The chapter begins with a short series of oaths on the tall forts of angels in the skies who will come out row after row on the day of Qiyama. The axis of the chapter is verse 3 “I swear by the witness and the witnessed” which emphasises that everything is witnessed. It summarises the core beliefs in Allah, angels, the Messengers, the Qur’an and the Day of Qiyama. All are witnesses and are witnessed at different times.
It is followed by the story of the companions of the pit who were from Yemen who persecuted those who believed by throwing them into a pit of fire. Their crime was witnessed and will be dealt with justly. The consequence of Jahannam as a result of those who are unjust and do not repent is contrasted to the recompense of Janna for those who believe and manifest their belief with righteous deeds.
The awesome attributes of Divinity follow – The Originator, The Oft Forgiving, The Loving, The Master of the Throne Who does what He wills. Then the story of Pharaoh and Thamud whose arrogance was ultimately destroyed. Finally, the gloriousness of the Qur’an preserved for eternity.