Surah Balad (Arabic:سورة البلد) is one of the most famous surahs in the Holy Quran where Allah was taking to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to convey its message not only to Muslims in Mecca and to his companions, but also to the whole of Mankind.
Allah started many surahs in the Holy Quran with swearing to indicate that the meaning to be delivered from these surahs is very important.
In surat Balad Allah swore by a certain “City”, as “Balad” in Arabic means “City”, and here the City Allah swore by is Mecca, where Prophet Muhammed had grown up and dwelled in for the most of his life, then returned to it as a conqueror afterwards.
Swearing by Mecca gives Mecca great importance as a sacred place from the days of Prophet Ibrahim the father of prophets and this holiness will continue until the end of the world because Mecca “Bay to Allah Al-Haram” is the holy land where Kabba is located.
Meaning of surah balad
Surat balad is the 90th surah in the order of Suras of the Quran in Chapter 30, with 20 verses (Ayat) and 82 words.
The main message Allah delivered to his messenger Prophet Muhammed through Surah Al Balad is that people from the moment of humanity’s creation have to work hard with no rest because life was never meant to be a place for rest or utmost happiness, so people will suffer to do their best in this life in order to obtain the eternal happiness in the afterlife.
Allah is reminding the whole of Mankind that He blessed you by giving hearing and sight to you, but you have to know that Allah is witnessing your actions and whether you will use these blessings to do good or you will turn out to do evil.
Always remember that Allah the most powerful is capable at any time of destroying you and ruining your bad deeds and returning you to nothing as you were before.
It is your choice to choose the right path to spend your life and money on good deeds or not, but you have to be sure that you will face the consequences of your own choice in the end.
According to this choice, believers, in the end, will rest in heaven while all disbelievers and infidels will end up in hell where they will be locked up firmly in the great fire and won’t be able to get out of it.
Surah Balad read online
Where was surah Balad revealed?
Surah Al Balad (Arabic: سوره البلد ) was agreed among the most Muslim scholars that Al Balad was revealed in Mecca according to its composition characteristics which resemble the characteristics of all Meccan surahs and these characteristics are:
2-The reason for creation and the purpose of the existence of Man in this life and what he is created for.
3-Allah is the dominion of the whole universe and his power upon his creature is limitless in life, death, and afterlife.
4-Creatures are very weak against the greatness of Allah.
5-Consequences of man’s choice, believers will face bliss in paradise, while disbelievers will be tortured in the hellfire.
Why was surah al Balad revealed?
Opinions were different about the reason for the revelation of Al Balad Surah, some Islamic scholars mentioned that Allah the Almighty revealed it for a number of reasons. Among its verses were those that were revealed to remind people of the horrors of the Day of Resurrection and the events and hardships that take place in it, such as people emerging from graves and spreading like butterflies flying from the intensity of fear, as only a person with good deeds can overcome them. It also explained the difference between the believers and the unbelievers on the day of the greatest terror, and how the happy and the miserable will be on that day.
Others mentioned that the reason for the revelation of the whole surah Balad was not introduced before in particular, but they had documented that:
In verse 6 of al Balad surah, Allah said: “ He says I am spending a great wealth” the narration about that verse was that it was about a man called Aba Al Ashad who spread rumors in Mecca that he spent his wealth in enmity to Prophet Muhammad and he was very proud of that.
In verse 7 Allah said: “He thought that no one saw him”.
And in verse 8 Allah challenged him by his creation: “ Aren’t we who create his eyes, tongue, and two lips”.
This means that Allah the Almighty is reminding him of his weakness and he was nothing before and Allah created him from nothingness.
So Allah who created him easily is capable to turn him to dust like he was in the beginning.
When was surah al balad revealed?
The style of balad surah matches the style of those earliest Surahs revealed at Mecca, but it contains some pointers that indicate it was sent down in the period when the disbelievers of Makka had determined to oppose Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and made it lawful for themselves to be cruel and oppressive against him.
Why the surah was named al balad?
Balad Surah gets its name from the First Verse, whereupon Allah swears by the honored holy city of Mecca, the residing place of the prophet of mercy.
And The Companions of The Prophet (May Allah be pleased with them) were used to name Surahs by words used in surahs compositions to mark every Surah from the other, so they used the word “Al Balad” to mark and distinguish it from others.
What is the main theme of surah balad?
The main theme of Al Balad could be summarized as follows:
Firstly, Allah is swearing by Mecca his Holy City, and the human being and his offspring that He created and honored. Starting surah Balad by this swear is giving a hint about the greatness of Allah and directs Mankind to be humble before Allah’s glory.
Then Allah conveys a message to Man that life is a place of hard work and tiredness, how Man is so ignorant to forget that Allah is his creator and witness? And how come that Man supposes that nothing can defeat him nor can judge his actions.
