Tafsir Surat al-Kawsar (The Abundance)

Kawsar means the abundant and plentiful blessings. The generous and merciful people are also given this name Kawsar. What does the term Kawsar means here?

According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website):
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Nasir Makarim Shirazi in Tafsir Namuneh
Translated from Farsi into English by: Fatima Zabeth Beenesh

The Sura e Kawsar descended at Mecca and it has 3 ayaat.
The contents and virtues of Sura e Kawsar
It is famous that this sura is descended at Mecca but some presented the possibility of its being Madani (its descent at Medina). It is given the possibility as well that this sura is descended twice, once in Mecca and second time at Medina. And about its shan e nuzal (when it was descended) according to the well-known views, it confirms this sura being Meccan (descended at Mecca).
All about the descent of the sura Kawsar we read: Aas Bin Vail who was one of the heads of the polytheists met the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him while coming out of Masjid e Haraam. He talked for some time to the prophet peace be upon him. A group of the heads of Quraish tribe were sitting in the Masjid viewed this sight from far-off distant when Aas bin Vail entered the masjid they asked him: To whom you were talking? He replied: to this man who is abtar.
He selected this term abtar as Abdullah the son of prophet peace be upon him was died recently and the Arabs used to call abtar the person who is devoid of son (it means the person who left no one behind him) hence Quraish selected this name for the prophet peace be upon him after the death of his son. The sura e Kawsar descended and gave the glad tiding of the abundant affluences and Kawser to the prophet and called his enemies ‘abtar’.
Definition: the great prophet peace be upon him was possessing two sons by the prodigious lady of Islam, Khadija one Qasim and another Tahir who was called Abdullah too. Both of them died in the city of Mecca and the great prophet peace be upon him got deprived of the sons. This matter opened the malicious tongues of the Quraish tribe. They imposed the name of abtar upon him.
According to their traditions and believe, they used to give the son extraordinary importance. They were counting the son as the one who continues the deeds of the father after his death. When the incident of his son’s death happened the people of Quraish though that by the demise of the great prophet peace be upon him, the cause of the prophet peace be upon him will come to an end and they were quite delighted with this matter.
The honourable Quran descended and miraculously answered them in this sura and informed him that his enemies will become ‘abtar’ and the movement of Islam and Quran will never get discontinued. The glad tiding which is given in this sura was a blow upon the hopes of the opponents of Islam from one side and from other side it was a consolation to the heart of great prophet peace be upon him as after hearing that title from the enemies his pure heart got gloomy and grievous.
Regarding the virtues of reading the sura e Kawsar it is narrated in a hadis: The one who recites the sura e Kawsar, the generous God quenches his thirst from the streams of the paradise equal to the each number of the sacrifices, the people of Almighty offer the sacrifice on the day of eid e Qurban, the festival of offering and equal to the sacrifices the people of book and polytheists offered, equivalent to the each number of them will be given to him.
The name of this sura kawsar was taken from the first ayat of it. Al-Kauthar (A River in Paradise)

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
ِانا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ
(108:1)
Verily, We have granted you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) Al-Kauthar (a river in Paradise);
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ
(108:2)
So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].
إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ
(108:3)
For he who makes you angry (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)), – he will be cut off (from every good thing in this world and in the Hereafter).
The definition
We have gifted you abundant blessings
In the entire sura e kawsar addressed the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him similar to the sura a Zuha and sura e Alam Nashrah. And one of the causes of these three chapters of noble Quran is to bestow consolation to the prophet of Islam peace be upon him before the numerous painful events and the repeated blames and criticism of the enemies.
First it said: We granted to you Kawser.
إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ

