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Period of Revelation

This Surah was revealed at the early stage of Holy Prophet's Makki life which began just after the revelation of the first seven verses of Surah Al-Muddaththir.

Major Issues, Divine Laws and Guidance
  1. The universe was there before mankind existed, then Allah created man, provided him with guidance and let him use his free will: either to believe or to disbelieve.
  2. An exemplary life in paradise for those who choose to believe.
  3. Allah gradually sent this Qur'an according to the issues faced by mankind
  4. This Qur'an is an admonition for those who want to adopt the way to their Rabb (God).

In this Surah, man is reminded that there was a time when he was nothing; then, a humble beginning of him was made with a mixed drop of sperm and ovum of which even his mother was not aware; even she did not know that he had been conceived nor anyone else seeing the microscopic cell could say that it was a man, who in the future would become the best of creation on the earth. After this, man has been warned: "Beginning your creation in this way, We have developed and shaped you into what you are today in order to test and try you in the world. That is why, unlike other creatures, you were made intelligent and sensible and were shown both the way of gratitude and the way of ingratitude clearly. So that you may prove in this test; whether you are a grateful servant or an unbelieving, Ungrateful wretch!" Then, just in one sentence, it has been stated decisively what the fate will be in the Hereafter for those who emerged as unbelievers from this test.

In the first section, the blessings with which those who do full justice by serving in the world, will be favored. Not only have their best rewards been mentioned, but they have also been told briefly what the acts on the basis of which they would become worthy of those rewards are. After introducing the fundamental beliefs of Islam, those moral qualities and virtuous acts which are praiseworthy according to Islam, have been mentioned, and also those evils of deed which Islam strives to cleanse from human life. These two things are not mentioned with a view to show what good or evil result is entailed by them in the transitory life of this world, but they have been mentioned only to point out what enduring results they will produce in the eternal and everlasting life of the Hereafter, irrespective of whether an evil quality may prove useful or a good quality may prove harmful during their life in the world.

In the second section, addressing the Prophet (pbuh), three things are stated:

  1. It is in fact We, Ourself are revealing this Qur'an piecemeal to you, and this is intended to inform the disbelievers, not you, that the Qur'an is not being fabricated by Muhammad (pbuh), but it is We, Who are revealing it, and it is Our Own wisdom which requires that We should reveal it piece by piece and not all at once.
  2. No matter how long it may take for the decree of your Lord to be enforced, and no matter what afflictions may befall you in the meantime, in any case, you should continue to perform your mission of Risalat patiently, and not yield to the pressure tactics of any of these wicked and unbelieving people.
  3. Remember Allah day and night, perform the Prayer and spend your nights in the worship of Allah, for it is these things which sustain and strengthen those who call to Allah in the face of iniquity and disbelief.

In conclusion, it is said: "This Qur'an is an admonition; whoever wills may accept it and take the path to his Rabb. But man's own will and desire is not everything in the world. No one's will and desire can be fulfilled unless Allah (also) so wills. And Allah's willing is not haphazard; whatever He wills, He wills it on the basis of His knowledge and wisdom. He admits into His mercy whomever He regards as worthy of His mercy on the basis of His knowledge and wisdom, and He has prepared a painful torment for those who are unjust and wicked."