The following is from a work-in-progress called The Qur'an: a Book Report, in which I read each surah of the Qur'an and write about what I learn.
This is an early Meccan surah which is meant to reassure the prophet that God has not forsaken him, despite the persecution he was experiencing in the early days of his ministry. The title comes from the opening oath and promise: "By the morning brightness and by the night when it grows still, your Lord has not forsaken you, nor does He hate you, and the future will be better for you than the past." This passage reminds me of the words spoken by the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah to the Israelites suffering in their Babylonian exile: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Here the prophet is reminded of how the Lord provided for him when he was a young orphan in Mecca: "Did He not find you an orphan and shelter you, find you lost and guide you, find you in need and satisfy your need?" The practical application of this surah is its final verses: "So do not be harsh with the orphan, and do not chide the one who asks for help; talk about the blessings of your Lord."