This Surah was revealed in the early stages before permission was granted to the Muslims, who were being persecuted, to migrate to Habash. Some traditions provide the explanation that this verse was sent down in respect of Sayyiduna Ja'far bin Abi Talib and his companions when they made up their mind to emigrate to Habash. (Ruh al-Maani, vol. XXII, p. 226).
- The mushrikin try to justify their worship of saints saying: "It brings us closer to Allah."
- On the Day of Judgement no one shall bear the burden of others.
- Believers who cannot practice their faith should migrate to other place where they can.
- The real losers are those who lose their souls and families on the Day of Judgement.
- No one can rescue the one against whom the sentence of punishment has been decreed.
- Al-Qur'an is consistent yet it repeats the teachings in different ways.
- Allah has cited every kind of example in Al-Qur'an so that people may learn a lesson.
- Who can be more wicked than the one who invents a lie against Allah.
- Those who have transgressed against their souls should not despair of Allah's mercy, they should repent while they can.
- On the Day of Judgement everyone's Book of Deeds shall be laid open and justice shall be done with all fairness.
The entire Surah is a most eloquent and effective address which was given before the emigration to Habash, in an environment filled with tyranny and persecution, ill-will and antagonism, in Makkah. The disbelievers are told that they should not pollute their worshipping of God with the worship of any other deity. The truth of Tawhid and the excellent results of accepting it, the falsehood of shirk and the evil consequences of following it, have been explained in a very forceful way so that the people might give up their wrong way of life and return to the mercy of their Rabb. The believers are also instructed, as to say: "If a place has become narrow for the worship and service of Allah, His earth is vast; you may emigrate to some other place in order to save your faith; Allah will reward you for your patience."