Overall meaning :
This noble surah opens with two letters of the Arabic alphabet, namely haa’ and meem. A brief discussion of such ‘disconnected letters’ is to be found at the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah.
This Qur’an has been sent down to Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful. It is a book whose verses He has detailed and whose meanings and laws He has clearly expounded in the Arabic tongue for people who know Arabic, so that they may benefit from its meanings and reflect on it. It proclaims good news of reward to the believers who do good deeds and warns the unbelievers who do evil deeds against punishment.
However, most of the Quraysh unbelievers turn away from it and refuse to listen to it with the intention of benefitting from its guidance. They say, ‘Our hearts are under veils that prevent us from understanding the Qur’an. There is deafness in our ears that prevents us from hearing you, and a heavy barrier stands between ourselves and you that prevents us from seeing you and precludes any interaction between us. Therefore, leave us alone, Muhammad, and follow your own religion. We will follow ours.’
Say to them, Muhammad, ‘I am only a human being like yourselves. It has been revealed to me that your God is one God who has no partners. Therefore, take the straight path to Him and ask His forgiveness.’
Woe betide the idolaters who do not purify themselves with faith in Allah and obedience to Him, who stubbornly persist in associating partners with Him and disbelieve in the life to come. As for those who believe and do good deeds, they will surely have a never-ending reward.