This Surah takes its name from the first verse, which tells the story of the Isra and Mi'raj, the transportation of Muhammad during the night to what is referred to as "the farthest Mosque". The exact location is not specified, although in Islamic Hadith this is commonly taken to be the Noble Sanctuary (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. Some scholars disagree about this (see Isra and Mi'raj). While the city of Jerusalem (or Al Quds) is not mentioned by name anywhere in the Qur'an, it is identified in various Hadith.
This Meccan surah was revealed in the last year before the Hijra. Like all the Meccan surah it stresses the oneness of Allah, the authority of the prophets. However, the primary theme of the Surah is salah (daily prayers), whose number is said to have been fixed at five during the Miraj which it alludes to. In addition, the Surah forbids adultery, calls for respect for father and mother, and calls for patience and control in the face of the persecutions the Muslim community was facing at the time.