The aim of this chapter is to warn the idolaters who reject the prophetic call to believe in God and His Messenger about the Resurrection and the painful punishment that awaits therein for those who turn away and deny. For this reason, God commences the chapter by affirming the Resurrection: ‘We did not create the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them except with truth…’ (46:3) and comes back to this theme time after time, such as when He says:
- When mankind are mustered… (46:6)
- As for him who says to his parents, Fie on you! Do you promise me that I shall be raised…? (46:17)
- The day when the faithless are exposed to the Fire, You have exhausted your good things… (46:20)
- The day when the faithless are exposed to the Fire, Is this not a fact? (46:34)
Before concluding the chapter with the words: The day when they see what they are promised, as though they had remained only an hour of a day. This is a proclamation. (46:35)
This chapter also contains arguments for God’s oneness and prophethood, while referring to the destruction of the people of Hud and of villages in the vicinity of Mecca and warning the idolaters of them. It also informs them that a group of the Jinn were present with the Prophet, listened to the Qur’an and believed in it before returning to their people and warning them also.
The chapter was revealed in Mecca in its entirety aside for two verses about which commentators have disagreed. We shall look at these in our study of the traditions, God-willing. They are: Do they say, He has fabricated it…? (46:8) and Say, Tell me, if it is from God… (46:10)