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Quran Chapter 90 - The City - What Will Make You Understand?

Revealed in Mecca. The point of this sura is that man is created to work and be judged. He should therefore seek to do good deeds rather than indulge in arrogance and wastefulness.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1 I swear by this city [a] –– 2 and you [Prophet] are an inhabitant [b] of this city–– 3 [I swear] by parent and offspring, 4 that We have created man for toil and trial. 5 Does he think that no one will have power over him? 6 ‘I have squandered great wealth,’ he says. 7 Does he think no one observes him? 8 Did We not give him eyes, 9 a tongue, lips, 10 and point out to him the two clear ways [of good and evil]? 11 Yet he has not attempted the steep path. 12 What will explain to you what the steep path is? 13 It is to free a slave, 14 to feed at a time of hunger 15 an orphaned relative 16 or a poor person in distress, 17 and to be one of those who believe and urge one another to steadfastness and compassion. 18 Those who do this will be on the right-hand side, 19 but those who disbelieve in Our revelations will be on the left-hand side, 20 and the Fire will close in on them.


a. Mecca.

b. Hillun bi can mean ‘fair game’ for the disbelievers, even in this inviolable city, ‘resident’, ‘free to live’; some see that it means the Prophet is a temporary resident, others that it prophesies his return after emigration to Medina.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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