Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And if We had appointed it a Lecture in a foreign tongue) if We had sent Gabriel with a Qur'an which is not in the Arabic usage (they) the disbelievers of Mecca (would assuredly have said: If only its verses were exposited (so that we might understand)? What! A foreign tongue and an Arab) what, a Scripture in a foreign language brought by an Arab man? (Say) to them, O Muhammad: (For those who believe) Abu Bakr and his fellow Muslims (it) i.e. the Qur'an (is a guidance) from error (and a healing) it removes the blindness which is in the hearts of people; (and as for those who disbelieve) in Muhammad (pbuh) and in the Qur'an, i.e. Abu Jahl and his host, (there is a deafness in their ears, and it) i.e. the Qur'an (is blindness for them) a proof against them. (Such) the people of Mecca: Abu Jahl and his host (are called to from afar) it is as if they are called to believe in Allah's divine Oneness from high, above the sky.
And had We made it, namely, the Remembrance, a non-Arabic Qur’ān, they would have said, ‘Why have its signs not been explained [clearly]?, so that we might understand them? What!, a Qur’ān [that is], non-Arabic and an Arab, prophet?’ (this is an interrogative of denial [spoken] by them; read [a-a‘jamiyyun] pronouncing [both the first and] the second hamza, or by changing it into an alif and either writing it out in full or not). Say: ‘For those who believe it is guidance, from error, and a healing, from [the disease of] ignorance; but as for those who do not believe, there is a deafness in their ears, a heaviness, and so they are unable to hear it, and they are blind to it, so they are unable to comprehend it. Those, they are [as if they were being] called from a distant place’, that is to say, they are like one who is called from far away, unable to hear or comprehend what is being called out to him.
Allah tells us that the Qur'an is so eloquent and perfect in its wording and meanings, yet despite that the idolators do not believe in it. He tells us that their disbelief is the disbelief of stubbornness, as He says elsewhere:
(And if We had revealed it unto any of the non-Arabs, and he had recited it unto them, they would not have believed in it.) (26:198-199). If the Qur'an had been revealed in the language of the non-Arabs, they would have said, because of their stubbornness:
(Why are not its verses explained in detail What! not in Arabic and an Arab) meaning, why is it not revealed in detail in Arabic And by way of denunciation they would have said, "What! not in Arabic nor from an Arab -- i.e., how can foreign words be revealed to an Arab who does not understand them This interpretation was reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi and others.
قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ
(Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure...'') means, `say, O Muhammad: this Qur'an, for the one who believes in it, is guidance for his heart and a cure for the doubts and confusion that exists in people's hearts.'
(And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the wrongdoers nothing but loss.) (17:82).
أُوْلَـئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ
(They are called from a place far away.) Mujahid said, "Far away from their hearts.'' Ibn Jarir said, "It is as if the one who is addressing them is calling to them from a distant place, and they cannot understand what he is saying.'' This is like the Ayah:
(And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.) (2:171)
(And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord,) i.e., to delay the Reckoning until the Day of Resurrection,
(the matter would have been settled between them.) means, the punishment would have been hastened for them. But they have an appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.
وَإِنَّهُمْ لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ
(But truly, they are in grave doubt thereto.) means, their words of disbelief are not due to any wisdom or insight on their part; rather they spoke without any attempt at examining it thoroughly. This was also the interpretation of Ibn Jarir, and it is a plausible interpretation. And Allah knows best.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is the kind of the stubbornness that the Holy Prophet was confronting. The disbelievers said, "Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) is an Arab. Arabic is his mother tongue. How can one believe that the Arabic Qur'an that he presents has not been forged by himself but has been revealed to him by God? The Qur'an could be believed to be the Revelation of God if he had started speaking fluently in a foreign language unknown to him, like Persian, Latin, or Greek. " This argument of theirs has been refuted by Allah, saying, "Now when the Qur'an has been sent down in their own tongue so that they may understand it, they raise the objection: Why has it been sent down to an Arab in Arabic? But if it had been sent down in a foreign tongue, these very people would have said, `How strange! An Arab Messenger has been sent to the Arabs, but the Revelations being sent to him are in a tongue which is neither understood by him nor by his people. "
When a person is summoned from afar, he hears a voice but dces not understand what is being said to him. This is a wonderful simile which filly depicts the psychology of the stubborn opponents. Naturally when you talk to a person who is free from prejudice, he will listen to you, will try to understand what you say, will accept it if it is reasonable, with an open mind. On the contrary, the person who is not only prejudiced against you but is also malicious and spiteful, will not at all listen to you however hard you may try to make him understand your viewpoint. In spite of hearing you all the time he will not understand at all what you had been saying.
That is, some people had believed in it and some others had made up their minds to oppose it.
It has two meanings
(1) If Allah had not already decreed that the people would be given enough respite for consideration the disputants would have long been destroyed;
(2) if Allah had not already decreed that the disputes would finally be decided on the Day of Judgment, the reality would have been made plain as to who is in the right and who is in the wrong.
In this brief sentence the spiritual disease of the disbelievers of Makkah has been clearly diagnosed. It says that they are involved in doubt about the Qur'an and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace ), and this doubt has caused them great anguish and confusion. That is, although apparently they deny the Qur'an's being Allah's Word and the Holy Prophet's being His Messenger very vehemently, yet this denial is not based on any conviction, but their minds arc afflicted with great vacillation, and doubt. On the one hand, their selfish motives, their interests and their prejudices demand that they should belie the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) and oppose them strongly; on the other, their hearts are convened from within, that the Qur'an is, in fact, a unique and un-paralleled Word the like of which has never been heard from any literary man or poet. Neither can the insane utter such things in their madness, nor can devils come to teach God-worship, piety and righteousness to the people. Likewise, when they say that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) is a liar, their heaps from within put them to shame, and ask: Can such a person ever be a liar? When they brand him a madman, their hearts cry out from within and ask: Do you really think that he is mad? When they accuse that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) is not interested in the truth but is working for selfish motives, their hearts from within curse them and ask: Do you call this virtuous man selfish, whom you have never seen striving for the sake of wealth and power and fame, whose life has been free from every tract of self-interest, who has always been working to bring about goodness and piety, but has never acted from any selfish motives.