By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
2 Jan 2015
Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-RaheemInna a 'taina ka-l-KawtharFa salli li-Rabbi-ka wa-nharInna shani' a-ka huwa-l-abtar
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.Lo! We have granted you Al-Kauthar (abundance, a river in Paradise);; So pray unto thy Lord, and sacrifice. Lo! It is thy insulter (and not thou) who is without posterity.
Reason for revelation (Shan-e-Nuzul)
One of the chief pagans in Mecca, Aas Bin Wail met the Prophet (pbuh) on his return from the Ka’aba. After he had a brief conversation with the Prophet (pbuh), he went straight to the chieftains of Quraish tribe who were present around the Ka’aba. When Aas bin Wail met them, they posed a question to him: To whom you were talking? He replied: “to the man who is abtar”. Arabs would call the person who had no son “abtar”. It actually refers to the person who leaves no heir behind him. The pagans began to use this word for the prophet (pbuh) after the demise of his son. Influenced by the pre-Islamic Jahiliyah (ignorance), the Arabs were accustomed to give greater preference to a son than a daughter. It was believed that only a son could carry on with the mission of the father after his death. Therefore, after the demise of the Prophet’s son, the Quraish thought that the cause of the Prophet (pbuh) would come to an end. It is noteworthy that the Prophet (pbuh) had two sons by the names: Qasim and Tahir. They were born to his first wife Hazrat Khadija (r.a), but both of them died at an early age while the Prophet was still in Mecca.
On this occasion, Surah Kauthar was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to console his soul giving him a glad tiding. He is told in the first verse of this Surah that an abundance of infinite bounty, unconditional love, unlimited bliss, wisdom, spiritual intellect and all goodness have been bestowed upon the Prophet (pbuh). The name of this Surah (Al-Kauthar) has been taken from the first verse of it, which reads: “(O Muhammad pbuh) Verily, We have granted you Al-Kauthar” (108:1).
An Important Point to be Taken
Before one proceeds to fathom the different meanings of this verse, one thing is crystal clear. Besides abundance and growth in all degrees of goodness, one of the glad tidings in this verse is related to the progeny that has been bestowed upon the Prophet (pbuh) with his daughter Hazrat Fatima (r.a). Surprisingly enough, it was first time in the history of Arabia that the descendants of a leader were attributed to his daughter rather than his son. This was indeed a revolution in the patriarchal and misogynist Arab society where only the sons could deserve to be legitimate heirs of their father. Daughters were wholly deprived of this basic human right.
Discussing the divergent commentaries on the Surah Kauthar, the authoritative Sunni exegete and theologian Imam Fakhruddin al-Razi, also known as Shaikh al-Mushakkikin (the guide of the skeptics) writes: “this Surah was revealed to cast away those who were criticising the Prophet (pbuh) for not having a male child. According to the meaning of this Surah, the Merciful God is consoling the Prophet (pbuh) that his progeny will remain till the period of history. In the light of this verse, Muslims have to take cognizance of the fact that the family members of the holy Prophet (pbuh) have been killed or martyred throughout the history. But still, as the verse announces, the blessed family of the Prophet (pbuh) is flourishing the world over” (al-Tafseer al-Kabeer lil Imam al-Razi).
Thus, there is a deep rationale behind this “abundance” (Kauthar) that can be understood in its proper historical and social context. But it was no wonder that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) revolutionized the male-chauvinist society with his female progeny, because God had already announced to his Prophet (pbuh): “And soon your Lord will give you, and you will be satisfied” (93:5).
An Array of Commentaries on al-Kauthar
Surah al-Kauthar has been discussed and explained in both the mainstream Sunni and Shia tafsir and more especially in Sufi mystical exegesis of the Qur’an. The Qur’an exegetes of all the different schools of thought in Islam have produced myriad commentaries regarding the true essence of the term ‘Kauthar’ mentioned in this verse. However, they unanimously agree that the abstract connotation of the word ‘Kauthar’ is abundance in progeny and posterity. Although there is a wide array of opinions on the real implication of the term, all exegesis of this Qur’anic verse conclude that it essentially refers to the “endless abundance of goodness” (108:1).
