Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And even if thou broughtest unto those who have received the Scripture all kinds of portents) all the signs they asked of you, (they would not follow your Qiblah) they would not pray towards your Qiblah nor embrace your Religion, (nor canst thou be a follower of their Qiblah) nor can you pray towards the Qiblah of the Jews or Christians; (nor are some of them followers of others) nor are some of them going to pray towards the Qiblah of the Jews and Christians. (And if thou shouldst follow their desires) after being warned and pray towards their Qiblah (after the knowledge which hath come unto you) that the Sacred Precinct is the Qiblah of Abraham, (then surely) if you do that then surely (wert thou of the evil-doers) who harm themselves.
Yet if (wa-la-in: the lām is for oaths) you should bring to those who have been given the Scripture every sign, about your truthfulness in the matter of the direction of prayer, they will not follow your direction, out of obduracy, and you are not a follower of their direction (this is a categorical negation of his [the Prophet’s] desire that they become Muslims and of their desire that he return to their direction of prayer; neither are they, the Jews and the Christians, followers of one another’s direction. If you were to follow their whims, the ones to which they summon you, after the knowledge, the revelation, that has come to you, then you, if, hypothetically, you were to follow them, will surely be among the evildoers.
Yet if you should bring to those who have been given the Scripture every sign, that is proof of the soundness of your prophethood and the validity of your prayer-direction, even if it should be from their own scripture or an incontrovertible rational one, they will not follow your direction, on account of their being veiled by their religion and their intelligibles and their confinement to them; and you are not a follower of their direction, because of your transcending the level of their religion and your rising above their station; neither are they followers of one another's direction, because each of them is veiled by his religion and because of the contradictoriness of their directions that originates in the contradictoriness that is at the centre of [each of] their natures. If you were to follow their, sundry, whims after the knowledge, of unity that comprehends you, has come to you, then you will surely be among [the evildoers], [among] those who have diminished what is your due and what is due to your station [as prophet].
Allah describes the Jews' disbelief, stubbornness and defiance of what they know of the truth of Allah's Messenger, that if the Prophet brought forward every proof to the truth of what he was sent with, they will never obey him or abandon following their desires. In another instance, Allah said:
(And even if you were to bring to the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction)).
وَمَآ أَنتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ
(...nor are you going to follow their Qiblah ), indicates the vigor with which Allah's Messenger implements what Allah commanded him. Allah's statement also indicates that as much as the Jews adhere to their opinions and desires, the Prophet adheres by Allah's commands, obeying Him and following what pleases Him, and that he would never adhere to their desires in any case. Hence, praying towards Bayt Al-Maqdis was not because it was the Qiblah of the Jews, but because Allah had commanded it. Allah then warns those who knowingly defy the truth, because the proof against those who know is stronger than against other people. This is why Allah said to His Messenger and his Ummah:
(Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allah), then indeed you will be one of the wrongdoers.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "You cannot convince by argument those who are disputing with you about the wisdom of the change of the giblah because they are not disposed to listen to any reasoning on account of their deep prejudices and obduracy: nor can you end this dispute by adopting the giblah of anyone of them; for all of them have different qiblahs, and, as a Prophet of Allah, you cannot make compromises on the principle of "give and take". Therefore the only thing you have to do is to stick to Our Commandments strictly and firmly. If you turn away from these, you will be transgressing the limits of Prophethood and showing ingratitude towards the favour of leadership with which We have blessed you."
This Arabic idiom is employed when one knows something with certainty and has absolutely no doubt about its identity. The metaphor has been derived from the fact that none can make any mistake in recognizing one's own children. Here it has been used to show that the learned people of the Jews and Christians knew it as a fact that the Ka'bah was built by the Prophet Abraham, just as they knew their own children. They also knew that the Holy Temple at Jerusalem was built by the Prophet Solomon some 1,300 years after the Ka'bah was built by the Prophet Abraham. The Ka'bah, therefore, had priority and superiority over the "Temple" and the Jews and the Christians should have no difficulty in recognizing and acknowledging it as the qiblah in the light of the above historical facts.
Yet if you should bring to those who have been given the scripture every sign they will not follow your direction and you are not a follower of their direction; neither are they followers of one another's direction. If you were to follow their whims after the knowledge that has come to you then you will surely be among the evildoers. “Devotion to the path of the Real was already yours from the eternal decree [just as it was decreed] that your enemies would fall to the side. Between the two of you there is a barrier barzakh. They do not overstep [55:19-20]. They will not follow your qibla even if you were to show them evidence that was clearer than suns and moons. And you will not be followers of their qibla even if they bring every stratagem. In that there is a decree from God سبحانه from pre-eternity.”