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Period of Revelation

The whole of the Surah was revealed at one time during the last year of the Prophet's stay at Makkah as the traditions indicate that it was dictated by the Prophet in the same evening that it was revealed.

Major Issues, Divine Law and Guidance:
  1. Refutation of shirk and guidance towards Tawhid (Oneness of God). Reality of the life after death and the Day of Judgement.
  2. Clarification of self-imposed prohibitions that were falsely attributed to Allah.
  3. The fact that Allah's commandments are not irrational taboos, but form the fundamental moral principles of the Islamic society.
  4. Answers to objections raised against the person and the mission of the Prophet.
  5. Comfort and encouragement is provided to the Prophet and his followers who were at that time in a state of anxiety and despondency.
  6. Admonition, warnings and threats are given to the disbelievers to give up their apathy and haughtiness.
  7. Prohibition of dividing the religion into sects.
  8. Allah requires the Believers to declare: "My Salah, my devotion, my life and my death are all for Allah."

The reader should be aware that the above issues have not been discussed under separate heading; rather the discourse goes on as a continuous whole and these topics are discussed over and over in different ways. The discussion revolves around the major articles of faith: Tawhid, life after death and Prophethood, and their practical application to human life. Side by side with this, it refutes the erroneous beliefs of the Mushrikin and provides answers to their objections. It also comforts the Prophet and his followers who were then suffering from the persecution of the disbelievers.