The theme of this chapter is that the Prophet’s call is an authentic message, according to a Book and mission that have been sent to him from God. One of the central issues that is discussed elaborately in this chapter is the objections and criticisms that the disbelievers had raised against the Prophet being a messenger sent by God, as well as the Qur’an being a Book revealed by Him. The chapter returns to this topic repeatedly. This discussion is then followed by some arguments that prove monotheism and refute polytheism, some descriptions of the Day of Resurrection, and a mention of certain noble qualities in the believers. The chapter has an overall tone of warning and threat, not good news and glad tidings.
The first verse of the chapter (Blessed is He Who sent down the Furqān upon His servant that he may be a warner to the nations) incorporates the following points:
- The Qur’an is sent from God.
- The Prophet is a messenger from God and a warner to all nations.
- The Qur’an is a means of distinction between truth and falsehood.
- The Prophet is a servant of God. This means that he is only a slave of his Master, who is sent on a mission.
All of these points prepare the grounds to address the polytheists’ objections and criticisms against the Qur’an and the Prophet in the following verses. They claimed that the Qur’an was a fabricated lie ascribed to God by the Prophet, who had been helped by others in doing so. They also criticized the Prophet for being an ordinary person who eats food and walks in the markets. They also made other claims which the Qur’an answers.
This is a Meccan chapter, as one can see from the tone and content of its verses. However, some exegetes have made an exception of three verses from it [as being Medinite], which are: And they who do not call upon another god with Allah… And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (25:68-70). Apparently, these verses are excepted from being Meccan because they imply the prohibition of adultery. However, as we said in our discussion of narrations regarding the verse on wine in Sūrah al-Māʾidah (5:90), adultery and wine were known for being prohibited in Islam from the onset of the Islamic religious call. What is stranger is that some exegetes have claimed that the entire chapter is Medinite, except for its first three verses: Blessed is He Who… raising (the dead) to life (25:1-3).