Commentary of Surat ul Balad — Clip 2 of 5

Commentary of Surat ul Balad -- Clip 2 of 5
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

A great deal of concentration is required to explain and expound on the Qur'an and Hadith. You can’t just recite by tongue - it must be put into practise, it must be absorbed and internalised. But it must be done step-by-step, do not be foolish and try to take it all in at once. Take a little and absorb it.

There is a beautiful description of the four layers of the Qur'an. There is the word itself and the sound of it, then there is the ishara - the meaning of it, then the latifa - that which is more encompassing and then there is haqiqah - the essence or truth.

But what is more important than these four layers is for one to take what one can, sensibly and courteously. Take what you can absorb, and that which you can not is not your diet.

Surah Balad is an early Meccan Surah, some scholars say the last 4 ayahs refer to Medina. This Surah is covered in Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri's Keys to the Qur'an - Volume V.

Verse 1: Allah says, I swear I show you the sacredness of this town. Balad comes from ba-la-da and from the same root is baleed.

It means that if you grew up in a city or town you would not be connected to nature, you would not be as adventurous, thus baleed means coward. Baleed also refers to someone totally involved in themself.

In the early ages, a form of punishment was to condemn people to the cities as these areas were not safe. They would get plundered by sweeping hordes.

So the verse is saying by the truth of this city. It is referring to where many people are living in multiple dwellings. Your body also functions like a city with all the organisms and organs and sewage systems etc.

You can not be a khalifa of the earth, if you are not a khalifa over your body. Although this is a more in depth tafsir of this ayah, the historical meaning of this ayah refers to Mecca.

Verse 1-3: That the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the most noble Meccan being and he is free to act appropriately to bring life back into this city and remove from it the tribal way of life and to think of cause and effect and how everything comes from something and leads to something.

Some classical interpreters say this refers to Prophet Ibrahim is the ancestor of Mecca (waalid), while other interpreters say it refers to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as he is the father of Mecca.

Verse 4: For sure we have created human beings (those who seek solace or those who forget) in turmoil. We as human beings seek solace, we can’t be alone. Kabad also means liver and the liver’s function is to purify.

Verse 5: We have given you two eyes. The two eyes is a metaphor for the insight and external sight. It is both the meal and the nourishment of the meal.

(23:23)