This Surah was revealed during the middle stage of the Prophet's residence at Makkah. According to Ibn Abbas, Surah TuaHa was revealed first, then Surah Al-Waqi'ah, and then Surah Ash-Shu'ara. (Ruh-ul-Ma'ani, Vol. 19, p. 64). About Surah TuaHa it is well known that it was revealed before Sayyiduna Umar embraced Islam.
- Allah's address to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that he should not fret himself to death with grief for the people's disbelief.
- Story of Musa, Fir'on, and deliverance of the children of Israel.
- Story of Ibrahim and his arguments against idol worshipping.
- The fact that the mushrikin and their gods will both be toppled into hell.
- Stories of Prophets Nuh, Hud, Saleh, Lut, Shu'aib (pbut) and their people.
- The fact that the Qur'an is revealed in the Arabic language and is not brought by shaitans; as it is neither in their interest nor in their power to do so.
- The fact that shaitans descend on those slandering sinners who listen to hearsay and are liars.
This Surah begins with words of consolation to the Prophet, as if to say: "Why do you fret for their sake? If these people have not believed in you, it is not because they have not seen any sign, but because they are obstinate. The whole earth is full of signs that can guide a seeker of truth to reality, but stubborn and misguided people have never believed even after seeing the signs, whether these were the signs of natural phenomena or the miracles of the prophets. Such people always stick to their erroneous creeds until the Divine scourge actually overtakes them." Then the discussion is summed up, saying "O disbelievers, if you really want to see signs, why do you insist on seeing those horrible signs that visited the doomed nations of the past? Why don't you appreciate the Qur'an which is being presented in your own language? Why don't you appreciate Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions? Can the revelations of the Qur'an be the work of a Shaitan or a Jinn? Does the recipient of the Qur'an appear to be a sorcerer? Are Muhammad and his companions no different from a poet and his admirers? Why don't you give up disbelief and search your hearts for the Truth? When in your hearts, you yourselves believe that the revelations of the Qur'an have nothing in common with sorcery and poetry, then you shall find out that you are wrong and unjust."