Speaking from the mystical interpretation of the Qur’an, the most notable Sufi interpreters of this verse were the 18th-century Moroccan saint of Sufi Sunni Islamic lineage, Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba (1747–1809), well-known Persian Islamic scholar and author of Tafseer al-Baidawi Allama Abdallah ibn Umar (1226-1260) and the authoritative medieval Shiite exegete of the Qur’an Mahmud ibn Umar Al-Zamakhshari(1074-1144), who subscribed to the Muʿtazilite theological doctrine. They came up with certain spiritual allusions to the ‘abundant goodness’ (Kauthar ) of the Prophet (pbuh) and expanded the verse using Sufi doctrines and precepts, uniting the scriptural words seamlessly with mystical language and experience.
A number of Sufism-inspired and spiritually inclined commentators of this Qur’anic verse maintain that the above verse has endless meanings and connotations. One of them is that Allah bestowed upon the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) generosity of spirit, richness of soul and goodness at heart. Therefore, in his lofty prophetic vision, gold was worthless like a small potsherd. Whosoever is blessed with the special attention of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), he/she becomes wealthy and genersous at heart. It is also mentioned in the Ahadith (prophet’s sayings) that Allah made him wealthy for a special reason: “When we found you a family man, we gave you wealth so that you would be able to take care of your family”. It is stated in a Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari that Allah said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Take care of your family”. The Arabic word “Ayaal” in this hadith means ‘family’. It is derived from the root word in Arabic ‘Aaul’ and not from ‘Eilah’. Thus, it implies that the entire creation is the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He was sent to take care of the entire creation, not just his own family, relatives and friends.
In this context, it is worth mentioning that nearly all the prophets were born poor except the four of them namely, Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham), Hazrat Sulayman (Solomon), Hazrat Dawood (David) and Hazrat Yusuf (Joseph) (peace be upon them all). But, remarkably, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was both poor as well as wealthy. He was sent as an epitome of the collective qualities and traits of all the earlier prophets. For his mission was the reaffirmation and reinvigoration of the earlier prophets’ messages. Since the Prophet (pbuh) was himself an orphan, he was virtually aware of the inflictions and hardships experienced by the orphans. In the era of ignorance, the pagans of Arabia would oppress the orphans by depriving them of their wealth and property. The Prophet (pbuh) not only stopped the unlawful devouring of the orphans’ wealth, but also strongly forbade every act of scolding or chiding to them. Earlier, the Arabs would beat them up in a brutal manner for their nefarious gains. Much in the same way, today in Indian Muslim community, the minor children are deprived of their lawful inheritance from their ancestral property. However, the Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) commands that if the deceased leaves behind minor children, it is haram (completely forbidden) to spend from their wealth on even the Kafan (shroud of the deceased), let alone other things.
It is noteworthy that Allah the Almighty did not send the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in an aristocratic or financially sound family. Rather, he was born at a time when his family was in a state of poverty. It was so because no one could falsify that the advent and spread of Islam were funded by his wealth or supported by the government at that time. In fact, Allah helped and made him generous through the wealth of his beloved wife, Ummul Mu’mineen Khadija, his closest friend Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique and the third Caliph Hazrat Usman Ghani (May Allah be pleased with them) who were impressed by his noble character and hence became the first ambassadors of Islam. From this, we get to learn that Hazrat Khadija (r.a) and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (r.a) were fortunate enough to have been chosen by Allah for the moral and financial support of the Prophet (pbuh). These people were truly fortunate and greatly blessed in rendering paramount services to Islam.
In addition, the verse also means that Allah the Almighty made the Prophet (pbuh) abundantly rich and affluent by assigning to him all the keys of the treasures both in the earth and heaven. In fact, Allah made His prophet the spiritual master of His earth and heaven, as He says: “O Beloved! Verily, We have bestowed upon you an abundance of good” (Surah al-Kauthar 108: 01). In this regard, the holy Qur’an further says: “Allah and His Messenger enriched them out of His Grace (Surah 9: Verse 74). Similarly, the Prophet pbuh says: “I have been given the keys of the treasures of the earth”. On another occasion, he is reported to have said: “If I so desire, the mountains of Gold will walk with me”.
In fact, there has not been and will never be any person wealthier than the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the true sense of the word. In a nutshell, there is no limit to his God-gifted wealth. On the other hand, Allah says to all other kings of the world: “You are poor and needy” (Surah 47: Verse 38).
