The Surah derives its name from verse 71 and 73 in which the
word zumar has occurred.
Period of Revelation
In verse 10 (wa ardullah-i-wasi atun: and Allah's earth is
vast) there is abundant evidence that this Surah was sent down
before the migration to Habash. Some traditions provide the
explanation that this verse was sent down in respect of Hadrat
Ja'far bin Abi Talib and his companions when they made up their
mind to emigrate to Habash.(Ruh al-Maani, vol. XXII, p. 226).
Theme and Subject matter
The entire Surah is a most eloquent and effective address which
was given some time before the emigration to Habash, in an
environment filled with tyranny and persecution, ill-will and
antagonism, at Makkah. It is a sermon whose addressees mainly
are the unbelieving Quraish, although here and there the believers
also have been addressed.
In it the real aim of the invitation of Muhammad (upon whom
be Allah's peace and blessings) had been enunciated, which
is this:Man should adopt Allah's servitude sincerely, and should
not pollute his God worship with the service of any other.
Presenting this cardinal principle in different ways over and
over again, the truth of Tauhidand the excellent results of
accepting it, and the falsehood of shirkand the evil consequences
of following it, have been explained in a most forceful way,
and the people exhorted to give up their wrong way of life
and return to the mercy of their Lord.
In this very connection, the believers have been instructed,
as if to say:"If a place has become narrow for the worship
and service of Allah, His earth is vast: you may emigrate to
some other place in order to save your faith: Allah will reward
you for your patience."On the other hand, the Holy Prophet
has been encouraged, so as to say:"Tell the disbelievers plainly
that they may do whatever they like, but their persecutions
and tyrannies will never deter you from the way of Islam; that
they may go on doing their worst to obstruct your way, but
you will continue to perform your mission in spite of the adverse
conditions and circumstances."