This Sûrah takes its name from the very first verse “Certainly those have attained success who brought Faith (Al-Mu’minûn)”.
Period of Revelation:
The subject matter and style indicate that its period of revelation is during the middle period of the Makkah. Therefore, it is very clear from its contents that though a bitter conflict is going on between the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the disbelievers of Makkah, yet the persecution by the infidels of Makkah has not reached to the limit. The verses 75-76 give clear evidence that the Sûrah was revealed during the climax of the "Famine" in Makkah, according to authentic traditions which had occurred during the same middle period. According to one of the statements of Urwah bin Zubair – by that time, Hadrat Omar had embraced Islam. He narrates the statement of Hadrat Omer with reference to Abdul Rahmân bin Abdul-Qari, that "This Sûrah has been revealed in my presence. He himself witnessed the state of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during its revelation. After the revelation the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 'at this time ten such verses have been revealed to me -- if anyone who could measure up with its criteria, will surely go to Paradise'. Then Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited the initial verses of the Sûrah.” (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Nasai, Hakîm).
Theme and Discussion:
The invitation towards the imitation of the practice of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the central theme of this Sûrah and the whole speech revolves around this focal point.
The speech starts with the address that the people who have accepted the invitation of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam -- such and such noble qualities have been creating in them and certainly such people deserve the benefits of this world as well as of the hereafter.
After this the attention has been drawn towards the creation of human beings, the creation of universe and earth, the creation of plants and animals, and the other signs of the universe, the purpose of it is to inculcate in minds that the reality of the Tauhid and life in the Hereafter towards which Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam invites you – its truth is being witnessed by whole universe including yourselves.
Then the history of the Prophets and their nations have been narrated, which merely looks like stories, but in fact a few very important things have been taught to the audience:
1. The objections and the doubts that are being raised against the Message of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are not new at all. These objections and doubts had already been raised against the former Prophets by their nations whom they themselves acknowledged as Messengers of Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala. Now look what lesson had been taught by the history -- whether the Prophets were in the right or their objectors?
After this, the people have been told that the worldly success and prosperity, wealth and property, families and children, power and government, are not surely the only signs of being anyone on the straight path and these should not be considered that Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala is pleased with such people and his/her behavior is acceptable to Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala. Likewise, the poverty and adversity of other people is not a proof that Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala is displeased with them. The real thing on which the pleasure or displeasure of Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala depends is the Faith of a person his/her humbleness and being on the straight path. These things were narrated because the opponent of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were the great chiefs and scholars of Makkah. They and their followers were misled by the pride of their prosperity that God and their deities were very pleased with them. As about these poverty-stricken people who are the followers of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam -- their condition is a clear proof that Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala is not on their side, and they are under the curse of their deities.
Then the people of Makkah are being convinced by different arguments that Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a true Prophet of Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala. Then they have been told that the Famine is a warning. It is better for you to mend your ways in view of it and come to the straight path. Otherwise, a severe punishment will come and you will cry out.
Then again, they have been diverted towards the signs in the universe and in their own selves. The purpose is to make them see these signs with an open eyes, about which the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is forewarning you -- are there not proofs spread all around to witness it? Do you not witness the truth of it?
The Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has been advised not to adopt any wrong way in retaliation to counteract the evil ways of the enemies. The Satan should never succeed to incite you for the retaliation in a wrong way.
At the end of the speech, the opponents of Truth have been warned about the accountability in the Hereafter and they have been admonish that their persecution of the Believers will be held accountable in the Hereafter.