Surah Al-Balad: Translation and Tafseer

Surah Al-Balad, which is translated as ‘The City’, is the 90th surah of the Holy Quran. It contains 20 verses and appears in the final juz. This surah explains how a person has been given the power and free will to choose whether to do right or wrong. It shows that for the one who chooses the path of good, for him will be a joyful ending. For the one who chooses the path of wrongdoings, he will have an evil ending.

surah al-balad arabic calligraphy

Tafseer of Surah Al-Balad

This surah starts with honouring the Holy city of Makkah. Abdullah ibn Adiy RA narrates, when Nabi SAW was migrating from Makkah to Madinah, he addressed the city of Makkah by saying: “By Allh, you are dearer to Allah than the entire earth. If I was not forced out of this place, I would never have abandoned you.” [Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

Surah Balad moves on to explain how man goes through hardship and struggle during his life. But due to enduring these hardships and difficulties for the sake of Allah, Allah will reward him accordingly. Allah mentions a few gifts and blessings He has bestowed upon humans in the form of eyes, a tongue and lips.

The surah comes to a close mentioning some good deeds a person can do to make him from those who will have a good ending. It then mentions some bad actions and what they will lead to.

Surah Al-Balad Translation

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

1. I swear by this city (Makkah);

2. And you are free (from sin, to punish the enemies of Islam on the Day of the conquest) in this city (Makkah),

3. And by the begetter (i.e. Adam) and that which he begot (i.e. his progeny);

4. Verily, We have created man in toil.

5. Thinks he that none can overcome him?

6. He says (boastfully): “I have wasted wealth in abundance!”

7. Thinks he that none sees him?

8. Have We not made for him a pair of eyes?

9. And a tongue and a pair of lips?

10. And shown him the two ways (good and evil)?

11. But he has made no effort to pass on the path that is steep.

12. And what will make you know the path that is steep?

13. (It is) Freeing a neck (slave, etc.)

14. Or giving food in a day of hunger (famine),

15. To an orphan near of kin.

16. Or to a Miskin (poor) afflicted with misery.

17. Then he became one of those who believed, and recommended one another to perseverance and patience, and (also) recommended one another to pity and compassion.

18. They are those on the Right Hand (the dwellers of Paradise),

19. But those who disbelieved in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they are those on the Left Hand (the dwellers of Hell).

20. The Fire will be shut over them (i.e. they will be enveloped by the Fire without any opening or window or outlet.

Transliteration of Surah Balad

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem 

  1. Laaa uqsimu bihaazal balad
  2. Wa anta hillum bihaazal balad
  3. Wa waalidinw wa maa walad
  4. Laqad khalaqnal insaana fee kabad
  5. Ayahsabu al-lai yaqdira ‘alaihi ahad
  6. Yaqoolu ahlaktu maalal lubadaa
  7. Ayahsabu al lam yarahooo ahad
  8. Alam naj’al lahoo ‘aynayn
  9. Wa lisaananw wa shafatayn
  10. Wa hadaynaahun najdayn
  11. Falaq tahamal-‘aqabah
  12. Wa maaa adraaka mal’aqabah
  13. Fakku raqabah
  14. Aw it’aamun fee yawmin zee masghabah
  15. Yateeman zaa maqrabah
  16. Aw miskeenan zaa matrabah
  17. Summa kaana minal lazeena aamanoo wa tawaasaw bissabri wa tawaasaw bilmarhamah
  18. Ulaaa’ika As-haabul maimanah
  19. Wallazeena kafaroo bi aayaatinaa hum as-haabul Mash’amah
  20. Alaihim naarum mu’sadah

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