Surah al-Kawthar, or “The Abundance”, is the 108th Surah of The Quran. It is the shortest Surah, consisting of just three verses.

Surah al-Kawthar was revealed to console and encourage Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when he was facing a magnitude of painful incidents and numerous taunts from his enemies.

This article provides full translation and tafsir of Surah al-Kawthar, along with Arabic text. 

Translation and Tafsir of Surah al-Kawthar

First up, the full Arabic text of Surah al-Kawthar:

surah-kawthar-full-arabic

Translation

  1. Indeed! We have given you Abundance;
  2. So pray to your Lord, and sacrifice (to Him Alone).
  3. Surely, your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.

And now, on to the Tafsir of Surah al-Kawthar.

Tafsir

surah-kawthar-ayah-01-arabic

1. Indeed! We have given you Abundance;

The term “Kawthar” is a descriptive case derived from the word “kathrat” which can be implied to mean ‘abundance’; that is, abundance of goodness, of spiritual benefits and blessings. Such abundance is unbounded and limitless. In this verse, Allah gave the glad tidings of such abundance of goodness to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Narrated Hz Ibn Abbas (RA): [1]

The word ‘al-Kawthar’ means the abundant good which Allah gave to him, that is, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The purpose of this verse was to strengthen the Prophet (PBUH)’s determination and also to boost the resolve of the Muslim community by reminding them of their Lord’s Promise. To quote Surah ad-Duhaa: [2]

And verily your Lord will give you so that you will be content.

surah-kawthar-ayah-02-arabic

2. So pray to your Lord, and sacrifice (to Him Alone).

Allah is the Only One who can grant such abundance, so thanks should be offered only to Him. This ayah reminds us that we should remain steadfast: our prayers are only for Allah and our sacrifices too are for Him Alone, contrary to the polytheistic practices wherein one worships self-made gods.

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In Surah al-Anam, Allah says: [3]

Say: “Truly, my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”

surah-kawthar-ayah-03-arabic

3. Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.

The last verse of this short Surah bears references to the taunts made by the chiefs of the pagans, who used to say that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is ‘abtar’, that is ‘without posterity’ (one who does not have a male offspring). They used to claim that due to the death of all of his sons, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will not be remembered by future generations.

Obviously, such taunts and remarks showed nothing but the ignorance of the pagan chiefs. Allah ensured that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not just remembered, but has served as a role model for generations after generations.

References

  1. Sahih Bukhari Vol 8, Book 76, Hadith 580
  2. The Quran 93:05 (Surah ad-Duhaa)
  3. The Quran 06:162 (Surah al-Anam)