with label Al Kauthar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Al Kauthar. Show all posts

Thursday 6 July 2023

What is Al Kauthar (ٱلْكَوْثَرَ)

The opening verse of Sūrah Al Kauthar, the 108th chapter of the Qur'an, Allah has promised His revered Prophet Muhammad ﷺ "Al Kauthar (ٱلْكَوْثَرَ)". Before we give out the exegesis / tafsir of the surah, it would be appropriate to let our readers know what is Al Kauthar so as to avoid its lengthy explanation in the Tafsir, for there more emphasis will be laid on why Allah has promised Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Al Kauthar (ٱلْكَوْثَرَ).

The word Kauthar is derived from the root ك - ث - ر (k - th - r), which has meanings of "to increase in number, to outnumber, to happen frequently; to show pride in wealth and/or children; to be rich, plentiful, abundance." The full meaning of the word Kauthar 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.

There is no mention of details of Al Kauthar in the Qur'an. However, in a number of Hadiths attribute d to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the Prophet himself has explained what Al Kauthar is. While many details are given herein under, in brief about this Fountain the Holy Prophet has said that water will be supplied to it from the River Kauthar of Paradise. "Two channels from Paradise will flow into it and supply water to it." (Muslim: Kitab al-Fada il). According to another tradition: "A canal from the River Kauthar of Paradise will be opened towards this Fountain. " (Musnad Ahmad Marwiyyat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud). Its water 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."

Read other references based on different Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as given herein under: 
  • (1) This Fountain will be granted to him on Resurrection Day when there will be the cry of al-atash, al-atash (thirst, thirst!) on every side. The Holy Prophet's 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 Resurrection Day." (Muslim: Kitab as- Salat Abu Da'ud: Kitab as-Sunnah).
    • "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.)
    • "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 Holy Prophet 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-Fada'il).
    • 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 lies it." (Abu Da'ud: 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 Hadrat Abu Barzah Aslami, Bara' bin 'Azib and `A'idh bin 'Amr. At last, Abu Sabrah brought out a writing which he had written down after hearing it from Hadrat `Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-`As, and it contained this saying of the Holy Prophet: "Beware! your place of meeting me will be my Fountain." (Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As).
  • (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 Yemen, 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 Da'ud at Tayalisi: Hadith No. 995; Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat Abu Bakr Siddiq and `Abdullah bin `Umar; Muslim: Kasab al-Taharah and Kitab al-Fads il; Tirmidhi Abwab Sifat al-Qiyamah; Ibn Majah: Kitab az-Zuhd). From this it appears that on 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 Holy Prophet has told us that water will be supplied to it from the River Kauthar of Paradise (which is mentioned below). "Two channels from Paradise will flow into it and supply water to it." (Muslim: Kitab al-Fada il). According to another tradition: "A canal from the River Kauthar of Paradise will be opened towards this Fountain. " (Musnad Ahmad Marwiyyat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud).
  • (4) According to the description of it given by the Holy Prophet 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-Rigaq; Muslim: Kitab at-Taharah and Kitab al-Fada'il; Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Umar, `Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-`As; Tirmidhi: Abwab Sifat al-Qiyanmah: Ibn Majah: Kitab az-Zuhd; Abu Da'ud: Tayalisi, Ahadith No. 995, 2135).
  • (5) Concerning it the Holy Prophet warned the people of his time again and again, saying: "after me those from among you who would effect changes in my Way, will be removed from the Fountain and will be disallowed to approach it. I shall say: they are my companions, but it will be said: "Don't you know what they did after you? Then I too shall discard them and tell them to keep away." This subject too has been expressed in many traditions. (Bukhari: Kitab ar-Rigaq, Kitab al-Fitan; Muslim: Kitab al-Tahara and Kitab al-Fada'it Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat !bn Mas`ud, Abu Hurairah; Ibn Majah: Kitab al-Manasik. The Hadith which Ibn Majah has related in this connection contains very pathetic words. The Holy Prophet said: "Beware! I shall have arrived at the Fountain before you and shall pride myself by your means upon the greater numbers of my Ummah as against other ummahas Do not at that time cause my face to be blackened. Beware: I shall have some people released, and some people shall be separated from me. I shall say: O my Lord, they are my companions. He will reply: Don't you know what innovations they introduced after you?" According to Ibn Majah, these words were said by the Holy Prophet (upon whom there be peace) in his Sermon at `Arafat.
  • (6) Likewise, the Holy Prophet has also warned the Muslims coming after him till Resurrection, saying: "Whoever from among you will swerve from my Way and effect changes in it, will be removed from the Fountain. I shall say: O Lord, they belong to me, they are the people of my Ummah. In response it will be said: “Don't you know what changes they effected after you and then turned back on their heels?” Then I too shall turn them away and shall not allow them to approach the Fountain." Many traditions on this subject are found in the Hadith. (Bukhari: Kitab al-Musaqat, Kitab ar-Rigaq, Kitab al-Fitan; Muslim: Kitab at-Taharah. Katab as-Salat, Kitab al-Fada il; Ibn Majah: Kitab az-Zuhd; Musnad Ahmad: Marwiyyat Ibn `Abbas).
    • 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. "
    • The River Kauthar which the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) shall be granted in Paradise, also has been mentioned in a large number of the traditions cf Hadith. Many traditions have been related on the authority of Hadrat Anas in which he says (and in some he explains that he is reporting the exact words of the Holy Prophet himself) that on the occasion of mi'raj; the Holy Prophet was taken round Paradise and shown a river on the banks of which there were vaults of pearls or precious stones carved from within; the earth of its bed was of the strong scented musk. He asked Gabriel, or the angel who took him round, what it was. He replied that it was the River Kauthar, which Allah had granted him. (Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud Tayalisi, Ibn Jarir)
    • Again, according to Hadrat Anas, the Holy Prophet was asked (or a person asked him): "What is the Kauthar?' He replied; "It is a River which Allah has granted me in Paradise. Its earth is musk: its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey " (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, lbn Jarir)
    • According to another tradition of Musnad Ahmad, describing the merits of the River Kauthar the Holy Prophet said that at its bottom there are pearls instead of pebbles. Ibn `Umar says that the Holy Prophet said: "The Kauthar is a river in Paradise the banks of which are golden; it flows on pearls and diamonds (i.e. its bed has diamonds instead of pebbles); its earth smells sweeter than musk; its water is whiter than milk (or snow), cooler than snow and sweeter than honey." (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Hatim, Darimi, Abu Da'ud Tayalisi, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Marduyah, Ibn Abi Shaibah).
    • Usamah bin Zaid says that the Holy Prophet once went to visit Hadrat Usamah; he was not at home; his wife entertained him and during the conversation said "My husband has told me that you have been granted a river in Paradise, which is called the Kauthar." The Holy Prophet replied "Yes, and its bed is of rubies and corals and emeralds and pearls" (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduyah. Though the sanad of this tradition is weak, the presence of a large number of traditions dealing with this subject strengthens it).
So, my dear brothers and sisters in Islam, let us pray that we get to drink from Al Kauthar where our revered Prophet Muhammad ﷺ will be waiting for us and would then lead us to Jannah tul Firdous.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

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