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a classical Islamic scholar, English-Arabic-Urdu writer, and a Doctoral Research Scholar, Centre for Culture, Media & Governance (JMI Central University). After graduation in Arabic (Hons.), he has done his M. A. in Comparative Religions & Civilizations and a double M.A. in Islamic Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He can be contacted at email@example.com
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Islam and Spiritualism
2:177…spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your
kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for
the ransom of slaves;
(4:36) Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and
do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near,
neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye
meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant,
(17:26) And render to the kindred their due rights, as
(also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in
the manner of a spendthrift.
(30:38) So give what is due to kindred, the needy, and the
wayfarer. That is best for those who seek the Countenance, of Allah, and it is
they who will prosper.
You could describe this as kinship of humanity but the Quran does not use such an expression. The debate can therefore be only on the semantics of who or what is kin but not on the substantive issue of bonding with the entire humanity based on kindness, generosity and justice.
(2) (49:10) The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.
These verses should leave no doubt in our minds that sect-based hostilities are extremely sinful.
“He is the One who caused you to
grow (ansha-akum) from a single self (nafs) and (gave you) a habitation and a
repository. Thus We elaborate the Signs for a people who (are keen to)
“He made for you (ja‘ala lakum), of
yourselves, spouses (azwaj), and made you chidren and descendants from your
spouses and provided you with good provisions …” (16:72).
“And among His signs is that He has
created for you (khalaqa lakum), of yourselves spouses (azwaj), that you may
have tranquility and relief in them,…” (30:21)
“O People! We have created you
(khalaqnakum) as male and female, and made you into races …” (49:13).
“He is the One who created (khalaqa)
the spouses (zaujain) – male and female” (53:44).
A reference has been made to "Durood" in the well written article by Naseer Ahmed Saheb. Interestingly the word Durood is missing from the Quran. Let us examine the issue:
What is DAROOD or SALAWAAT?
The word DAROOD is not Arabic. The word
SALAWAAT is Arabic. It is usually believed that if we read SALAWAAT on Muhammad
[p.b.u.h] for a certain number of times, our sins will be forgiven, so on and
If we see Quran, we come to know that it is
not only human beings who are to do SALAWAAT but Allah, His angels as well as
the prophet [p.b.u.h] also do SALAWAAT on human beings.
Please see the following:
Allah’s SALAWAAT on human beings
2:156 When a calamity befalls them, they do
not waver. Rather, they say, "We are for Allah, dedicated to His Cause and
every step of ours will advance in the Direction shown by Him." (9:159).
2:157 It is they on whom is SALAWAAT from
their Lord [i.e. whom their Lord supports] and blesses with His Grace. And it
is they, they who are guided to the most desirable destination.
The above verse clearly indicates that
SALAWAAT can also be on human beings from Allah. Now does this mean that Allah
reads for a certain time SALAWAAT on people? It does not make sense.
Rasool’s SALAWAAT for human beings
9:103 Accept their contribution for the
community. Purify their thoughts with proper education and training so that
their "Self" may grow. SALLI ALAIHIM [i.e. Help/support/appreciate
them!] Your SALAWAAT [i.e.
support/appreciation/help] is a great
source of peace in their hearts. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
In the above verse Allah has ordered
Muhammad [p.b.u.h] to do SALAWAAT on human beings. Does this mean that Muhammad
[p.b.u.h] reads SALAWAAT on people for a certain number of times? It does not
Allah’s and His Angels’ SALAWAAT on human
33:43 He it is Who bestows His blessings
upon you, and supports you [YUSALLI ALAIKUM], and His angels, that He may bring
you forth from darkness into the Light. And Merciful is He, indeed, to those
who attain belief.
In the above verse Allah and His angles do
SALAWAAT on momineen. Does this mean that Allah and His angels reads SALAWAAT
on people for a certain number of times? It does not make sense.
SALAWAT of human beings for RASOOL
9:99 And among the Bedouins are those who
believe in Allah and the Last Day and consider their spending as a means
towards Allah and a means of SALAWAAT-E-RASOOL [i.e. supporting the Messenger].
This will raise their ranks with Allah. Allah will embrace them with His Mercy.
Verily, Allah is Forgiving, Gracious.
The above verse explains the concept of
SALAWAAT by describing “Spending” as a means of “support”.
Now see the most commonly referred verse
according to which momineen should do SALAWAAT on Muhammad [p.b.u.h]
33:56 Verily, Allah and His angels bless
the Messenger and support his Mission [YUSALLOONA]. O You who have chosen to be
graced with belief! Support his Mission [SALOO ALAIHI] in total submission.
