The surah can be divided into the following four sections.
Section I (1-7)
People who had been irritating the Prophet (sws) by asking
him to bring the torment and punishment he was threatening them with are
reprimanded for their behaviour. They have been informed that this torment shall
certainly come upon the disbelievers and no one will be able to stop it. They
must not measure the time-frame of Allah with their own. Exalted is His abode;
the angels and the arch angel Gabriel need a day which is equal to fifty
thousand years of this world in duration to reach His abode. The Prophet (sws)
is urged to be patient and is assured that what these narrow minded people are
regarding as far fetched is very near.
Section II (8-18)
A portrayal of the Day of Judgement wherein the sky will
be like molten oil and the mountains will be like carded wool. Powerful factions
and groups shall no longer be. No person will be able to ask another of his
state and condition. On that Day, every person would like to redeem himself from
punishment by offering his near ones, relatives, family and tribe as ransom if
this could deliver him. The flames of hell shall tear and burn his skin. It
shall pull into itself all those who evaded the Divine Call and spent their time
in amassing riches and counting them.
Section III (19-35)
A reference to the fact that people become frustrated and
start complaining if the Almighty punishes them a little for their deeds. If
they are given respite, they become proud instead of being grateful and greedily
guard the riches they have gathered. Only those people are an exception to this
rule who have the taufeeq of worshipping Allah, ie proved themselves worthy of
being guided towards this blessed habit. In their wealth, the deprived and the
needy have a share. They fear the Day of Judgement and know that the punishment
of the Almighty cannot be ignored. They are those who guard their chastity,
protect their trusts and fulfil their covenants. They stand firm in their
testimonies and also guard their prayers. It is these people who will be
honoured in the gardens of bliss in the Hereafter.
Section IV (36-44)
Wonder is expressed at the attitude of the people who
madly rush at the Prophet (sws) when they hear from him about the punishment of
this world and of the next. A reference is made to their false claim that they
would receive more favours and blessings in the next world than they have in
this--- if at all the new world comes. On the basis of this claim, whenever the
promised doom is mentioned to them, they get irritated. They should remember
their creation and not consider their being created a second time a far off
thing; neither should they start praising themselves through their own tongues.
Allah, the Lord of the east and the west can more easily create them a second
time. Finally, the Prophet (sws) is urged to let these people indulge in vain
talk; not far is the promised Day when they will emerge from their graves---when
their eyes will be lowered in dejection and ignominy will be covering them.
(Translated from Islahi's "Tadabbur-i-Quran") --- Shehzad