This Surah was revealed in the early period during the Prophet's residence at Makkah. If this Surah is read together with the two Surahs preceding it, namely Al-Qiyamah and Ad-Dahr, and the two Surahs following it, namely An-Naba and An-Nazi'at, it becomes obvious that all these Surahs are the revelations of the same period, and they deal with one and the same theme, which has been impressed on the people of Makkah in different ways.
- Allah swears in the name of life giving winds, rain and angels that the Day of Judgement will be established.
- On that Day, the disbelievers will be asked to walk towards hell which they used to deny, and the righteous will be given all that they desire.
- A warning to the disbelievers and a question as to what statement after this Qur'an (the last revelation) will they believe?
The theme of this Surah is to affirm the Resurrection and Hereafter and to warn the people of the consequences which will ultimately follow either the denial or the affirmation of these truths.
In the first seven verses, the system of winds is presented as an evidence of the truth that the Resurrection which is being foretold by the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) must come to pass. The power of All-Mighty Allah Who has established this wonderful system on the earth, is not helpless in bringing about the Resurrection and the express wisdom which underlies this system bears full evidence that the Hereafter must appear, for no act of an All- Wise Creator is vain and purposeless, and if there was no Hereafter, it would mean that of this life is useless and purposeless.
In vv. 16-28 arguments are given for the occurrence and necessity of the Resurrection and Hereafter. Man's own history, his own birth, and the structure of the earth on which he lives, bears the testimony that the coming of the Resurrection and the establishment of the Hereafter are possible as well as the demand of Allah Almighty's wisdom. History tells us that the nations which denied the Hereafter ultimately became corrupted and met with destruction. This means that the Hereafter is a truth which, if denied and contradicted by a nation through its conduct and attitude, will cause it to meet the same fate as would be a blind man who rushes headlong into an approaching train. It also means that in the Kingdom of the universe, not only physical laws are at work, but also moral laws, under which the process of retribution is operating. But since in the present life of the world retribution is not taking place in its complete and perfect form, the moral law of the universe necessarily demands that there should come a time when it should take its full course, and all those good works and evil deeds, which could not be rewarded here, or which escaped their due punishment, should be fully rewarded and punished. For this purpose, it is inevitable that there should be a second life after death. If man only considers how he takes his birth in the world, his intellect, provided it is sound intellect, cannot deny that Allah, Who began his creation from an insignificant sperm drop and developed him into a perfect human being, is able to create the same human being once again.
In the end, the deniers of the Hereafter and those who turn away from Allah's worship, are warned: "Enjoy your short-lived worldly pleasure as you may, but your end will ultimately be disastrous." The discourse concludes with the assertion that the one who fails to obtain guidance from the Qur'an, can have no other source of Guidance.