Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(They worship) i.e. the disbelievers of Mecca (beside Allah that which neither hurteth them) in this life or in the Hereafter, if they did not worship it, (nor profiteth them) in this life or in the Hereafter if they worshipped it, (and they say: These) i.e. these idols (are our intercessors) which will intercede for us (with Allah. Say) to them, O Muhammad: (Would ye inform Allah of (something) that He knoweth not in the heavens or in the earth) i.e. He knows there does not exist a god who hurts and benefits except Him? (Praised be He) He exalted Himself far above having a son or partner (and high exalted above) and absolves Himself from (all that ye associate (with Him)) of idols!
And they worship, besides God, that is, other than Him, that which can neither hurt them, should they not worship it, nor profit them, if they do worship it — and these are the idols; and they say, of them: ‘These are our intercessors with God’. Say, to them: ‘Would you tell, would you inform, God of what He does not know in the heavens or in the earth?’ (the interrogative is meant as a disavowal), for if He had a partner, He [Himself] would know it, since nothing can be hidden from Him. Glory be to Him!, in [affirmation of] His transcendence, and High be He exalted above what they associate! with Him.
Allah reproaches the idolators that worshipped others beside Allah, thinking that those gods would intercede for them before Allah. Allah states that these gods do not harm or benefit. They don't have any authority over anything, nor do they own anything. These gods can never do what the idolators had claimed about them. That is why Allah said:
(Say: `Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth') Ibn Jarir said: "This means, `Are you telling Allah about what may not happen in the heavens and earth' Allah then announced that His Glorious Self is far above their Shirk and Kufr by saying:
سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
(Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners (with Him)!)
Shirk is New
Allah then tells us that Shirk was new among mankind. It was not in existence in the beginning. He tells us that people were believers in one religion and that religion was Islam. Ibn `Abbas said: "There were ten centuries between Adam and Nuh. They were all on Islam. Then differences among people took place. They worshipped idols and rivals. So Allah sent extensive evidence and irrefutable proof with His Messengers.''
(So that those who were to be destroyed (for rejecting the faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live might live after a clear evidence.)8:42 Allah's statement:
وَلَوْلاَ كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ
(And had not it been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord...) means that if Allah had not decreed He would not punish anyone until the evidence is established against them. And also that if He had not given creatures a respite until a defined term had passed, He would have judged among them in what they disputed. Then He would have caused the believers to be happy and delighted and the disbelievers to be miserable and wretched.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is a fine way of saying that no such intercessors exist as can plead their cases with Allah. For if "something" is not in the knowledge of Allah, it implies that it does not exist at all, for everything that exists anywhere in the heavens and the earth is in His knowledge.