كَوْثَرَ
The term Kawsar is a definition which is taken from the term
كثرت

In a narration it is mentioned that when the sura e Kawsar was descended the great prophet Muhammad peace be upon him went upon the top of the pulpit and recited this sura for his companions and they asked: what is this Kawsar which the Almighty God had blessed you? The great prophet of Islam peace be upon him replied: This is a stream in the heaven whiter than milk and clear than crystal bowl and on its both sides there are tombs of rubies and pearls.
In another hadis from imam Baqir alaihis salam we read: Kawsar is river in the heaven which the Benevolent God had gifted him as a replacement to his son Abdullah (he was died in the life time of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him).
Some defined: the meaning is the same pool of Kawsar which belongs to prophet peace be upon him. The pious believers while entering the heaven will abundantly quench their thirst by it.
Certain interpreters mentioned it, the prophecy of Muhammad peace be upon him and quite a few stated it his numberless companions and friends and some said the excessive number of upcoming children entirely come into existence from the generation of his daughter Fatima Zahra alaiha salam. Today they increased so much that now they are uncountable. Till the judgement day they are the reminders of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. A certain number of the people described it as an intercession shifa’at. It is a hadis from imam Sadiq alaihis salam too,
It is illuminated as much as fifteen sayings in the definition of Kawsar from Fakhr razi and explained the dynamic and vast meaning of Kawsar .As we indicated Kawsar is the abundant blessings and plentiful virtues. We are aware that the Majestic God gifted the noble prophet Muhammad peace be upon him abundant blessings as illustrated above.
Any way the entire favours of Provider God upon the person of Honourable prophet in every field even his victories in wars upon the enemies and as well as the scholar of his believers, in every period safe guarded the holy Quran and the Islam and spread them in every corner of the world. Each and every one is in touch with this universal benefit.
One must not forget the Exalted God presented that statement to the magnanimous prophet peace be upon him in the period when there was not any apparent sign of the abundance and universal virtues benefits. There was the glad tiding stated for the near future as well as the far off future. This was astonishing good news which defined the truth of the invitation of the noble prophet of Islam peace be upon him.
This honourable godsend benefits needs the excessive thanks. However the gratefulness of the people never compensates the kindness of the Benevolent God’s blessings. But the ability of thankfulness is from the Gracious God himself. “Now it is as such, therefore only for your Clement and Forgiving God observe namaz and offer sacrifice.
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ

Here two definitions are mentioned:
وَانْحَرْ
1- By the term “Vanhar’ is to stand directing the face towards the Qibla ‘the holy ka’ba’ while praying namaz. As the term ‘nahar’ means the throat. Then the Arabs use this term for any kind of combat. Therefore they say:
تتناحر منازلنا
That means our homes are facing each other.
2- To raise the hands while reciting Takbir “ allah o akbar” and bringing the hands till the throat and face. Once jibril alaihis salam told him when the great prophet asked him about the vanhar: The benevolent God commanded you when you enter in the namaz while telling Allah o Akbar raise your both hands .Same way recite takbir “allah o akbar” when you start the ruku or raise your head from ruku or go to prostration, as our namaz and the namaz of the angles too in the seven heavens perform the namaz the same way. And for everything is an ornament, the ornament of namaz is to raise the hands at every takbir.
In a hadis from imam Jafar Sadiq alaihis salam we read, while defining this ayat he indicated towards his holy hands and said: it means that raise the hands like this manner in the start of namaz such a way that the palms should be towards the Qibla (the direction of namaz towards ka’ba).
In the last ayat taking under consideration, the names given by the heads of the polytheists to his Excellency Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and stated: you are not abtar (without future generations and the successor).
شَانِئَ
شنئان
The above term means the hostility, hatred and bad temper. ‘shani’ is the one has these qualities.
شَانِئَ
And ‘shani’ is the person who possesses such qualities.
It is interesting that abtar is the animal who has no tail. The enemies of prophet peace be upon him selected this name to insult and degrade him. While expressing their enmity they were not at all following least respect. That means their enmity was moulded with the brutality and meanness. In fact the honourable Quran declares: This title is for you not for the prophet peace be upon him.
As it is told in the shan e nuzal (regarding the descent of the sura) the Quraish tribe were waiting for the death of the messenger of Islam peace be upon him so that the new Islamic movement could get wind up as soon as possible. As they were stating that he is without any male successor. The honourable Quran illustrates: You are not without any successor but your enemies will remain without any successor.
The points:

1- Fatima (S.A.) and Kausar
As we mentioned Kausar had wide and compact meaning and that is abundant and numerous benefits and its proofs are present to great extent. But most of shia topmost scholars believed one of its most evident sign is the fortunate presence of hazrat Fatima Zahra alaiha salam. As the shan e nuzul (regarding the descent of the sura) of ayaat illuminates: They were blaming the great prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that he is without successor. The noble Quran while negating their statements said: We presented you Kausar.
This term proved that the abundant benefits is the Fatima Zahra alaiha salam as the generation and offspring of the prophet peace be upon him is from this same beloved daughter which spread in the entire world. They were not only the biological children’s of the prophet but also saved his religion as well as the values of Islam and preached them tothe future generation. Not only the infallible imams the generation of the prophet’s peace be upon him, they have their own different status. But thousands and thousands of the of Bibi Fatima’s alaiha salam descendants are spread throughout the world and among them they have been the great and high class scholars, writers, jurists, interpreters, narrators and the remarkable commanders who struggled, sacrificed and with extreme generosity protected the religion of Islam.
Here we encountered with an interesting discussion of Fakhr Razi, he explained while defining the various interpretation of Sura e Kausar: The third saying is that this sura is descended to cast away those who were criticising him for not having a male child. Therefore according to the meaning of this sura, the Merciful God is consoling the prophet peace be upon him That his generation will remain till the period of history. We have to realize the family of great prophet peace be upon him have been killed and martyred throughout the history, in spite of that how a great number of the family members of prophet (peace be upon him)are still flourishing and occupied in this world.
Bani umaiya who were the enemies of Islam, among them no body was left worth praising however you appreciate and see so many famous scholars among the generation of bibi Fatima alaiha salam like Baqir, Sadiq, Reza and Nafs e Zakia.

2- The miracle of this sura
This sura in fact had three enormous predictions. From one side it is informing about the abundant blessing to the messenger peace be upon him. (Though the term ataina
أَعْطَيْنَا
Is defined in the form of the past tense of verb) but possibly it is perfect continues tense in the form of past tense and abundant favour is the entire victories and success which the prophet peace be upon him achieved in upcoming years. While at the time of the descent of this sura at Mecca it was impossible to predict this achievement for them.
From other side the glad tiding is about the Prophet peace be upon him as it was said he will not be remained by a successor but his generation and offspring spread in great number throughout the enire world.
Thirdly it informs that enemies of Islam are abtar, they will be without any successor and with no one behind. And prediction that also proved to be true. The enemies of Islam were in retreated and withdrawn in such a manner that today there is left no sign of them. Whereas the tribes of Bani Umaiya and Bani Abbas those who stood against the prophet peace be upon him and his children, they were uncountable in number and in the case today if there is any person remained from their progeny he is unidentified and unknown.
Why the pronoun is in the plural form about the Supreme God?
Here it is a very interesting thing that in various ayaat of holy Quran the Merciful God addressed in the form of first person in plural and thus said: We blessed you the Kausar (the abundance).
This term and the other terms like it are conveyed to define the immensity and power, as the elders when they are talking about them they express not only themselves but also their representatives and this interprets the power, greatness and the presence of the groups obeying his commands in his service.
In the ayaat under discussion the word:
إِنَّ
It is another word demonstrating the force’
And another word:
أَعْطَيْنَاكَ
Proves that His Majestic the Generous God gifted and presented the Kausar to him and expressed: and it is a magnanimous glad tiding to the great prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, so that before the idle talk of the enemies his holy heart must not get depressed and lethargy and slowness must not penetrate into his ironic will. He must get fully aware that his support is the Merciful God who is the source of every blessing and he reserved the abundant benefits in his possession.
O the Expander God: Please do not leave us portion less by the abundant favours which you had blessed the great prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
O Dominant God: You are well aware that we love dearly his Excellency Muhammad peace be upon him and his progeny please gather and associate us with them.
O Sovereign Lord: The greatness of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is highly elevated. You increase day by day this magnitude, honour, glory and power.
Ameen Ya Rab the Provider of the entire universe.

Source: http://www.imamreza.net/eng

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