Consider all the above verses and decide
Is SALAWAAT just from Momineen for Muhammad
The answer is no.
The SALAWAAT is also from Allah to human
The SALAWAAT is also from Muhammad
[p.b.u.h] for human beings.
So when Allah does SALAWAAT on human
beings, Does He read something for a certain number of times on human beings?
SALAWAAT is not reading something for a
certain number of times but practically doing something i.e. supporting
Muhammad’s [p.b.u.h] mission by whatever means we can.
It is crystal clear that the prophet (sallallhu alaihi wasallam) was sent as a mercy to the entire world. He took care of the entire creation, not just his own family, relatives and friends. "
This is an important topic which needs to be closed appropriately:
There are two kinds of kinship that the Quran speaks about:
<!1.Based on the sharing of genes or based on blood relationships
<!2.Based on sharing of the faith of Islam and being a follower of the Prophets of Islam.
On the second kind of kinship that we share with each other, the Quran has the following verse:
(3:103) And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah´s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.
(49:10) The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.
The second kind of kinship is placed above the first kind of kinship in verse 9:24 in the limited context of striving in the cause of Allah:
(9:24) Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.
As it concerns all the Prophets and the Prophetic mission, it is only the second kind of kinship that is recognized:
(3:68) Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, as are also this Prophet and those who believe: And Allah is the Protector of those who have faith.
The nearest of kin to Abraham are not described as his progeny or spouse or parents or blood relatives but those who follow him including Prophet Muhammad.
The relevant kinship between a Prophet and the people is only one of following and those who follow the Prophet more closely are closer in kinship. The kinship of marriage and blood relations although a fact and undeniable, is insignificant in the presence of the much stronger kinship of following. It is for this reason that the kinship of blood relations and of marriage is ignored even in the matter of inheritance of material goods on the death of the Prophet. All things material things belonging to a Prophet also belong to the community of the Prophet’s followers and none of it is automatically passed on to his relations by blood or marriage.
What the Messengers of Allah get from their followers is only the kinship of a follower which includes obedience, love, honour, invoking of Allah’s blessings, and help in the cause of Allah. It is this kinship that is the subject of verse 42:23
Sahih International: It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.
The verses that elaborate on the meaning of the kinship between the Messenger and his followers are many, such as:
(33:6) The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers…..
(33:40) Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.
33:57 Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! you also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace.
(24:51) The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will attain felicity.
(24:54) Say: "Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger´s duty is only to preach the clear (Message).
(24:62) Only those are believers, who believe in Allah and His Messenger: when they are with him on a matter requiring collective action, they do not depart until they have asked for his leave; those who ask for thy leave are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger; so when they ask for thy leave, for some business of theirs, give leave to those of them whom thou wilt, and ask Allah for their forgiveness: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(24:63) Deem not the summons of the Messenger among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another: Allah doth know those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse: then let those beware who withstand the Messenger´s order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them.
Respect and honour
(49:1) O Ye who believe! Put not yourselves forward before Allah and His Messenger; but fear Allah: for Allah is He Who hears and knows all things.
(2) O ye who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not.
(3) Those that lower their voices in the presence of Allah´s Messenger,- their hearts has Allah tested for piety: for them is Forgiveness and a great Reward.
(4) Those who shout out to thee from without the inner apartments - most of them lack understanding.
(5) If only they had patience until thou couldst come out to them, it would be best for them: but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Verse 3:103 speaks about the bonding between the followers of the Messenger of Allah and verse 9:24 places this bond above other bonds of marriage and blood relationships in the limited context of serving the cause of Allah. Otherwise, for ordinary mortals, the Quran recognizes the demands of the bonds of marriage and blood relationships because of which it has ordained laws of inheritance and according a higher priority to kin of blood relationship in our charity.
Now, as far as Surah Al-Kauthar is concerned, it should be evident that the Messenger of Allah has been granted great abundance in the matter of kinship and heirs (following) even without sons, and it is his detractors who are without heirs (following) although they had numerous sons since their progeny rejected their faith and adopted the faith of the Messenger of Allah.
