NAME: البلد, Al-Balad.
Name taken from Verse 1 where there is a mention of the word ”Balad”.
١ لَا أُقْسِمُ بِهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ
1 I swear by this city, Makkah
But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.
ENGLISH NAME: The City.
CHAPTER NUMBER: 90
SURAH BALAD TOTAL VERSES: 20
SURAH BALAD TOTAL WORDS: 82
TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 70
TOTAL LETTERS: 342
Meccan, Approx. 617 – 619 AD.
God, Prophet Muhammad, Companions of the right, Companions of the Left.
SURAH BALAD MAIN TOPICS:
God Created Man Into Hardship And Shown Him Two Ways, Man Avoid The Difficult Path of Good Deeds, Traits Of Companions Of Right And Left Hand.
SURAH BALAD KEY VERSES:
١ لَا أُقْسِمُ بِهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ
1 I swear by this city, Makkah –
٢ وَأَنْتَ حِلٌّ بِهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ
2 And you, [O Muhammad], are free of restriction in this city –
٤ لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ
4 We have certainly created man into hardship.
١١ فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ
11 But he has not broken through the difficult pass.
SUMMARY OF TOPICS
1-5(God Swears By The City Where Muhammad Lives, And By Father And Its Progeny, We Created Man Into Hardship, Does he think that never will anyone overcome him?), 6-10 (God Created Man And Shown Him Two Ways),11-16(Man Avoid The Difficult Path I.E Freeing Of Slave, Feeding Poor And Helping The Needy), 17-20(Traits Of Companions Of Right Hand And Companions of Left Hand)
SURAH BALAD BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACKGROUND
This Surah has 20 verses. It takes its name from verse 1: “لَا أُقْسِمُ بِهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ” ( I swear by this city) where the word “البلد” meaning “The City” appears. This Surah was revealed in Mecca most probably in a middle stage of Prophet Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca when persecution had already started.
The Surah begins with an Oath/swear of Two things: “The City” and “By the Begetter and that which he Begot”. It talks about the different stages of human life. This world is not the place of real rest and comfort. It is not a place where man will live forever and enjoy life, but here he has been created into labor and struggle. Here is the test of human beings to do good deeds, and then the final judgment will be in the Hereafter. Each person is granted with two different paths, one towards the right, the other towards the wrong, and each individual is able to exercise free will by choosing his own path.
Khusayf reported from Mujahid;
لَآ أُقۡسِمُ بِہَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَلَدِ
The word “La” (Nay) refers to the refutation against Meccans.
Ibn Abbas narrated that, لَآ أُقۡسِمُ بِہَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَلَدِ The City means Makkah.”
Concerning the verse: وَأَنتَ حِلُّۢ بِہَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَلَدِ And you are free in this city,
Ibn Abbas, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Said bin Jubayr, Ad Dahhak, and Ibn Zayd said it means that “O Muhammad! It is permissible for you to fight in it.”
In a detailed Hadith its narrated that prophet said:
إِنَّ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ حَرَّمَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّموَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلَى يَوْم الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يُعْضَدُ شَجَرُهُ وَلَا يُخْتَلَى خَلَاهُ، وَإِنَّمَا أُحِلَّتْ لِي سَاعَةٌ مِنْ نَهَارٍ، وَقَدْ عَادَتْ حُرْمَتُهَا الْيَوْمَ كَحُرْمَتِهَا بِالْأَمْسِ، أَلَا فَلْيُبَلِّغِ الشَّاهِدُ الْغَائِب
Verily, God made this city sacred on the Day that He created the heavens and the earth. Therefore, it is holy by the sanctity of God until the Day of Judgement. Its trees should not be uprooted, and its bushes and grasses should not be removed. Moreover, it was only made lawful for me (to fight in) for one hour of a day. Today its sanctity has been restored just as it was sacred yesterday. So, let the one who is present inform those who are absent. In another wording of this Hadith, the narrater said,
فَإِنْ أَحَدٌ تَرَخَّصَ بِقِتَالِ رَسُولِ اللهِ فَقُولُوا: إِنَّ اللهَ أَذِنَ لِرَسُولِهِ وَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لَكُم
So, if anyone tries to use the fighting of the Prophet (to conquer Mecca) as an excuse (to fight there), then tell him that God sanctioned it for His Prophet and He has not permitted it for you.
Concerning God’s statement, وَوَالِدٍ۬ وَمَا وَلَدَ And by the begetter and that which he begot.
Mujahid, Ad Dahhak, Abu Salih, Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, and others have said, “Meaning, by the begetter, Adam, and that which he begot is his children.” This is supported by the fact that God swears by the Mother of the Towns, which are dwellings. Then after it, He swears by the dwellers therein, who is Adam, the father of humankind, and his children.