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Period of Revelation

This Surah was revealed in the earliest stage at Makkah, when Surah after Surah were being revealed to impress the doctrine of the Hereafter upon the people's minds. This Surah was revealed when the disbelievers started ridiculing the Muslims and disgracing them publicly in the streets and in their assemblies, but persecution and manhandling of the Muslims had not yet started.

Major Issues, Divine Laws and Guidance
  1. Defrauders will be called to account and punished while the righteous will be rewarded with soft couches, the choicest wine and special spring water.
  2. Today disbelievers laugh at the believers, a Day will come when they themselves will be laughed at.

The theme of this Surah is also the Hereafter. In the first six verses, the people are taken to task for the evil practice prevalent in their commercial dealings. When they received their due from others, they demanded that it be given in full, but when they had to measure or weigh for others, they would give less than what was due. Taking this one evil as an example out of countless evils prevalent in society, it is said that it is an inevitable result of the heedlessness of the Hereafter. Unless the people realized that one Day they would have to appear before God and account for each single act they performed in the world, it was not possible that they would adopt piety and righteousness in their daily affairs. Even if a person might practise honesty in some of his less important dealings in view of "honesty is the best policy", he would never practise honesty on occasions when dishonesty would seem to be "the best policy". Man can develop a true and enduring honest nature only when he fears God and sincerely believes in the Hereafter, for then he would regard honesty not merely as "a policy" but as "a duty" and obligation, and his being consistent in it, would not be dependent on its being useful or useless in the world.

In conclusion, the believers are consoled, and the disbelievers warned that the people who are disgracing and humiliating the believers today, are culprits who, on the Resurrection Day will meet with a most evil end in consequence of their conduct, and the believers will feel comforted when they will see their fate.