On the Subject of Loving and honoring the family of the Prophet:
The family of the Prophet is on an equal footing with the rest of the followers of the Messenger of Allah and deserves to be loved and respected just as any other person from the Ummah of the Prophet. The Quran does not grant any special privileges based on blood relationships with the Prophet. There is not even a single verse in the Quran that confers any merit on a person based on lineage. Among the sons of Prophet Yaqub (AS) was Yusuf (AS) and also his brothers who were any enemy to Yusuf (AS). Noah’s son drowned as a disbeliever.
13:49 Verily the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.
Nobody is honourable in the sight of Allah based on his lineage alone.
It is important to understand this well because those who flaunt this understanding have brought the caste system into Islam besides the fact that the splitting of the Ummah into the Shia and Sunni sects is also based on the same issue of giving precedence to kinship of blood over the kinship of following. Read the following excellent article on the subject
Caste System among Indian Muslims, Slave Dynasty and Historian Ziauddin Barni
Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam
I agree with Gholam Ghaus Sahab's concluding remark: "It is crystal clear that the prophet (sallallhu alaihi wasallam) was sent as a mercy to the entire world. He took care of the entire creation, not just his own family, relatives and friends."
I also agree with Naseer Sahab that it is most ridiculous to assume that God would be telling the Prophet to ask the people to love the Prophet’s relatives as a reward for the Prophet’s mission to mankind.
The verses is interpreted as follows in my jt. exeg. work:
"This verse dating from the Meccan period has a very clear message: the Prophet is asking his close friends and relatives (qurba) from among his hostile audience, to extend him the love and respect that he expected from them:
“…I do not ask you any payment for this except love from (fi) the relatives (al-qurba)…”
However, if the particle fi is rendered as ‘to’, instead of ‘from’ the verse can be read as a call to all Muslims to show love and respect ‘to’ the Prophet’s relatives and descendents. While technically, such a rendering may not be wrong, the Qur’an does not offer any illustration to support any claim to exclusivity or spiritual supremacy by the Prophet’s descendents. In fact, the Qur’an’s clear illustrations rule out any such notion:
i.Over a score of Qur’anic verses tell us that neither the Prophet Muhammad, nor any other prophet expected any payment or special favor from their people for themselves or their descendents.
ii. Some verses state this in the affirmative:2 “…I do not ask of you any payment…”; “...You do not ask them for any payment (ajara)…”.
iii. Others put this in the interrogative: “Do you (O Prophet) ask them for a payment (ajara)...?”3 “Do you (O Prophet) ask them for a recompense (kharaja) …?”4
iv. Not a single verse in the Qur’an is suggestive of a prophet asking for a payment or a special favor from his people for himself or his descendents.
v. There are verses5 affirming that the Prophets Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Shu‘ayb did not expect any payment or special favor from their people for themselves or their descendents.
vi. Through scores of verses (Ch. 16), the Qur’an makes it absolutely clear that every soul, whether male or female will be judged by God on the basis of faith, and deeds.
vii. The Qur’an further declares that no one can intercede with God, except as He Wills.6 This spirit is also reflected in God’s disapproval of Prophet Noah’s prayer for the forgiveness of his pagan son.7
From all these illustrations, it is absolutely clear that there is no Qur’anic basis to extending any special favor or according any spiritual superiority to an individual just because he or she is, or claims to be, a descendant of the Prophet,
Dear Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi sahib,
Pleased to read your article. We Muslims claim to love our prophet Muhammad sallallhu alaihi wasallam, but while introspecting, I find we are not fulfilling requirements of love towards him. We claim we love Allah Almighty and the prophet Sallallhu alaihi wasallam, but we do not try to know how love is done. This love is only possible when we fulfil the commands of Allah Almighty and Sunnah of the prophet Sallallhu alaihi wasallam. With that we should also advance in thinking that every kind of love has to face some kind of prejudice and irritation from those who do not like the love.
You wrote, “It is stated in a Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari that Allah Almighty said to the Prophet (Sallallhu alaihi wasallam): “Take care of your family”. The Arabic word “Ayaal” in this hadith means ‘family’. It is derived from the root word in Arabic ‘Aaul’ and not from ‘Eilah’. Thus, it implies that the entire creation is the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He was sent to take care of the entire creation, not just his own family, relatives and friends”.
This is why when Hazrat Fatimah came to Hazrat Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with them) and demanded her share in the inheritance, Hazrat Abu Bakr said, "The Messenger of Allah Almighty said, "We leave no inheritance, what we leave behind us is sadaqah." I shall make provisions for those for whom the Prophet had made." (Sahih Muslim).
