Date, Context and Theme
It is a middle Meccan sura. The main theme seems is answering the objections of the Meccans who say that what Muhammad is saying is strange and doubtful.
v. 1, Mystery letters.
Vv. 2-3, Doubting the Qur’an and Muhammad. This is the issue the sura addresses.
Vv. 4-9, Allah is the one God who created all things. A declaration of tawheed. You should not doubt this.
Vv. 10-22, How can Allah recreate us when we are dead? Allah will and will bring you to judgement.
Vv. 23-26 You have seen a book before with Moses so be not surprised at the coming of the Qur’an..
Vv. 27-30 Allah will bring his judgement therefore wait for the victory.
What I found interesting.
1. This sura seems to answer this verse.
Or say they (the Meccans): He hath invented it? Nay, but it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayst warn a folk to whom no warner came before thee, that haply they may walk aright. 32:3
There were three main evidences that were put forward for why the Qur’an and Muhammad are genuine.
a. Allah is the one God who rules over all. This is logically seen in the created order. Tawheed, one God, is the logical conclusion from creation.
b. The idea that Allah would send a book is not new. You already know this from Moses.
We verily gave Moses the Scripture; so be not ye in doubt of his receiving it; and We appointed it a guidance for the Children of Israel. 32:23
This assumes that the Meccans know about Moses.
c. Allah will resurrect to judgement. Look at the dry land and see how it goes from death to life.
Have they not seen how We lead the water to the barren land and therewith bring forth crops whereof their cattle eat, and they themselves? Will they not then see? 32:27
This is similar to Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15:35-36.
2. God and Time
He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon. 32:5
This is similar to Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8.
3. The Creation Account.
Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is between them, in six Days. Then He mounted the Throne. Ye have not, beside Him, a protecting friend or mediator. Will ye not then remember? 32:4
At first I thought that this verse was saying the same thing as Genesis 1. But I do not think so now because in the Bible it never says God created the world in six days and finish there. It always refers to the seven days. There is work and then there is rest. A rest that we as the image of God share in.
This is just another example of how the Qur’an appears to be similar to the Bible yet lacks the content and details. For example the Qur’an mentions Abraham but there is no mention of covenant of circumcision. It has sacrifices but none for sin. It talks about the Spirit but there is no gift. It alludes to many of the Biblical stories yet has very few details. Most of the content and detail from the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel are missing.
4. The sura ends with promise of victory to the Muslims. Muhammad must have been preaching that he would rule and the Meccans did not seem to think that this would happen.
And they (the Meccans) say: When cometh this victory (of yours) if ye are truthful? Say (unto them): On the day of the victory the faith of those who disbelieve (and who then will believe) will not avail them, neither will they be reprieved. So withdraw from them (O Muhammad), and await (the event). Lo! they (also) are awaiting (it). 32:28-30