Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And establish prayer) perfect the five daily prayers, (and pay the poor-due) pay the poor what is due from your wealth; (and whatever of good) of righteous deeds, and the poor-due and charitable works (ye send before for your souls) you save for yourselves, (ye will find it) you will find its reward (with Allah) from Allah. (Lo! Allah is Seer) knows your intentions (of what ye do) of what you spend in charity and the poor-due.
And perform the prayer, and pay the alms; whatever good, in the way of obedience, such as [observing] kinship and charity, you shall offer for your own souls, you shall find it, that is, its reward, with God; assuredly God sees what you do, and will requite you for it.
The Prohibition of following the Ways of the People of the Book
Allah warned His believing servants against following the ways of the People of Book, who publicly and secretly harbor emnity and hatred for the believers, and who envy the believers, while they recognize the virtue of the believers and their Prophet. Allah also commanded His believing servants to forgive them and to be patient with them, until Allah delivers His aid and victory to them. Allah commanded the believers to perform the prayer perfectly, to pay the Zakah and He encouraged them to preserve the practice of these righteous deeds.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Ka`b bin Malik said that Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf, who was a Jew and a poet, used to criticize the Prophet in his poems, so Allah revealed,
(Many of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn you away..) regarding his matter.
Also, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, "An unlettered Messenger came to the People of the Scriptures confirming what they have in their own Books about the Messengers and the Ayat of Allah. He also believes in all of this, just as they believe in it. Yet, they rejected the Prophet out of disbelief, envy and transgression. This is why Allah said,
(out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them).
Allah said that after He illuminated the truth for them, such that they were not ignorant of any of it, yet their envy made them deny the Prophet. Thus Allah criticized, chastised and denounced them.'' Allah legislated the characteristics that His Prophet and the believers should adhere to: belief, faith and accepting what Allah revealed to them and to those before them out of His generosity and tremendous kindness.
Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that,
مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
(from their own selves) means, "of their making.'' Also, Abu Al-`Aliyah said that,
مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ
(even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them) means, "After it became clear that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah whom they find written of in the Torah and the Injil. They denied him in disbelief and transgression because he was not one of them.'' Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said similarly. Allah said,
(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command. Verily, Allah is able to do all things).
The Messenger of Allah used to forgive them and was patient with them as Allah ordered him, until Allah allowed fighting them. Then Allah destroyed those who He decreed to be killed among the strong men of Quraysh, by the Prophet's forces. The chain of narration for this text is Sahih, but I did not see its wordings in the six collections of Hadith, although the basis of it is in the Two Sahihs, narrated from Usamah bin Zayd.
(And perform the Salah and give the Zakah, and whatever of good you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allah).
Allah encouraged the believers to busy themselves in performing deeds that would bring them benefit and reward on the Day of Resurrection, such as prayer and paying Zakah. This way, they will gain Allah's aid in this life and on a Day when the witnesses testify,
(The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to the Zalimin (wrongdoers). Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode (i.e. painful torment in Hell-fire)) (40:52).
This is why Allah said,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
(Certainly, Allah sees what you do), meaning, that He is never unaware of the deeds of any person, nor will these deeds be lost by Him. Whether deeds are righteous or evil, Allah will award each according to what he or she deserves based on their deeds.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The Jews were addicted to hair-splitting. They put subtle and unnecessary questions to the Muslims and would incite them to inquire about the same from the Holy Prophet. As they intended merely to create mischief, Allah warned the Muslims not to follow their example. The Holy Prophet also advised the Believers not to indulge in the pastime of making fine distinctions and asking unnecessary questions because such things had ruined the communities that went before them. They should do what they were asked to do and refrain from what they were prohibited. They should not waste their powers and energies in useless pursuits but attend to important matters.
That is "their enmity and jealousy should not incite you to lose your balance of mind and involve you in arguments, discussions and disputes with them. You should not lose your dignity and waste your precious time in such useless pursuits but should go on doing the right and wait patiently for Allah's judgement. You should remember Allah and do good deeds because these are the things that will avail you before Allah and not those things and the like."
And perform the prayer and pay the alms; whatever good you shall offer for your own souls you shall find it with God; assuredly God sees what you do. The obligation for the aspirant is to perform the acts of intimate communication muwāṣalāt and to continually seek to gain access with different kinds of acts of drawing near qurubāt trusting that what he offers in sincere difficult efforts mujāhadāt will bear fruit in the final states hālāt.