Quran English Translation & Commentary

Surah Al Kawthar

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,Most Merciful

Introduction and Summary

This very brief early Makkan Surah sums up in the single mystic word kawthar (Abundance) the doctrine of spiritual Riches through devotion and sacrifice. The converse also follows: indulgence in hatred means the cutting off all hopes of this life and the Hereafter.

C.288 The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose

To the man of God, rich in divine

Blessing, is granted a Fountain unfailing

That will quench the spiritual thirst of millions.

Turn, then, in devotion and sacrifice to Allah.

Nor heed the venom of Hatred, which destroys

Its own hopes, alas of present and the future!

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ ﴿١﴾

To thee have We granted the Fount (Of Abundance).

C6286. Kawthar literally means "good in abundance".

It is the abundant bounty which Allah bestowed on Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). This includes a river (or fountain) in heaven of this name which Allah has promised the Prophet (peace be on him). [Eds]


فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ ﴿٢﴾

Therefore to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.

C6287. He who grants these blessings is Allah, and to Allah alone must we turn in adoration and thanksgiving, and in sacrifice.

Nahr: sacrifice: in a restricted ritual sense, the sacrifice of camels: see n. 2813 to 22:36.

But the ritual is a mere Symbol. Behind it is a deep spiritual meaning: the meat slaughtered feeds the poor, and the slaughter is a symbol of the self-sacrifice in our hearts.

"It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him" (22:37).


إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ ﴿٣﴾

For he who hateth thee -- he will be cut off (from Future Hope).

C6288. Hatred and spite are not constructive contributions to the work of this world, but its opposites.

Abu Jahl and his Pagan confederates vented their personal spite and venom against the Holy Prophet by taunting him with the loss of his two infant sons by Khadija, but where were these venomous detractors a few years afterwards, when the divine Light shone more brilliantly than ever?

It was these that were cut off from all future hope, in this world and the next.


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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana,

Lahore, Pakistan

Email: cmaj37@gmail.com

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