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Sunday, July 25, 2004  

Interpretation of Surat al-Kawthar In studying chapters and verses of the Qur'an we look for the occasion of revelation, while in the case of the noble Traditions we consider the reason for their transmission. The following has been handed down to us concerning the reason for the revelation of this Sura, entitled al-Kawthar [Abundance], which is the shortest chapter in the whole of the Noble Qur'an: A certain 'As ibn Wa'il once met the blessed Messenger at the gate of the Sacred Mosque, where they held a conversation. When the Prophet left, 'As ibn Wa'il went inside the mosque, where the polytheists asked him whom he had been talking to at the gate. "I spoke to the one cut off," said he. When the Messenger came to hear this, he was most distressed, for "the one cut off" was the name given by the Arabs to a man who either had no male children or whose male offspring had all died. Our Master had seven children, three boys and four girls. Six of them were from the venerable Khadija, while his son Ibrahim was born of a slave-girl called Mariya, who had been presented to him by Muqawqis, the king of Egypt. All but one of these children passed to the world of divine beauty during the lifetime of our Master; he was survived only by the venerable Fatima, who passed to the eternal world six months after him. Since our Master's son Ibrahim had passed to the Hereafter, preceded by two infant half-brothers called Qasim and Tayyib, the Prophet was left with no male children. For this reason the unbelievers had begun to use the expression "the one cut off" in referring to the blessed Messenger. Now 'As ibn Wa'il had also directed this expression at our Master. The noble heart of the Prophet was saddened when he heard this coarse insult. It weighed on him as he came to his felicitous abode, but at that moment this blessed Sura was revealed. We can do no more than try to give a true interpretation of the meaning of this Sura, for of Allah's bounty toward us we can relate only a mere drop from the ocean, an atom from the sun. If all the seas were ink, if all the trees were pens, if heaven and earth were paper and notebooks and if men and angels were scribes, the seas would run dry, the pens would wear out, heaven and earth would be covered with writing, angels and men would be tired to exhaustion, yet the meaning of the word of Allah would not be completely spelled out. Therefore, let us not suppose that the full meaning of this shortest of the Suras can be truly explained by this or any other interpretation that has been given. Let us not imagine that its significance has been exhausted by what our minds have been able to comprehend, for the interpretation of this Sura is no more exhausted by what is understood and written about it, than are the edible bounties of the world exhausted by the filling of our bellies. May Allah grant His assistance to us all. May He let us share in the experience of His Prophets and saints. Ameen, in honor of the Chief of the Messengers. I seek refuge with Allah as I begin my interpretation: The Arabic word inna means We, the Almighty. That is, the One who creates you from a drop of liquid, brings you to life, causes you to die, keeps you alive, lets you eat and drink, makes you see, hear and walk. The Owner, Possessor and Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who gives whatever He wishes to whomever He wishes and takes whatever He wishes from whomever He wishes. I, your Lord. The Arabic word a'taynaka means: "to you, My beloved, My Messenger, I have given—upon you I have bestowed—al-kawthar, abundance. In other words, I have endowed upon you with all good things: the best of the community, the Qur'an, Paradise, the river Kawthar, knowledge, action and honor. I have exalted your name. I have caused your name to be remembered together with My Own in the testimony of faith and in the affirmation of divine Unity. I have caused you to be characterized by My Own attributes. I have remembered you through the affirmation of the Unity of My actions. I have favored you through the affirmation of the Unity of My attributes. I have had you named along with the affirmation of the Unity of My essence. I have given you the praiseworthy station. I have conferred upon you the station of My most great intercession. I have proclaimed that obedience to you is obedience to Me. I have chosen you as My Own dearly beloved. I have given you your dear daughter Fatima so that, through her, you will come to have progeny on the face of the earth more numerous than any other can claim. Whether in this world or the next, no other name will be mentioned more often than yours. I have sent you as a mercy to all worlds. You are the fount of mercy. You are the only one to open to mankind the gate of the way that leads to Me. Those who come to you, come to Me. Those who pass through your door, enter My presence. Through you I am found, meaning that whoever finds you, has found Me. Along with My angels I pronounce your blessings. I have mercy upon all who bless you. Those who remember you, I also remember, immersing them in My pardon and forgiveness. Therefore, in gratitude for all these bounties which I have given you, through your station of servanthood which is the highest of all degrees, perform the ritual prayer by standing, reciting the Qur'an, offering supplication, bowing, glorification and prostration. Fa-salli li-rabbika wa-nhar! "Most beloved of My servants! Perform for My sake a prayer which I accept as an expression of gratitude for the bounties I have given you, and make sacrifice! Display your service to Me with your blessed body and soul and also through the bounties I have bestowed upon you! Expend your property and expend yourself! Sacrifice your goods and your life in My cause!" The words inna shani'aka huwa-l'abtar mean: "in truth, he who calls you 'cut off' is himself the one cut off. For, since he who so offended you also offended Me, I shall multiply your progeny and I shall cut off at the root this man who says that you are without issue. He is the one cut off. He is the one without issue." And so it came to pass. Those who called our Master "cut off", were themselves the ones cut off. Since, in every century, there are four hundred and fifty million Muslims on this earth, the Sayyids and Sharifs among them are innumerable. As for 'As ibn Wa'il and his mates, they were cut off and their progeny disappeared from the face of the earth. To spit into the wind is to spit in one's own face. The descendents of our Master through his beloved daughter, Fatima, have gone on multiplying. Our honored mother, Fatima, was dearly, very, very dearly loved by our Master. According to the noble tradition transmitted by Abu Hurayra from A'isha, the blessed Prophet said: "Fatima is part of me." When Fatima came into his blessed presence, our Master would get up to meet her at the door, hug her to his breast and kiss her on the brow, while she would clasp his hands and kiss them over and over again. One day the Messenger said something to Fatima's ear and she began to weep; then he said something else which cheered her up and made her happy again. When asked about this, she explained: "My dear daddy said to me: 'I shall soon be going to the Lord.' This news made me very sad and I wept, but then he added: 'Of all the people of my household, you will be the first to join me.' and this made me glad." So it actually came to pass. Six months after our Master had gone to the world of Divine Beauty, the venerable Fatima also passed on to the Hereafter. -Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi, Irshad (Wisdom of a Sufi Master)



posted by Abubak'r | 7/25/2004 06:24:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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