The chapter takes its name from the word Maa’un in the last verse which means ‘the plate upon which food is served’ and in its broader sense any act of kindness, charity or assistance.
A narration states that Abu Sufyan was in the habit of slaughtering two camels every week. One day an orphan came asking him for something and he responded by hitting him with a stick. The chapter admonishes those who do not themselves feed the needy and those who encourage others not to either.
If they do pray or do good it is only to increase their reputation.