city, country = (balad) بَلَد
Associated verb: to remain, stay in (a town, country) بَلَد (يَبْلِد) ب – بُلُوْدًا
لا أُقْسِمُ بِهذَا الْبَلَدِ I swear by this city – Quran, 90:1
عَنِ أَنَسِ بْنِ مالِكٍ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ ، عَنِ النّبِيّ صَلّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّمَ ، قال : لَيْسَ مِنْ بَلَدٍ إِلا سَيَطَؤُهُ الدّجّالُ ، إِلا مَكّةَ ، وَالْمَدِيْنَةَ ، لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ نِقابِها نَقْبٌ ، إِلا عَلَيْهِ الْمَلائِكَةُ صَافّيْنَ يَحْرُسُونَهَا ، ثُمّ تَرْجِفُ الْمَدِيْنَةُ بِأَهْلِها ثَلاثَ رَجَفَاتٍ ، فَيُخْرِجُ الله كُلّ كَافِرٍ وَمُنَافِقٍ On the authority of Anas: The Prophet, God bless him and grant him peace, said, “There is no city except that the Antichrist will step in it, except Mecca and Medina, for he will find no mountain-path (thereto), except that upon will be angels ranked in rows protecting it. Then Medina, with all its inhabitants, will shake thrice, and God will expel every disbeliever and hypocrite.” – al-Bukhari
الأَمْرِيْكِيّونَ يُسْلِمُونَ قَاعِدَةَ بَلَدٍ لِلْحُكُومَةِ الْعِرِاقِيّةِ The Americans hand over the running of the country to the Iraqi government. – BBC News, Arabic
Did you know…
Somewhat confusingly, بَلَد can mean both city and country. This is because it is used in Classical Arabic to refer to any bound portion of the Earth. It is often compared with بَلْدَة , which some lexicographers said is synonymous, and others said refers to a portion of the former (so بَلَد is to be used to refer to a country, whereas بَلْدَة is to be used for a city). This second interpretation of the difference between the two is what has become common in modern Arabic, so Iraq is a balad, whereas Basrah is a baldah. The plural بِلاد was also differed upon: is it a plural of بَلَد or of بَلْدَة ? The view which has become common is that it is the plural of the latter, so means cities. It should be noted that there are a few expressions in which it is used to mean country (which is a collection of cities, after all), such as بِلاد الشّام Syria, or literally The cities of Syria.