At the end of the story Allah tells the Prophet (saw) of his victorious return back to Mecca after his upcoming migration:
إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ
"Indeed, (O Muhammad), He who imposed upon you the Qur'an will take you back to a place of return (Ma'aad)." (Qur'an 28:85)
This ma'aad is understood by classical scholars as either the Day of Judgement (paradise) and/or the return to Mecca. Most companions and later scholars argued it refers to the latter as Arabs use this word to refer to returning home after a long absence. (Wahidi, al-Waseet, Vol. 3, p. 411, Ibn Ashur, al-Tahreer wa al-Tanweer, Vol. 20, pp. 192-193)
As the third-century linguist al-Qutaybi said:
مُعَادُ الرَّجُلِ بَلَدَهُ، لِأَنَّه يَتَصَرَّفُ فِي الْبِلاد، وَيَنْصَرِفُ فِي الْأرْضِ ثُمَّ يَعُودُ إِلَى بَلَدِهِ"The ma'aad of the man is his country because he was moving through the lands then return (ya'ud from ma'aad) to his country." (Samarqandi, Bahr al-Ulum, Vol. 2, p. 622)
For example, Ibn Abbas (ra) and his student Mujahid reported the verse means the return:
إِلَى مَكَّةٍ، وَهُوَ الْمَوْضِعُ الَّذِي خَرَجَ مِنْه
"To Mecca which is the place he exited." (Ibid, Makki Ibn Abi Talib, al-Hidayah, Vol. 8, p. 5586)
Even some scholars, such as Wahidi, Baghawi and others, argued it was revealed on the route during the migration at al-Juhfah, a place between Mecca and Medina, having becoming distressed after leaving Mecca. (Al-Waseet, Vol. 3, p. 411, Baghawi, Vol. 3, p. 548)
So, given the Prophet (saw) knew of the migration from the outset when Waraqah ibn Nawfal prophesied his people would expel him, the Prophet's dream of a land full of trees as his new city as well as his approach to other tribes seeking man'ah and nusrah; we can argue this verse was revealed to reduce the grief of the Prophet (saw) when he was near to leaving Mecca and gave him good news of the soon to be established Islamic state.
Giving the details of surah al-Qasas, it provides us with some insights why Allah revealed this story with these similar details at this specific time, namely the proximate migration and tamkeen (the establishment) of the deen after a prolonged period of torture and hardship.
Ma'aad refers her to the return to Mecca after the migration to Medina after the establishment of the first Islamic state.
Ibn Ashur, al-Tahreer wa al-Tanweer
Samarqandi, Bahr al-Ulum
Makki Ibn Abi Talib, al-Hidayah ila Bulugh al-Nihayah
Baghawi, Ma'lim al-Tanzeel
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