Monday 6 August 2018

The Holy Qur'an: Summary Chapter 90 Sūrat Al Balad (The City)

The Sūrat Al Balad  was revealed on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when tired of pursuing the Prophet (s) of leaving what He was preaching to "pollute' the minds of the people of Makkah, the chieftains finally decided to openly oppose the Prophet of Allah and took a solemn pledge to use every means to pain and torture Him with a view of finally persuading Him to leave them on their own.

Please read English translation of Sūrat Al Balad  to understand its plain meaning / translation, followed be a summary of its purpose of revelation and the Divine message intended::
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
  1. I swear by this city, Makkah
  2. And you, [O Muhammad], are free of restriction in this city
  3. And [by] the father and that which was born [of him],
  4. We have certainly created man into hardship
  5. Does he think that never will anyone overcome him?
  6. He says, "I have spent wealth in abundance."
  7. Does he think that no one has seen him?
  8. Have We not made for him two eyes?
  9. And a tongue and two lips?
  10. And have shown him the two ways?
  11. But he has not broken through the difficult pass.
  12. And what can make you know what is [breaking through] the difficult pass?
  13. It is the freeing of a slave
  14. Or feeding on a day of severe hunger
  15. An orphan of near relationship
  16. Or a needy person in misery
  17. And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.
  18. Those are the companions of the right.
  19. But they who disbelieved in Our signs - those are the companions of the left.
  20. Over them will be fire closed in.
The great Muslim scholar of Pakistan Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi sums up the comprehensive meaning and theme of this chapter of the Holy Qur'an [1]:
In this Surah a vast subject has been compressed into a few brief sentences, and it is a miracle of the Qur'an that a complete ideology of life which could hardly be explained in a thick volume has been abridged most effectively in brief sentences of this short Surah. Its theme is to explain the true position of man in the world and of the world in relation to man and to tell that Allah has shown to man both the highways of good and evil, has also provided for him the means to judge and see and follow them, and now it rests upon man's own effort and judgment whether he chooses the path of virtue and reaches felicity or adopts the path of vice and meets with doom.
The surah begins with the solemn pledge of Allah, this time taking the name of the holy city of Makkah where the Prophet (s) was born and and endured many a hardship during His early life and then after proclaiming the religion of Islam openly to the pagans of Makkah. The opening verses clearly explain that this wordily life is not easy to live, especially for those who choose the righteous path and are fearful of Allah. and those who struggle for good, are rewarded accordingly. This is the same message that has been conveyed to man in the 39th verse of Chapter Surah An-Najm (Laisa lil insani illa ma saa: there is nothing for man but what he has striven for).

Allah through this surah amply clarifies man's position to his actions. It is said that having been given the ability to reason, a man is given two choices in life: The good and otherwise. Those who seek the easier path of worldly pleasures will one day be the end losers and will ultimately end up in the blazing and torturous fire of Hell. While those who toil and embrace the hardships of life and abstain from evil t please Allah, shall have the eternal rewards in the hereafter.

Hence one must not be boastful of one's wealth for its given to him to help others and not to please own self. They should instead invest for their future life in the hereafter by helping the poor, protecting the orphans and even freeing slaves and "then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion."

Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), who was an Egyptian author, Islamist, and leading intellectual of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, summarized the overall theme of Surat Al-Lail in the introduction to his extensive Quranic commentary, Fi Zilal al-Qur'an (In the shades of the Qur'an) by saying: This short sūrah touches on a great many facts which are of central importance to human life. Its style is characterized by powerful allusions. Numerous facts of this nature are not easily combined in any form of concise writing except that of the Qur’ān, with its unique ability to hit the right chords with such swift and penetrating strokes. — Sayid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Qur'an

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat Al Balad with English subtitles:

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Part backwards for chapters in 30th Part are shorter and easier to understand)

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation and explanation have been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More