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Period of Revelation

This Surah was revealed in the 5th year of the Prophet's life at Makkah. During this period the Prophet (pbuh) was being targeted with objections and accusations but severe persecution of the Muslims had not yet started.

Major Issues, Divine Laws and Guidance:
  1. The reward for the righteous will be paradise in which they will show gratitude for Allah's graciousness while the deniers of truth will be put in hellfire.
  2. Mission of the Prophet is admonition.
  3. Response to the disbelievers' disbelief:
  4. If they doubt The Qur'an, let them produce a scripture like this.
  5. Were they created without a Creator?
  6. Do they possess the treasures of God?
  7. Do they have other means to hear the facts about God?
  8. Do they have the knowledge of the unseen?
  9. If so let them produce their proof.

Swearing an oath by some realities and signs which testify to the Hereafter, a statement is made emphatically that it will surely come to pass, and none has the power to prevent its occurrence. Then, the statement goes on as to what will be the fate of those who deny it when it actually occurs, and how those who believe in it and adopt the way of righteousness will be blessed by Allah.

Then, the Qureysh chiefs' attitude towards the message of the Prophet (pbuh) is criticized. They called him a sorcerer, a madman, or a poet, and would thus mislead the common people against him so that they should not pay any serious attention to the message he preached. They looked upon him as a calamity that had suddenly descended on them and would openly wish to get rid of him. They accused him of fabricating the Qur'an by himself and of presenting it in the name of Allah and thus it was fraud that he was committing. They would often taunt him, saying that Allah could not have appointed an ordinary man like him to the office of Prophethood. They expressed great disgust at his invitation and message and would avoid him as if he was asking them a reward for it. They would sit and take counsels together to devise schemes in order to put an end to his mission. And while they did all this, they never realized what creeds of ignorance they were practicing and how selflessly and sincerely was Muhammad (pbuh) exerting himself to deliver them from their error. While criticizing them for this attitude and conduct, Allah has put before them certain questions, one after the other, each of which is either an answer to some objection of theirs, or a criticism of some error. Then, it has been said that it would absolutely be of no avail to show them a miracle in order to convince them of his Prophethood, for they were such stubborn people as would misinterpret anything they were shown only to avoid affirming the faith.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) is given the instruction that he should persistently continue giving his invitation and preaching his message in spite of the accusations and objections of his opponents and enemies, and should endure their resistance patiently till Allah's judgement comes to pass. Besides, he has been consoled, as if to say "Your Rabb has not left you alone to face your enemies, after raising you as a Prophet, but He is constantly watching over you. Therefore, endure every hardship patiently till the Hour of His Judgement comes, and seek through praising and glorifying your Rabb the power that is required for exerting in the cause of Allah under such conditions.