Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And they proffer unto Allah submission on that day) both the worshipper and that which he worshipped in this worldly life will surrender to Allah, Exalted is He, (and all that they used to invent hath failed them) their lies about Allah will go in vain; it is also said that this means: the idols which they falsely worshipped will be occupied with themselves.
And they will offer submission to God on that day, that is, they will have surrendered to His judgement, and that which they used to invent, in the way of [claiming that] their gods intercede for them, will fail, forsake, them.
And on that day they will offer to God submission, and obedience. Their denial has already been mentioned, as in where He says: the day when God will raise them all together, whereupon they will swear to Him just as they swear to you [now] [Q. 58:18]. That is according to the halting place [at the Resurrection]. The denial at that first halting is at the moment of the potency of the configurations of vice and the intensity of the unyieldingness of the soul in its devilishness and at its utmost remoteness from the divine light because of its being veiled with thick veils and dark coverings such that he is not even aware that he is inspecting and contemplating it, and [it is at the moment of] the extreme sulliedness of the light of preparedness such that he is even able to manifest the opposite of what it [that preparedness] entails. Submission at the second halting place takes place after the passage of several ages of the hours of that Day, 'whose span is fifty thousand years' [cf. Q. 70:4], when the configurations have dissipated and the natural inclination of the soul to vices has thinned and weakened, and [when] he has drawn close to the world of light because of the thinness of the veils and the flashing of the light of his first primordial nature, whereupon he will admit [the truth] and yield - that is if the submission and the denial are on the part of individual souls: submission then can be in the case of those in whom the configurations of their vices have not taken deep root, their veils have not become thick and the light of their preparedness has not been extinguished; while denial is in the case of those in whom the configurations have taken deep roots and have become potent, so that devilishness has overcome them and established itself [in them], their veil being dense and their preparedness having failed. But God knows best;
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The witness will be the Prophet of that community or his follower who invited that community to Tauhid and God-worship and warned it of the consequences of shirk and superstitious rites and customs and cautioned it against the accountability on the Day of Resurrection. He will bear witness of the fact that he had conveyed the true Message to those people, and that they committed evils deliberately and not in ignorance.
This does not mean that the criminals will not be given any opportunity to clear themselves but it means that their crimes will be proved to the hilt by means of irrefutable evidence which will leave no room for excuses.
That is, "They will not be given the opportunity to beg pardon of their Lord for their crimes. For that will be the time of judgment as the time of begging pardon would have ended long before this." The Qur'an and the Traditions are explicit on this point that the place for penitence is this world and not the Next World. Even in this world the opportunity is lost as soon as signs of death begin to appear, for the penitence at that time will be of no avail when a person knows that the time of his death has come. Respite for deeds expires as soon as one enters into the boundary of death, and the only thing that remains after that is the award of reward and punishment.
It does not mean that they would deny the fact that the mushriks used to invoke their help. They will call them liars in the sense that they had made them deities without their knowledge, information and permission, as if to say, "We never told you to leave Allah aside and pray to us for help. As a matter of fact, we never approved of this, nay, we were utterly unaware of this that you were invoking us. It was an utter lie that you considered us to be able to hear your prayers, answer them and help you out of your difficulties. As you yourselves were responsible for this shirk, why arc you involving us in its consequences?"
That is, "All those things on which they had relied will prove to be false, for they will not find anyone to hear their supplication nor anyone to remove their hardships. Nay, there will be none who will come forward and say, "These. are my dependents: so no action should be taken against them."
Double torment: one for their own disbelief and the other for hindering others from the Way of Allah.