Revealed at Makkah.


THESE three verses are said by the best authorities to have been revealed to comfort Muhammad on account of an insult offered him by al As Ibn Wail, who called Muhammad a tailless man, i.e., one having no sons. The opinion of those, who regard the chapter to be Madinic, because they think it refers to the death of Muhammad's son Ibrahim, is wrong. In such a case the taunt would be ridiculous. Probable Date of the Revelations.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

This chapter is one of the oldest in the Quran, and therefore it must be placed among the early Makkan Suras.

Principal Subject.

Muhammad comforted with abundance of goods .. . 1—3


R 1/34.

(1) Verily we have given thee al Kauthar. (2)

(1) Al Kauthar. "This word signifies abundance, especially of good, and thence the gift of wisdom and prophecy, the Quran, the office of intercessor, &c. Or it may imply abundance of children, followers, and the like. It is generally, however, expounded of a river in Paradise of that name, whence the water is derived into Muhammad's pond, of which the blessed are to drink before their admission into


Wherefore pray unto thy LORD, and slay the victims. (3) Verily he who hateth thee shall be childless.

that place. According to a tradition of the Prophet's, this river, wherein his Lord promised him abundant good, is sweeter than honey, whiter than milk, cooler than snow, and smoother than cream; its banks are of chrysolites, and the vessels to drink thereout of silver; and those who drink of it shall never thirst."— Sale.

See also Prelim. Disc., p. 153.

This latter interpretation of Kauthar as a river of Paradise, though old, is, according to Noëldeke, certainly wrong. The word is in reality an adjective meaning "much, ample, in abundance," and not a proper noun.

(2) Slay the victims. "Which are to be sacrificed at the pilgrimage in the valley of Mina. Al Baidháwi explains the words thus: Pray with fervency and intense devotion, not out of hypocrisy; and slay the fatted camels and oxen, and distribute the flesh among the poor; for he says this chapter is the counterpart of the preceding, exhorting to those virtues which are opposite to the vices there condemned."— Sale.

Table of Contents
Answering Islam Home Page