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Period of Revelation

It appears from its style and subject matter that, like Surah A-Mu'minun, this Surah was revealed during the third stage of the Prophet's residence at Makkah.

Major Issues, Divine Laws, and Guidance
  1. The Qur'an is the criterion to distinguish right from wrong.
  2. Wrongdoers are those who reject the Truth, disbelieve the Rasool, and deny the Day of Judgement and life after death.
  3. On the Day of Judgement those deities whom the mushrikin invoke beside Allah will deny any claim of divinity and hold the mushrikin responsible for their shirk.
  4. On the Day of Judgement the disbelievers shall regret not adopting the Right Path.
  5. The wisdom behind sending The Qur'an though a piecemeal revelation is explained.
  6. Allah's commandment is given to make Jihad against unbelief with the Qur'an.
  7. Characteristics of true believers are described.

Subject matter and topics of this Surah include the doubts and objections that were being raised by the disbelievers of Makkah against The Qur'an, the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) and his teachings. Appropriate answers to those objections are given and the people are warned about the consequences of rejecting the Truth.

At the end of the Surah a description of the character of a true believer is given. This description might be summarized as follows: "Here is the criterion for distinguishing the genuine from the counterfeit. This is the noble character of those people who have believed in and followed the teachings of the Prophet and these are the kind of people that he is trying to produce through his training. You may compare these types of people with those Arabs who have not yet accepted the Message and are clinging to their ignorance and doing their utmost to defeat the Truth. Now decide for yourselves which of the two you prefer."