The Surah has been titled so after the word al-ma’un occurring at the end of the last verse.
Period of Revelation
Ibn Marduyah has cited Ibn Abbas (may Allah bless them both) as saying that this Surah is Makki, and the same is also the view of Ata and Jabir but Abu Hayyan in Al-Bahr al-Muhit has cited Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Dahhak as saying that this Surah was revealed in Madinah. In our opinion there is an internal piece of evidence in the Surah itself which points to it being a Madani Revelation. It holds out a threat of destruction to those praying ones who are unmindful of their Prayers and who pray only to be seen. This kind of hypocrites were found only at Madinah, for it was there that Islam and the Muslims gained such strength that many people were compelled to believe from expedience, had to visit the Mosque, join the congregational Prayer and prayed only to be seen of others, so as to be counted among the Muslims.
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