Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And though they are resigned) in the Fire or not resigned, (yet the Fire is still their home) it will be the home of Safwan Ibn Umayyah and his host; (and if they ask for favour) if they ask to return to the life of the world, (yet they are not of those unto whom favour can be shown) they are not to return to the life of the world.
So if they endure, the chastisement, the Fire will [still] be their abode; and if they seek reconciliation, if they seek the satisfaction [of God], then they will not be among the reconciled, those deemed satisfactory [by God].
(And (remember) the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered to the Fire, then they will be driven.) means, remind these idolators of the Day when they will be gathered to the Fire and they will be driven, i.e., the keepers of Hell will gather the first of them with the last of them, as Allah says elsewhere:
وَنَسُوقُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ وِرْداً
(And We shall drive the criminals to Hell, in a thirsty state) (19:86). n
حَتَّى إِذَا مَا جَآءُوهَا
(Till, when they reach it,) means, when they stand at its edge,
(They will say: "Allah has caused us to speak -- as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time,) means, and He cannot be opposed or resisted, and to Him you will return. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar narrated that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah laughed and smiled one day, and said:
«أَلَا تَسْأَلُونِّي عَنْ أَيِّ شَيْءٍ ضَحِكْتُ؟»
(Will you not ask about why I laughed)'' They said, "O Messenger of Allah, why did you laugh'' He said:
(I was amazed at how a servant will dispute with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, "My Lord, did You not promise me that you would not treat me unjustly'' Allah will say, "Yes.'' The man will say, "I will not accept any witness against me except from myself.'' Allah will say, "Is it not sufficient that I and the angels, the noble scribes, are witnesses'' These words will be repeated several times, then a seal will be placed over his mouth and his organs (or limbs) will speak about what he used to do. Then he will say, "Away with you! It was only for your sake that I was arguing!'')'' It was recorded by him and Ibn Abi Hatim. It was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Burdah said that Abu Musa said, "The disbeliever or the hypocrite will be called to account and his Lord will show him his deeds, but he will deny them and say, `O Lord, by Your glory, this angel has written about me something that I did not do.' The angel will say to him, `Did you not do such and such on such and such a day in such and such a place' He will say, `No, by Your glory O Lord, I did not do it.' When he does that, a seal will be placed over his mouth.'' Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I think that the first part of his body to speak will be his right thigh.'' Allah's saying:
(And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you;) means, their organs and skins will say to them, when they blame them for testifying against them, `you did not hide from us what you used to do, on the contrary, you openly committed disbelief and sin, and you claimed that you did not care, because you did not believe that Allah knew about all your deeds.' Allah says:
(but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing. And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction;) meaning, `this evil thought, i.e., your belief that Allah did not know much of what you were doing, is what has caused you to be doomed and has made your losers before your Lord.'
فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ مِّنَ الُخَـسِرِينَ
(and you have become of those utterly lost!) means, `in the place of Resurrection, you have lost your own selves and your families.' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I was hiding beneath the covering of the Ka`bah, and three men came along -- a man from the Quraysh and two of his brothers-in-law from Thaqif, or a man from Thaqif and two of his brothers-in-law from the Quraysh. Their bellies were very fat, and did not have much understanding. They said some words I could not hear, then one of them said, `Do you think that Allah can hear what we are saying now' The other said, `If we raise our voices, He will hear it, but if we do not raise our voices, He will not hear it.' The other said, `If He can hear one thing from us, He can hear everything.' I mentioned this to the Prophet, then Allah revealed the words:
(And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you) until;
(of those utterly lost!) This is how it was recorded by At-Tirmidhi. A similar report was also narrated by Ahmad (through a different chain), Muslim and At-Tirmidhi, and Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded (a different chain).
(Then, if they bear the torment patiently, then the Fire is the home for them, and if they seek to please Allah, yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please Allah.) means, whether they bear it patiently or not, they are in the Fire and they will have no escape or way out from it, and even if they try to please Allah and offer excuses, nothing of that will be accepted from them. Ibn Jarir said, "The meaning of the Ayah,
(and if they seek to please Allah,) is: They will ask to go back to this world, but this plea will not be answered. This is like the Ayah:
(They will say: "Our Lord! Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people. Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.'' He will say: "Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!'')'' (23:106-108).
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
It can also mean this: "If they would want to return to the world, they would not be able to return," and this: "If they would want to come out from Hell, they would not be able to come out of it," and this: "If they would want to offer an excuse or repentance, it would not be accepted."
This is the permanent and eternal way of Allah that He dots not let the men with evil intentions and desires have good companions, but lets them have bad companions according to their own inclinations. Then, as they go on descending into the depths of vice, more and more evil and wicked men and devils go on joining them as their associates and advisers and companions. Some people's saying that so-and-so is himself a very good man but happens to have bad companions is, in fact, contrary to fact. The law of nature is that every man gets the same sort of friends as he himself is. If bad people happen to be associated with a good man, they cannot remain associated with him for long. Likewise, if good and noble men happen to be associated with evil intentioned and immoral men by chance, their association cannot last long. An evil man naturally attracts only evil men to himself and only evil men become attracted towards him just as filth attracts flits and flits are attracted by the filth.
The meaning of: "They made every thing, in front of them and behind them, seem fair to them," is this: They assured them that their past had been glorious and their future would also be bright; they made them see everything attractive and pleasant on every side; they told them that those who criticized them were foolish, because they were not doing anything novel or strange: those who had made any progress in the world before them had been doing the same that they were doing; ahead of them there was no Hereafter at all in which they might have to be called to account for their deeds, but if at all the Hereafter did take place, as some foolish people assert it would, the God who was blessing them in the world, would bless them there too. Hell had not been made for them but for those whom God had deprived of His blessings here.