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90- Surat Albalad

20 Verses Meccan (revealed in Mecca)


A'auzu Bellahi mena ash-shytani ar-rajim

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan

Bismi Ellahi Ar-rhmani Ar-rahim

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


La auqsemuo  be-haza albalad (1).
No! I swear by this city.

Wa anta hellum be-haza albalad (2).
And you are residing in this city.

Wa waledin wa ma walad (3).
And by the father, and what he begot.

Laqad khalaqna alinsana fee kabad (4).
Verily, We have created man in hardship.

Ayahsabuo an lan yaqdera alyihi ahad (5).
Does he think that no one will overcome him?.

Yaquluo ahlaktuo malan lubada (6).
He says: I have wasted abundant wealth.

Ayahsabuo an lam yarahuo ahad (7).
Does he think that no one sees him?.

Alam naj'al lahu aynayin (8).
Did not We make for him two eyes?.

Wa lesanan wa shafatyin (9).
and a tongue, and two lips.

Wa hadynahuo alnajdayin (10).
And guided him to the two ways.

Fala eqtahama alaqabah (11).
yet, he did not break into the obstacle.

Wa ma adraka ma alaqabah (12).
And what can make you know what the obstacle is?.

Fakuo raqabah (13).
A freeing of a neck.

Aw eta'mun fee yawmin zee masghabah (14).
Or feeding on a day of severe starvation.

Yateeman za maqrabah (15).
An orphan of near kin.

Aw meskeenan za matrabah (16).
Or a needy in intense need.

Thumma kana mena allazina amanuo wa tawasaw bel-ssabri wa tawasaw bel-marhamah (17).
Then, he is of those who have believed, and exhort one another to the patience, and exhort one another to the mercy.

Aula'eka ass-habuo almayimanah (18).
Those are the companions of the right hand.

Wa allazina kafaruo be-ayatina hum ass-habuo almash'amah (19).
And those who disbelieved in our signs, they are the companions of the left hand.

Alayihim narrun mou'sadah (20).
Upon them well-closed fire.


Simplified interpretation:


 Surat Albalad begins with "no", and it did not came in vain, but it came followed by two oaths to refute a false belief among the disbelievers. Therefore, it is a response to man's belief in the fifth verse, where Allah says: "Does he think that no one will overcome him?",  And this is similar to Surat Alqyiamah, where it also begins with ''no'' followed by two oaths to refuse a false belief among the disbelievers where Allah says in the third verse of Surat Alqyiamah "Does man think that We will not assemble his bones?".


 In the current Surah Allah swears by Mecca in the first verse which is the best place on the earth where the sacred House (Ka'abah) is located therein, and Allah described it in Surat Altin and said "this secure city", then Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) in the second verse "And you are residing in this city", as if Allah says to Him, Mecca importance also comes through your stay on its land.


 Then Allah swears by the father, and what he begot, and it was said that the father here refers to man in general and his offspring, but there are some commentators who said that it refers to the father of all humankind "Adam and his offspring", whereas others said that it refers to Our prophet Muhammad where He was mentioned in the previous verse. 


 After the two oaths Allah sets a fact about His creation for man and said: "Verily, We have created man in hardship", that is, every man suffers from hardships and difficulties, and each soul has its own suffering in this worldly life, and that explains His saying in Surat Fatir Aya (15): "O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the free of need, the praiseworthy".


 Instead of acknowledging of his need for his creator, man becomes arrogant and thinks that no one will overcome him? (Aya 5), that is, he thinks that Allah will not punish him, and he said in the next verse: I have wasted abundant wealth, then Allah says: "Does he think that no one sees him?". He is lying when he says I have spent a lot of money in the way of Allah, although Allah sees him (Ayat 6,7), and knows if it is for the sake of Allah or for the worldly pleasures and for showing off. This person will be among the first people against whom judgment will be pronounced on the day of resurrection as it was mentioned in Alhadith Alqudsi in narration of Abu Hurayrah, where Our Prophet said: "Will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kind of wealth, he will be brought and Allah will make known to him his favors and He will recognize them, Allah will say: and what did you do about them?, he will say: I left no path in which you like money to be spent without spending in it for your sake, Allah will say: you have lied, you did but do so that it might be said (of you) he is generous, and so it was said, then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire". 


 Then Allah enumerates his favors upon him in the next three verses and said: "Did not We make for him two eyes?, and a tongue, and two lips, And guided him to the two ways", so Allah has blessed him the favor of sight, and the favor of speech, as well as inspiring him the path of good and righteousness and the path of evil and misguidance. These blessings are a test from Allah where Allah says in Surat Alinsan Ayat (2,3): "We have created man from a mixed sperm-drop to put him in a test, so we made him able to hear, able to see. We have shown him the way to become either grateful or ungrateful".


 But he did not break into the obstacle (Aya 11), that is, he did not obey Allah, and did not follow the path of good and righteousness, and Allah said: "And what can make you know what the obstacle is?" to glorify and to appreciate its bounty and its great reward, and He explains it in the verses (13-16), and said that it is a freeing of a neck, or feeding on a day of severe starvation, an orphan of near kin, or a needy in intense need.


 As for the reward of freeing a neck (a Muslim slave), Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in narration of Abu Hurayrah: "Whoever frees a Muslim slave, Allah will save all the pats of his body from the Hellfire as he has freed the body parts of the slave".


 And as for feeding food, Allah says feeding on a day of severe hunger, and the best kind of feeding is to feed the orphan of near kin, and the needy in intense need, and our Prophet said in narration of Salman Bin Amer: "Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and giving to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship". And when He was asked about which aspect of Islam is the best, He said in narration of Abdullah Bin Amro: "Offering food (to the needy), and greeting with Salam those whom you know, and those whom you do not know".


 So the one who breaks into the obstacle by feeding the orphan, or a needy in misery, and he is of those who have believed in Allah and he does what He commanded him to do, and avoid what he forbids him to do, and exhorts one another to the patience by advising each other to be patient to acquire the good deeds, and by helping each other to be patient with the calamities of this world, where each person has his own affliction as it was mentioned above. But for the patient ones will have a great reward with their Lord where Allah says in Surat Alzumar (Aya 10): "Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning", and they also exhorts one another to the mercy with people, that is, deals kindly with them, and gives to the needy, and helping them as much as possible, and the one who deals kindly with others will have a great reward, for Our prophet said in narration of Abdullah Bin Mughaffal: "Allah is gentle, likes gentleness, and gives for gentleness what He does not give for harshness". Then those who do such good deeds will be the companions of the right hand (Aya 18), that is, they will take their book in their right hand, and they will enter Paradise.


 But on the other hand, those who denies the signs of Allah, and refuses to do those righteous deeds will be the companions of the left hand, that is, they will take their book in the left hand, and they will enter Hellfire, which will be closed so well that they can not escape from it (Ayat 19,20).
  

No one Knows its interpretation except Allah



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