Allah The Almighty creator, created us and showered us with His blessings, advised us to pick the correct path which will lead to heaven, and warned us from choosing the evil path which will end up in hell when he mentioned both ways in surat Balad to enlighten our minds.
In the end, Allah reminds us of the consequences of our own choices.
Surah Balad benefits
Many lessons were introduced in al Balad surah and they are:
1-Honoring Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) by mentioning his residential place Mecca in this surah.
2-Highlighting the fact that this life is just a place for trial and an exam for mankind and real life will be in heaven if he succeeded in his exam.
3-Reminding people by the power of Allah the almighty and that he is controlling the whole universe, and the human is weak so he must not feel arrogant and must always direct to Allah and ask for his help.
4-We have to obey Allah to be among the winners of his mercy and kindness in the end.
5-Being keen to do charity; like spending money feeding the poor and taking care of orphans to be loved by Allah.
Surah al balad tafseer
Hereunder we will go together through balad surah interpretation (Tafseer) verse by verse :
1-Allah swore with the City of Mecca “Al Balad”, indicating that it is a sacred and holy place until the day of resurrection.
وَأَنْتَ حِلٌّ بِهَذَا الْبَلَدِ (2)
2-Allah mentioned to Prophet Muhammad PBUH, that this City is his residence place.
وَوَالِدٍ وَمَا وَلَدَ (3)
3-Allah swore with the father of mankind and his offspring (meaning Adam).
لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ (4)
4-Allah created Man in suffering to reach the ultimate goal of happiness in the afterlife.
أَيَحْسَبُ أَنْ لَنْ يَقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ أَحَدٌ (5)
5-Man thought that no one could defeat him.
يَقُولُ أَهْلَكْتُ مَالًا لُبَدًا (6)
6-He said I spent a great wealth.
أَيَحْسَبُ أَنْ لَمْ يَرَهُ أَحَدٌ (7)
7-He thought that no one saw him.
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلْ لَهُ عَيْنَيْنِ (8)
8-Allah said: “Didn’t I give him two eyes?”
وَلِسَانًا وَشَفَتَيْنِ (9)
9-Allah continued asking “ And tongue, and two lips?”
وَهَدَيْنَاهُ النَّجْدَيْنِ (10)
10-Allah showed him the 2 ways, one way is directing to heaven and the other way is leading to hell and it is up to his choice.
فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ (11)
11-Allah is addressing man by asking: “Why man doesn’t overcome the obstacle, “ horrors of the resurrection day”.
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ (12)
12-And everybody knows what is the obstacle (meaning it is very clear to everybody).
فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ (13)
13-Allah continued: “freeing a slave by spending money is a way to overcome the obstacle”.
أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ (14)
14-Other way to overcome the obstacle is by feeding people on a tough crucial day when people are in great need.
يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ (15)
15-And also feeding an orphan from your relatives.
أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ (16)
16-Or feeding the poor.
ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ (17)
17-And he was one of the believers, who are recognized for advising each other to be patient and to be merciful together.
أُولَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ (18)
18-Who will do all mentioned good deeds will deserve to be owners of the right way (meaning owners of paradise).
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِنَا هُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ (19)
19-And those who disbelieved in our verses (Ayat) will deserve the Hellfire and this is a great misfortune.
عَلَيْهِمْ نَارٌ مُؤْصَدَةٌ (20)
20-They will be locked up firmly in this hell where they can never escape.
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Hadith on Surah balad
Al Balad is one of the surahs in which there are no hadiths indicating its virtue, but Allah Almighty has designated a great reward for reading the Quran. It is known that the Quran will help its companion to overcome the obstacles of the day of resurrection, and whoever reads the Quran will be elevated in status and his good deeds will increase. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Read the Quran, And it will be an intercessor for its companions during the day of Judgement.
So we can find that the merit of Surah Balad is that it has a reward for recitation like the rest of the recitation of the Holy Quran because reading a letter in the Quran is a good deed and a good deed is ten times as much.
Summary of Surat Balad and conclusion
Lessons learned from balad sura are introduced through a few verses presenting the whole story of Mankind and reflecting how man on this earth thinks of himself and how he treats the facts Allah created in this universe.
al Balad Surah mentioned the holiness of Mecca and how it is important as well as the importance of Man and his duties towards Allah and his life.
After that, it showed us showing the greatness of Allah against the weakness of Man.
Allah showered us with blessings like hearing and sight and he is witnessing how Man is using these blessings and to him, he will return and Allah will reward him according to his actions.
According to Man’s choice and actions, his destiny will be determined in the end, either he will be an owner of heaven and paradise or he will be an owner of the hellfire.
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