Surah Al-Balad, also known as “The City” or “The Land,” is the 90th chapter of the Qur’an. It was revealed in Makkah and consists of 20 verses. This surah addresses the concept of human accountability, the challenges faced by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in conveying the message of Islam, and the characteristics of a righteous society.
Surah Al-Balad begins with an oath by the city of Makkah, highlighting its significance and the responsibility that comes with living in such a blessed place. The surah then states that Allah created humans in the best form and endowed them with the faculties of hearing, sight, and intellect. However, it emphasizes that human beings often fail to utilize these blessings and engage in acts of disbelief, ingratitude, and corruption.
The surah then describes the paths humans can choose: the path of righteousness or the path of wickedness. It highlights that the path of righteousness is not easy and requires struggle and perseverance. It encourages believers to strive in the cause of Allah and not be deterred by the hardships they face. The surah reminds them that their efforts will ultimately be rewarded in the Hereafter.
One of the key lessons from Surah Al-Balad is the importance of social responsibility and helping those in need. It condemns the attitude of the wealthy who hoard their wealth and neglect the poor and needy. The surah emphasizes that true success lies in using one’s wealth for the betterment of society, giving to charity, and helping those who are less fortunate. It highlights the transient nature of worldly possessions and the significance of investing in the eternal rewards of the Hereafter.
Surah Al-Balad also addresses the challenges faced by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his mission. It acknowledges the opposition and hostility he encountered from the disbelievers of Makkah. The surah reassures the Prophet and encourages him to remain steadfast in his mission, assuring him that his reward will be great if he perseveres.
The surah further emphasizes the importance of acquiring knowledge and wisdom. It encourages seeking knowledge, reflecting upon the signs of Allah’s creation, and pondering over the lessons of history. It reminds believers that the path to success lies in acquiring knowledge and utilizing it for the benefit of oneself and others.
Surah Al-Balad also warns against arrogance and pride. It condemns those who boast about their lineage, wealth, or social status. The surah reminds humans that their true value lies in their righteousness and their actions. It emphasizes that everyone will be held accountable for their deeds and that worldly distinctions hold no significance in the sight of Allah.