There are two different views relating to this Surah: first that it is a Makki Surah, and second that it is Madani Surah. The majority of scholars regard it as a Makki revelation, a manifest symbol of which is the use of the words 'Hadh-al-balad-il-amin' (this city of peace) for Makkah.
Man is the best creature of all, except the disbelievers.
The theme of this Surah is concerning the rewards and punishments in the Hereafter. For this purpose, first swearing an oath by the two sacred places (Mount of Tur and Makkah where Allah revealed His message to the Prophet Moses and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them) it is stated that Allah has created man in the most excellent of moulds. This signifies that man has been blessed with such excellent capabilities that he can attain the highest position which has not been attained by any other creature. Then, it is pointed out that there are two kinds of men:
Those who inspite of having been created in the finest of moulds, become inclined to evil and their moral degeneration causes them to be reduced to the lowest of the low.
Those, who by adopting the way of faith and righteousness, remain secure from degeneration and are consistent with the noble position, which is the necessary demand of their having been created in the best of moulds.
The existence among mankind of both these kinds is a factual thing which no one can deny. It is being observed and experienced in society everywhere at all times.
In conclusion, this reality is used as an argument to prove that when among the people there exist two separate and quite distinct kinds, how can one deny the judgement and retribution for deeds. If the morally degraded people are not punished and the morally pure people are not rewarded (both end in the dust alike), it would mean that there is no justice in the Kingdom of God, whereas human nature and common sense demands that a judge should do justice. How then can one conceive that Allah, Who is the most just of all judges, would not be just?