This Surah was revealed in the period when the disbelievers of Makkah started to oppose the Prophet (pbuh) committing tyranny and excesses against him.
- An admonition to the disbelievers.
- Allah has given you two eyes, one tongue and two lips to control your tongue.
- The qualities of a righteous person: Freeing a slave, feeding the hungry, being patient, advising others about piety and compassion.
This Surah compressed a vast subject into a few brief sentences. It is a miracle of the Qur'an that a complete ideology of life which could hardly be explained in a thick volume has been abridged most effectively in the brief sentences of this short Surah. Its theme is to explain the true position of man in the world and of the world in relation to man and tell that Allah has shown man both the highways of good and evil. Allah has also provided for him the means to judge, see and follow them. Now it rests upon man's own effort and judgement whether he chooses the path of virtue and reaches felicity or adopts the path of evil and meets with doom.
After this, man's misunderstanding that he is all there is in this world and that there is no superior power to watch what he does and to call him to account, has been refuted. The highway which leads to moral depravity is easy and pleasing to the self and the highway which leads to moral heights is steep like an uphill road for which man has to exercise self-restraint.
People are then advised to give up spending for ostentation, display and pride and should spend their wealth to help the orphans and the needy. They should believe in Allah, join the company of believers and participate in the construction of human society. As a result, they would become worthy of Allah's mercy while those who will follow the wrong way would become the fuel of hell from which there is no escape.