108. Al-Kawthar (Abundant Good)
Revealed in Makkah and having three verses, this sūrah takes its name from al-kawthar (unceasing, abundant good) in its first verse. It gives God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, the good tidings that he will be favored with unceasing, abundant blessings, and that those who oppose him and qualify him as one with no posterity will be cut off from every good, as well as from posterity.
In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
1. We have surely granted you (unceasing) abundant good;1
2. So pray to your Lord, and sacrifice (for Him in thankfulness).2
3. Surely it is the one who offends you who is cut off (from unceasing good, including posterity).3
1. By (unceasing) abundant good, the verse means that God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, will be successful in his cause and, in return, will be favored with great blessings both in the world and in the Hereafter. So the word includes the future successes and conquests of Islam, his community’s unparalleled love for the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and their calling God’s blessings and peace on him and praying for him continually. In addition, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, will also be given the right to intercede for all humans in the Hereafter and be raised to the rank of being praised. Again, his Religion will prevail over all other religions and religion-like systems. Both the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and the members of his Community will be favored with great blessings in Paradise.
The (unceasing) abundant good also implies that God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, will have ever-multiplying descendants who will serve his cause ardently. In truth, there is no posterity that approaches his in number, virtue, or serving God’s cause.
2. The Prayer which the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, is ordered to perform by this verse must be the Forenoon (Duhā) Prayer, which, like the Tahajjud Prayer, is obligatory for the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and supererogatory for other Muslims. However, the verse also suggests the Prayer of the Religious Day of Sacrifice (‘Id Prayer), which is done in the forenoon. It was ordered in Madīnah as a necessary act of worship for all Muslims. There are two ‘Id prayers in Islam: ‘Id al-Fitr (marking the end of Ramadān and lasting for three days) and ‘Id al-Adhā (beginning on the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and lasting for four days). By sacrifice the verse means that while God’s Messenger offered sacrifices in thankfulness to God in Makkah, offering a sacrifice during the Religious Festival of Sacrifice was enjoined upon the Muslims as a necessary act of worship in Madīnah. The Muslims who have the required amount of wealth should sacrifice cattle (a sheep or a goat for one person, or a camel, a cow, or an ox up to seven people). Offering a sacrifice is incumbent (wājib) upon every adult Muslim who has the nisāb (the required amount of wealth). The difference between having to pay the Zakāh and sacrificing is that the Zakāh must be paid if the required amount of wealth has been in the possession of the person for one year, while a sacrifice must be offered if the person has had the required or sufficient amount of wealth for only one day. The sacrifice must be made on any of the first three days of ‘Id al-Adhā.
3. The verse, which apparently means that the one who satirizes God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, will be cut off from posterity also suggests that, until the Last Day, those who are like such a one in thought or deed will also be cut off (sooner or later) from posterity; and the anti-Islamic systems they establish or support will not last long.