Al-Kauthar in the Holy Quran means Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.)
“In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Verily We have given you (O Muhammad) Kauthar.
So pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice.
Verily it your enemy whose line (progeny) shall be cut off”. (108: 1-3)
Purpose of Revelation
One day ‘Aas bin Wael, who was one of the leaders of the Mushrikeen of Makkah saw the Holy Prophet (saw) coming out of Masjidul-Haraam. Therefore, he stopped and conversed with him for some while. Meanwhile, some other elders of Mushrikeen who were inside the mosque, were observing this. When the conversation was over and ‘Aas came inside the mosque, the group asked, “O ‘Aas! Whom were you chatting to?” He responded by saying, “With that person who is Abtar”.
Abtar means “Tail-less” – a person whose progeny has been cut off. The Holy prophet (saw) had two sons from Khadeeja (as) namely Qasim and Tahir. Since both of them had died, leaving the prophet without any sons, the pagan Arabs started calling the prophet (saw) Abtar.
As a consolation to the Prophet (saw), Surah al-Kauthar was revealed. There are several meanings of al-Kauthar:
Meaning of Al-Kauthar
It is recorded in al-Bukhari, al-Muslim, Musnad of Ahmed ibn Hanbal and other Sunni books that the Holy Prophet (saw) said: “Kauthar is a stream of super excellence exclusively belonging to me. Only the righteous believers (among my followers) will be allowed to drink from it. Ali (as) will distribute water from it to them. On the day of Judgement, I will see some of my companions driven like cattle away from Kauthar. It will be announced that they are those, who after my departure from the world, deviated from the true religion and introduced innovations to corrupt the faith”.
From that day onwards, Ali (as) became known as Saaqi-e-Kauthar meaning one who quenches the thirst of believers from the stream of Kauthar.
Kauthar also means Kheire-katheer “Bounties in abundance”. Allah (SWT) bestowed the Holy Prophet (saw) plenty of bounties such as prophethood, Holy Quran, companions, rulership, success in battles, acceptance and entrance of people into the fold of Islam in large numbers etc.
However, many Shia scholars say that because in the last verse of this Surah, Allah (SWT) says, “Verily it is your enemy whose progeny shall be cut off” this by itself proves that Kauthar is also in reference to the most beloved daughter of the Messenger of Allah, Seyyida Fatimah az-Zahra (as) through whom Allah (SWT) gave His beloved prophet (saw) abundance of descendants.
Female Born are Blessings
Before Islam, giving birth to a female child was considered as source of disgrace and burden.
“And when anyone of them is given the news of a daughter his face turns black, he is filled with anger. And he hides himself from the people because of the evil of the news given to him (wondering) should he keep her with disgrace, or bury her (alive) in the dust. Behold! (how) evil is what they judge”. (16:58-59)
Many Arabs opted to bury their female child to save themselves from disgrace:
“And when the girl (buried alive) is asked; For what sin was she put to death”. (81:8-9)
Whereas the Arabs used to hanker for male offspring, whom they believed ensured continuity of their progeny.
The Holy Prophet (saw) said: “Blessed is that woman who first gives birth to a daughter and then to a son”. He (saw) also said: “Twelve graces descend over the person’s house where there are daughters. Heavenly blessings are showered on that house and angels visit that house for a glimpse”.
A man was sitting with the Holy Prophet (saw) when someone came and told him, “A daughter has been born to you”. There was a visible sign of dislike on his face, so the Holy Prophet (saw) said, “The earth bears her, the heavens shade her and the Almighty gives her food. For you, she is like a flower, smell her fragrance”.
Treatment of Fatimah(A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (saw) accorded his daughter with highest respect and always showered her with love and kindness. Whenever, she came in his presence, the Holy Prophet (saw) stood up in her respect.
He (saw) called her Umme Abeehaa meaning “The mother of her father”. He (saw) also said: “Fatimah is part of me, whoever offends her has offended me”.
Even after Fatimah (as) was married to Ali (as), the Holy Prophet (saw) continued showing love to her and her family. He (saw) would frequently visit her and it was his tendency that whenever he went on a journey, he would first bid farewell to his wives and then come to the house of his beloved daughter from where he would begin his travel. On return, he would first come to greet Fatimah (as) and then go to others.
Haroon ar-Rasheed once asked Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as), “Why do you call yourselves as descendants of the Holy Prophet (saw) when you are actually the descendants of Ali (as)? Men are traced to their fathers and the Holy Prophet (saw) was your maternal grandfather”. Imam (as) replied: “In Quran, Allah (SWT) says: and among his progeny (are) Dawood, Sulayman, Ayyub, Yusuf, Musa and Haroon. Thus We reward those who do good. And Zakariyyah, Yahya, Issa and Ilyaas…
Who is Issa’s father? He is considered among the prophet’s offspring through Maryam. Likewise, we are the offspring of the Holy Prophet (saw) through our mother Fatimah”.