Sūrat al-Balad, No. 90. Revealed in Makkah, 20 verses.
Merits of reciting the Sūra.
Imam al-Sādiq ‘alayhis-salām has said: Whoever recites Sūrat al-Balad in the obligatory prayer will be known among the virtuous ones in the world and in the hereafter, will be known as those who have a rank and status with Allah, and will be from the companions of the Prophets, the martyrs and the virtuous ones.
Note: Scholars believe that such amazing rewards will be for those who recite and reflect on the message in the sūra and putting efforts of applying it in their daily life.
Synopsis of contents
1) Oaths on the truth of the verses to follow (verses 1-3)
2) A reminder to human beings about difficulties and Allah’s complete control over all things (verses 4-7)
3) Blessings given to the human being (verses 8-10)
4) Selfless acts to be done with the wealth given by Allah (verses 11-16)
5) The people of the right hand and the left hand (verses 17-20)
Some Lessons from the Sūra
1) Life on earth will have difficulties. Complete ease and comfort are for the hereafter.
2) Difficulties in life are a sign of the powerlessness of the human being.
3) To give to others is a selfless act that requires struggle against the self.
4) Those who believe help and support one another in gaining virtues like patience and compassion.
Select verses for memorization in Arabic and English
1) 90:4 – Certainly, We have created man to be in distress
2) 90:7 – Does he think that no one sees him?
3) 90:17-18 – And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion. Those are the companions of the right.
Activities for self-study
1) What do verses 4-7 tell you about the attitude of the human being?
2) Verses 4 and 11 reveal some truths about difficulties and struggle in life. Which verses in the sūra help the human being to face them?
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsīr Namūne; M. H. Shakir, Holy Qur’an Translation; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation.
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