¡ Nay, I swear by this land,
1 Some read this verse without Nay, interpreting that the article lā as one of emphasis rather than negation (Q). When read as an article of negation, it can be seen as a rebuke to those who are of the disposition criticized in vv. 5-11 (Q) or as a rebuke to the Quraysh (IK). Land, translating balad, can refer to Arabia, though a majority read it as “city,” referring to Makkah (Q, R, Ṭ, Ṭs, Z), and a minority say it refers to Madinah
(Q). Balad can also be read in a more general manner as a reference to the earth.