The surah can be distinctly divided into the following nine sections.
Section I (1-6)
In the introductory part of the surah, a reference is made to the attributes of Wisdom, Power, Knowledge, Authority, Origination and Contrivance of the Almighty in order to highlight the fact that someone possessing these attributes will be the one towards whom every one will turn on the Day of Judgement; therefore, it is befitting that only He should be thanked and glorified. Everything within this Universe is glorifying Him and this act of theirs invites men to worship Him only and not associate others with Him.
Section II (7-10)
A warning is sounded to the Muslims in general and those among them having a weak faith in particular that they should fulfil the requisites of the covenant of `to listen and obey' they had pledged at the hands of the Prophet (sws) with all the spirit and determination they could muster. It is the requirement of their faith to respond positively to the Jihaad and Infaaq the Prophet (sws) is today calling them to. It is this attitude which shall bring them towards light from darkness. Those who spend and fight in the way of Allah shall have a higher status than those who would do so after the conquest of Mecca, though they too shall be rewarded by the Almighty.
Section III (11-15)
Those who shall spend in the way of Allah with purity of purpose shall find that their spending has manifested itself into a radiant light which shall guide them to paradise. Those who will not spend in the way of Allah because of hypocrisy shall be deprived of this light. These people will ask the believers to let them also benefit from its radiance. The believers shall reply that they have lost the opportunity to do so by their behavior in the previous world and they shall not receive it now whatsoever. After this exchange of dialogue, a wall shall be erected between the two, on one side of which shall be the blessings of Allah and on the other side will be His torment.
Section IV (16-17)
The hypocrites are warned that even after seeing such manifest signs of the supremacy of Islam, if they show hesitation and refrain from spending in the way of Allah, they shall become hardhearted like the Jews before them and meet a similar fate. They are reminded that the Day of Reckoning is certain to come; neither should they become indifferent to its reward nor unafraid of its punishment.
Section V (18-19)
Those who spend in the way of Allah and fight for His cause should rest assured that the Almighty shall value their sacrifices; in fact, they shall be rewarded many times for each sacrifice they give. It is Infaaq and Jihaad which shall entitle them to become shuhadaa and siddiqeen and they shall also be rewarded the radiant light from which the hypocrytes shall remain deprived.
Section VI (20-21)
Sorrow is expressed over the timid and unenterprising attitude of the people who have given their hearts to the transitory pleasures of this world and have forgotten the mercy of their Lord as well as the paradise which is as vast as the vastness of the heavens and the earth.
Section VII (22-24)
A reminder is sounded that a person's opulence or poverty does not depend on his own schemes and plans but on the fate which has been divinely ordained for him. The correct attitude, therefore, is that a person, whether he is in ease or difficulty, should surrender to the will of the Almighty. If he has been blessed with wealth, he should not hesitate to spend it in the way of Allah. He should be aware that just as the Almighty can bless a person with something, He can also deprive him of it whenever He wants.
Section VIII (25-27)
A refutation is made of the claim of the people who on the basis of the concept of Rahbaaniyyah (ascetism) regard Jihaad and Infaaq as mundane activities and condemn the spirit of Jihaad of the Muslims. By referring to history, it is shown that Jihaad has remained the Sunnah of the Prophets and Rahbaaniyyah is a religious innovation of the Christians; it is the result of their transgressing the bounds of their religion. The Prophet Jesus (sws) never taught it.
Section IX (28-29)
Muslims are urged to selflessly answer the call of Jihaad made by the Prophet (sws) and spend magnanimously for this cause. They are told that they should pay no heed to the evil suggestions of the wicked among the People of the Book who are saying that Jihaad is a mundane undertaking. The Prophets have always undertaken Jihaad to establish justice and equity and the Muslims must follow the path of the Prophets. The Rahbaaniyyah invented by the Christians is something which the Prophet Jesus (sws) never preached. They are just showing their malice towards the Muslims---but against their wishes, the Almighty shall reward the Muslims according to the fate He has destined for them.
(Translated from Islahi's "Tadabbur-i-Quran") ---Shehzad Saleem