Hazrat A'isha (May Allah be pleased with her) also reports: “When the Messenger of God died, his wives made up their minds to send Uthman ibn Affan (as their spokesman) to Abu Bakr to demand from him their share from the legacy of the Holy Prophet. (At this), Aisha said to them: Hasn't the Messenger of God said: "We (Prophets) do not have any heirs; what we leave behind is (to be given in) charity"? (Sahih Muslim)
It is important to note that love towards the family (Ahle-bayt) of the prophet (sallallhu alaihi wasallam) is incumbent upon Muslims. There are number of Ahadith including Mutawatir hadith, which are testimony to the love of the prophet Muhammad (sallallhu alaihi wasallam) towards Ahlebay’t, including Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Fatima, Hazrat Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (May Allah be pleased with all of them).
It is crystal clear that the prophet (sallallhu alaihi wasallam) was sent as a mercy to the entire world. He took care of the entire creation, not just his own family, relatives and friends.
As for verse 42:23,
there are several varying translations but the correct meaning is derived below
with the help of verse 3:68:
International: It is that of which Allah
gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O
Muhammad], "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good
will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase
for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.
Pickthall: This it is which Allah announceth unto His bondmen who
believe and do good works. Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I ask of you no fee
therefor, save lovingkindness among kinsfolk. And whoso scoreth a good deed We
add unto its good for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Responsive.
Ali: That is (the Bounty) whereof Allah
gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say:
"No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of
kin." And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good
in respect thereof: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate
Shakir: That is of which Allah gives the good news to His
servants, (to) those who believe and do good deeds. Say: I do not ask of you
any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We
give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.
Sarwar: This is the glad news which God
gives to His servants, the righteously striving believers. (Muhammad), say,
"I do not ask you for any payment for my preaching to you except (your)
love of(my near) relatives." Whoever achieves virtue will have its merit
increased. God is All-forgiving and Appreciating.
Khan: That is (the Paradise) whereof Allah
gives glad tidings to His slaves who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic
Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "No reward
do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you."
And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good
in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate
(the deeds of those who are obedient to Him).
Arberry: That is the good tidings God gives to His servants who
believe and do righteous deeds. Say: 'I do not ask of you a wage for this,
except love for the kinsfolk; and whosoever gains a good deed, We shall give
him increase of good in respect of it. Surely God is All-forgiving,
What is the nature of the kinship that is the
subject of the verse? Let us see another verse 3:68
(3:68) Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin
to Abraham, are those who follow him, as are also this Prophet and those who
believe: And Allah is the Protector of those who have faith.
The nearest of kin to Abraham are not described as his
progeny or spouse or parents or blood relatives but those who follow him
including Prophet Muhammad. So it is not the love of one’s blood relatives that
is being talked about in verse 42:23 but the love of kinship between a prophet
and his followers. Sahih International and Mohsin Khan come closest to the
correct meaning. Picthall, Yusuf Ali and Arberry err in taking kinship to mean familial
bonds or blood relationships. Shakir and Muhhamad Sarwar think that it is the
love for the Prophet’s relatives that is being demanded as a reward. It is most
ridiculous to assume that God would be telling the Prophet to ask the people to
love the Prophet’s relatives as a reward for the Prophet’s mission to mankind.
Those who follow the Prophet more closely are closer
in kinship to the Prophet. Claims of blood relationships are not the subject of
GRD's comment has no relevance to
what I have said in my comment. My comment is entirely composed of verses from
the Quran that directly demolishes what I have quoted from GRD's article.
The degree of Love that one has for
the Prophet is indeed a measure of one’s faith.
'If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your
kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a
decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or
the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision:
and Allah guides not the rebellious." (9:24)
The love and concern that the
Prophet has for his ummah is far beyond what the Ummah is capable by way of
Surely, a Messenger has come unto
you from among yourselves; grievous to him is that you should fall into
trouble; he is ardently desirous of your welfare;
and to the believers he is compassionate, merciful.
The least that
we can do to show our love is to send durood on the Prophet and follow the
Allah and His angels send
blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! you also should
invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation
All this love should not however
lead us to deify the Prophet contradicting the Quran itself as I have shown in
my previous comment.
