Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Yet when He hath delivered them) from the storm and drowning, (behold! they rebel) they become insolent (in the earth wrongfully) without any right. (O mankind!) O people of Mecca! (Your rebellion) your transgression and insolence with one another (is only against yourselves) i.e. its onus is only against you. ((Ye have) enjoyment of the life of the world) the benefits of the life of this world perish and are not lasting; (then unto Us is your return) after death (and We shall proclaim unto you) inform you about (what ye used to do) and say of good and evil.
Yet when He has delivered them, behold! they are insolent in the earth wrongfully, by associating others with God. O mankind, your insolence, wrongdoing, is only against yourselves, since the sin thereof shall fall against them; it is [but], the enjoyment of the life of this world, which you will enjoy for a short while, then to Us is your return, after death, and We shall inform you of what you used to do, and then requite you for it (a variant reading [for nominative matā‘u] has accusative matā‘a, ‘an enjoyment’, in other words [read as with an omitted verb such as] tatamatta‘ūna, ‘[one which] you shall enjoy’).
[O mankind] your insolence is only against your own souls, to the end of this [verse]: insolence is the opposite of justness. So just as justness is a virtue that subsumes all other virtues and configuration from the [inclusive] unity that procures an effusion from the light of the Oneness for the soul, so insolence can only be the result of utter engrossment in vices such that it requires all of them. The one so [insolent] is at extreme distance from the Truth and utter darkness, as it is said [in a ḥadīth]: 'Injustice shall be [a heap of] darknesses on the Day of Resurrection'. That is why He says 'against your souls' and not against the victim of the injustice, because the one suffering the injustice will end up fortunate thereby while the unjust one will be utterly wretched. It is but the enjoyment of the life of this world since all excesses and acts of immoderation that are the counterpart to justice are mere natural enjoyments and animal pleasures that will perish with the perishing of sensory life whose similitude in being quick to disappear and of little endurance is given in the similitude here in which the earth adorns itself with its ornaments by [receiving] rainwater but is then quickly destroyed by some ruinous matter before there is time to profit from the plants [that had shot forth with the rain]. There then follows eternal wretchedness and everlasting painful chastisement. According to the ḥadīth it is said that the good that is quickest to receive reward is kindness to relatives; and the evil that receives its punishment most promptly is insolence and the perjurious oath, since against this latter there accumulate the dues of people and so his punishment cannot be delayed for the length of time that a due of God, exalted be He, can. I have heard one [Sufi] shaykh say: 'Rarely does an insolent [tyrant] die a natural death and rarely does a wicked person reach old age', and that is because they both challenge God, exalted be He, by trying to demolish the order which God's solicitude is devoted to keeping in check and because they both contravene His wisdom and His justice.
Man changes when He receives Mercy after Times of Distress
Allah tells us that when He makes men feel His mercy after being afflicted with distress,
إِذَا لَهُمْ مَّكْرٌ فِى ءايَـتِنَا
(They take to plotting against Our Ayat.) The coming of mercy after distress is like the coming of ease after hardship, fertility after aridity, and rain after drought. Mujahid said that man's attitude indicates a mockery and belying of blessings. The meaning here is similar to Allah's statement:
(And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying on his side, or sitting or standing.)(10:12) Al-Bukhari recorded that Allah's Messenger led the Subh (Dawn) prayer after it had rained during the night, then he said:
(Allah said; "This morning, some of My servants have become believers and some disbelievers in Me. He who said: `We have had this rainfall due to the grace and mercy of Allah' is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. And he who said `we have had this rainfall due to the rising of such and such star' is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.) The Ayah:
قُلِ اللَّهُ أَسْرَعُ مَكْرًا
(Say: "Allah is more swift in planning!'') means that Allah is more capable of gradually seizing them with punishment, while granting them concession of a delay until the criminals think that they would not be punished. But in reality they are in periods of respite, then they will be taken suddenly. The noble writers (meaning the angels who write the deeds) will write everything that they do and keep count of their deeds. Then they will present it before the All-Knowing of the seen and unseen worlds. The Lord will then reward them for the significant deeds and even the seemingly insignificant that may be as tiny as a spot on a date pit. Allah further states:
(Till when you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they are glad therein...) meaning smoothly and calmly;
(then comes (these ships))
(a stormy wind)
وَجَآءَهُمُ الْمَوْجُ مِن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ
o(and the waves come to them from all sides, )
وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ أُحِيطَ بِهِمْ
(and they think that they are encircled therein) meaning that are going to be destroyed.
