This Surah was revealed after Surah An-Naba. It was revealed during the earliest period of the Prophet's residence in Makkah.
- Death, the Day of Resurrection and life after death.
- The story of the Prophet Musa (pbuh) when he called Fir'on (Pharaoh) to his Rabb, who denied Allah and was subsequently punished.
- The creation of man is not harder than the creation of the heavens, earth and its contents.
- Punishment and reward on the Day of Judgement.
The theme of this Surah is resurrection, life after death and a warning about the consequences of rejecting the Prophet of Allah. The Surah opens with oaths sworn by the angels who take the soul at death and who hasten to carry out Allah's Commands, and those who conduct the affairs of the universe according to Divine Will in order to assure that the Resurrection will certainly come to pass and the second life after death will certainly take place.
Then, briefly relating the story of Prophet Moses and Pharaoh, the fate that Pharaoh met as a consequence for belying the Rasool and rejecting the guidance brought by him and further endeavoring to defeat his mission by trickery and deceit. The people of Makkah are warned that if they do not learn a lesson from this story and change their ways and attitude accordingly, they will also meet the same fate.
Arguments are then given in support of the Hereafter and life after death, and attention is drawn to the earth and provisions that have been arranged in it for the sustenance of Allah's creation. It is further clarified that everything testifies to the fact that it has been created with great wisdom by Allah in fulfillment of some special purpose. Pointing to this, the question has been left to the intellect of man for pondering and to form an opinion of whether calling man to account for his sins after delegating authority and responsibility to him would be in keeping with the demands of a wise system. Or should man die after committing all sorts of misdeeds in the world, perish and mix in the dust forever and never be called to account for the responsibility and the authority entrusted to him?