There is not even a single verse in
the Quran that confers any merit on a person based on lineage. Among the sons
of Prophet Yaqub (AS) was Yusuf (AS) and also his brothers who were any enemy
to Yusuf (AS). Noah’s son drowned as a disbeliever.
the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing,
honourable in the sight of Allah based on his lineage alone.
Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb,
Should we have so much interest in his progeny? Are we reading too much in this surah?
Let me humbly and very modestly respond:
Islam is religion of "Muwaddat"
love for the "zawil qurba" (family of the Prophet) (Surah Shura
Let's understand what does exactly the spiritual
word "Muwaddat" means in the Qur'anic terminology and context:
The Holy Qura'n says:
الَّذِي يُبَشِّرُ اللَّهُ عِبَادَهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ
ۗ قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ ۗ وَمَنْ
يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ
"Qul la as
alukum alaiha ajran illal "mawaddata" fil qurba" (Surah Shura
"That is (the
Bounty) whereof Allah gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do
righteous deeds. Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love
of those near of kin." And if anyone earns any good We shall give Him an
increase of good in respect thereof: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Ready to
In the very beginning
of the verse, it has been explained that it is the greatest blessing of God that
a reward has been asked for. If we read the full verse as one subject, it
clearly and repeatedly describes that whosoever will practice muwaddat, will be
rewarded much more. So it is nothing to loose when we practice muwaddat, rather
it is a channel to earn huge rewards. You do a small act but you earn huge
prizes. So by doing muwaddat we do a business with unlimited profits. Doing
muwaddat is not a favour to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or his family. Rather,
it is the favour upon oneself that Allah has demanded as a duty with huge
In Arabic we have
three words, Ulfat, Muhabbat and Muwaddat. All three are generally considered
similar in meanings and we understand these as love and affection. But there is
a classical difference in all the three words.
A person possesses three
kinds of wealth: 1 Money and materials, 2 Body and Self, 3 self-esteem and
Ulfat is the love
where one sacrifices money and materials only.
Muhabbat is the love
where one sacrifices money, materials, body and self.
Muwaddat is the love
where one sacrifices all the three kinds
A Muslim has to
sacrifice all sorts of his belongings for the Family of the Prophet (pbuh). And
remember that his Family is not limited to only Ahl-e-Bayt, rather it is
extended to all mankind. I have made this point clear above in my article:
It is stated in a Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari that Allah said
to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Take care of your family”. The Arabic word
“Ayaal” in this hadith means ‘family’. It is derived from the root word in
Arabic ‘Aaul’ and not from ‘Eilah’. Thus, it implies that the entire
creation is the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He was sent to take
care of the entire creation, not just his own family, relatives and friends.
Dear Naseer Ahmad and Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheban,
It is crystal clear that you have not tried to properly comprehend this article. Kindly read between the lines and please don't get into polemics. Surah Al-Kauthar teaches us to love the whole mankind as a family of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as he did. It does not behoove us to fan the fire of sectarianism, in any case.
May Allah save the Ummah from fruitless polemics which leads to only destruction and division, rather than Da'wah and Salam.
For your kind attention, I am quoting a verse along with a hadith report to clarify my belief concerning the matter:
The Holy Qur'an says in its verse 81 of Surah Al-Zukhruf:
Say (O Muhammad (PBUH): "If the Most Beneficent (Allah) had a son (or children as you pretend), then I am the first of Allah’s worshippers [who deny and refute this claim of yours (and the first to believe in Allah Alone and testify that He has no children)]."
It says again in the verse 82 of the same chapter:
"Glorified be the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He is free from all that they ascribe (to Him)."
According to the canonical exegesis (Tafseer)of Al Zukhruf (The Gold Adornments) the above mentioned verses, 81 and 82, imply that the holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH does not object to true worship in any form. But he is exhorted to proclaim that one must not superstitiously attribute derogatory things to God, or foster false ideas.
It clearly enjoin that all sorts of Power, Authority, Knowledge, and Truth are originally with Allah. He neither begets nor is begotten. Glory to Him!
In this context, there is a hadith, a tradition reported to Prophet (pnuh):
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Keep away from the seven fatalities” It was asked: "What are they, O Messenger of Allah?'' He replied, "Associating anything with Allah in worship, sorcery, killing of one whom Allah has declared inviolable without a just cause, devouring the property of an orphan, the eating of usury (Riba), fleeing from the battlefield and accusing chaste believing women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity.''
[Al-Bukhari Book 04, Chapter 51, Hadith # 028]