دَعَوُاْ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
(Then they invoke Allah, making their faith pure for Him (alone)) meaning that in this situation they would not invoke an idol or statue besides Allah. They would single Him out alone for their supplications and prayers. This is similar to Allah's statement:
(And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him (Allah alone). But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful.) 17:67 And in this Surah, He says:
(O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against yourselves,) it is you yourselves that will taste the evil consequence of this transgression. You will not harm anyone else with it, as comes in the Hadith,
(There is no sin that is more worthy that Allah hasten punishment for in this world -- on top of the punishment that Allah has in store for it in the Hereafter -- than oppression and cutting the ties of the womb.) Allah's statement:
مَّتَاعَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا
(a brief enjoyment of this worldly life...) means that you only have a short enjoyment in this low and abased worldly life.
ثُمَّ إِلَينَا مَرْجِعُكُمْ
(then (in the end) unto Us is your return...) meaning your goal and final destination.
(and We shall inform you) of all your deeds. Then we shall recompense you for them. So let him who finds good (in his record) praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
They practiced deceptions regarding "the Sign of the famine" that had been inflicted on them (vv. 11, 12). This verse alludes to the same, as if to say, "How dart you demand a Sign again, whereas recently the Sign of the famine has been shown to you ? At that time you invoked the help of your deities but in vain, though you had set them up as intercessors with Allah and believed that offerings to their shrines would prove very effective in removing the famine. But you yourselves learned by first hand experience that those so-called gods possessed no power at all. Therefore when you were convinced that all power belongs to Allah alone, you turned to Him and began to invoke His help. This experience ought to have convinced you of the Truth of the Message of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) for this was the very fundamental thing which he was teaching. Instead of learning a lesson from this Sign, you began to practice deceptions to explain it away, as soon as the famine was over and there had come the blessed rainfall. You invented many explanations (deceptions) concerning the causes of the famine and its subsequent end in order to 'escape' from the doctrine of Tauhid and stick to your shirk. The verse is meant to declare that no Sign would convince such people as those who had not benefited from the great Sign of the famine. Therefore there was no use of showing any sign to them.
"Allah is more swift in His plans than you......" means this: "If you practice deceptions in order to explain away the Sign of the famine so that you might find excuses to evade the implications of its acceptance, in order to continue your rebellious attitudes, Allah is more swift in carrying out His plans to out-do your deceptive methods. He will leave you free to move in your wrong ways: He will even bestow upon you the worldly prosperity, which will so delude you that you will forget that you were being closely watched and will, therefore, commit evil deeds with apparent immunity and enjoy yourselves to your heart's content. But His angels will go on keeping a full and complete record of your deeds, which will be presented for your prosecution after your death."
The fact that even the most obdurate mushriks and the most hardened atheists who forget Allah when things go well with them, begin to invoke Allah's help when they are pressed hard from all sides and despair of help froth any other quarter, is a clear evidence that there is the All-Powerful Allah Who is controlling each and every thing in the universe. (Please refer to E.N. 29, Al An 'am. )
The parable is meant to warn those who are utterly neglectful of the Life-after-death because of their apparent "success" in this worldly life. They have been likened to the owners of the land who were happy to presume that the crop was ripe and luxuriant and it was within their power to reap it and enjoy the produce of their harvest. They were so sure of this that they began to enjoy the fore-taste of the ripened crops, unaware of the Decree of Allah which destroyed their crops and all their great expectations also. Like-wise those who neglect to make preparations for the life-after-death will find to their sorrow that all they did to earn for the enjoyments of this world was, in relation to the Next World, like the ripe crop that was destroyed all of a sudden.
That is, "Allah invites to the Way that leads to the Abode of Peace in the Hereafter."
"The Abode of Peace" here means Paradise, where there will be no fear whatsoever of any loss, calamity, sorrow, pain and trouble.
That is, "Allah by His grace will give to those who did good deeds more than their due reward. "
That is, "In contrast to the additional rewards to the good people, those who earned evil deeds, shall be punished only in proportion to their crimes." (For further explanation see E.N. 109a of XXVII).
It shall be that kind of gloom that overspreads the faces of the criminals when they are caught, and they despair all hope of escape.
Some commentators are of the opinion that the original words of the text mean this: "We will cut off every kind of connection and relation between them so that they are not able to show any concern for one another. " But these meanings are opposed to the Arabic usage, according to which they mean: "We will distinguish them from one another" or "We will cause a distinction among them." That is why these have been translated into English like this: "We will remove the state of strangeness from among them. " That is, the mushriks and their deities shall stand in front of each other and recognize their mutual and respective positions. The mushriks shall come to know the whole truth about those whom they worshiped and their deities will learn everything about their worshipers.