Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Nay) here Allah answers the Jews, (but whoever hath done evil) ascribes partners to Allah (and his sins surround him) and dies ascribing partners to Allah; (such are) those who have these attributes (rightful owners of the Fire) the dwellers of hell; (they will abide therein forever) perpetually, they will neither die nor leave it.
Not so, it will touch you and you will abide therein; whoever earns evil, through associating another with God, and is encompassed by his transgression, in the singular and the plural, that is to say, it overcomes him and encircles him totally, for, he has died an idolater — those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein abiding (khālidūn: this [plural noun] takes account of the [plural] import of man, ‘whoever’).
[Not so; whoever earns evil and] is encompassed by his transgression, that is, it has complete mastery of him absorbing him as black absorbs [the form of] a dress; were it otherwise, obedience would not have been a cause also for eternal reward [- those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein abiding].
Allah says, the matter is not as you have wished and hoped it to be. Rather, whoever does an evil deed and abides purposefully in his error, coming on the Day of Resurrection with no good deeds, only evil deeds, then he will be among the people of the Fire.
وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ
(And those who believe and do righteous good deeds) meaning, "They believe in Allah and His Messenger and perform the good deeds that conform with the Islamic Law. They shall be among the people of Paradise.'' Allah said in a similar statement,
(It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah. And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date stone), will be done to them) (4: 123-124).
Also, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Wa'il, `Ata', and Al-Hasan said that,
وَأَحَـطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيـَـتُهُ
(And his sin has surrounded him) means, "His Shirk (polytheism) has surrounded him.'' Also, Al-A`mash reported from Abu Razin that Ar-Rabi` bin Khuthaym said,
وَأَحَـطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيـَـتُهُ
(And his sin has surrounded him), "Whoever dies before repenting from his wrongs.'' As-Suddi and Abu Razin said similarly. Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that,
وَأَحَـطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيـَـتُهُ
(And his sin has surrounded him) refers to major sins. All of these statements carry similar meanings, and Allah knows best.
When Small Sins gather, They bring about Destruction
Here we should mention the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded, in which `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(This is the example of people who set up camp on a flat land, and then their servants came. One of them collected some wood and another man collected some wood until they collected a great deal. They then started a fire and cooked what they put on it.)
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said that,
(And those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are dwellers of Paradise, they will dwell therein forever) "Whoever believes in what you (Jews) did not believe in and implements what you refrained from implementing of Muhammad's religion, shall acquire Paradise for eternity. Allah stated that the recompense for good or evil works shall remain with its people for eternity. ''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Here the addressees are the new converts of Madinah, who had embraced Islam only recently. They had become interested in the Holy Prophet because they had often heard from the neighbouring Jews about Prophethood, Revelation, Angels, Divine Law, etc. They had also heard from them that they were expecting a new Prophet whose followers would prevail over the whole world. That is why the people of Madinah turned to the Holy Prophet when they heard of him and entered into the fold of Islam in large numbers. Naturally, they expected that the Jews, who possessed revealed Scriptures and who themselves had foretold the coming of a Prophet, would be the first to welcome Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) as a Prophet and would be in the forefront of his supporters. When, contrary to their expectations, the Jews did not come forward, the new Muslims themselves went to them and invited them to accept Islam, but they failed to persuade them. The hypocrites and the opponents of Islam used this rejection as an argument against Islam itself. They argued like this: there must be something suspicious about it: had Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) really been a Prophet, these pious and learned followes of the earlier scriptures, would nothave rejected him Knowingly, and ruined their Hereafter. In order to counteract the mischief caused by this fallacy, the past history of the Jews has been related to show that nothing better could be expected of them. This also cautioned the simple Muslims against cherishing any hope that the Jews of their city would in a body welcome Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) as the Prophet about whom prophecies has been made in their own Books. They have been warned that they should not entertain such expectations from the people whose history has been so and so. This was necessary because they were liable to become disheartened because of the rejection of Islam by them. As to the Jews, they had become so degenerate and hard-hearted that they were not moved even by those verses which melted the hearts of the pagans who formerly used to kill their own daughters. Not only this, these hard-hearted Jews made fun of those very verses also. Therefore, the zealous Muslims were warned that they should understand the real condition of the Jews, who had corrupted the Truth to suit their own desires and then had the audacity to have their hopes centred on the religion which they had themselves perverted. it was wrong to entertain any vain hopes that such people would accept the Truth as soon as it was presented before them.
"Some among them": their rabbis and jurists. "Word of God": the Torah, Psalms and other Books which they had received through their Prophets. The Jewish scholars not only twisted, distorted and misinterpreted the revealed scriptures, and read into them the meaning they wanted to read, but they also tampered with the actual words of the text.
When they met secretly, they warned each other not to disclose to the Muslims those passages of the Torah and other Scriptures which contained prophecies about the Holy Prophet. They also warned each other not to inform the Muslims about those verses and teachings of their holy books which, they feared, would expose to objection their own present condition and attitude for they were afraid that the Muslims would present these as arguments against them on the Day of Judgement. This is an instance of the kind of belief they held about Allah's knowledge. They were under the delusion that if they succeeded in hiding the Truth and their corruption of the Scriptures in this world, there would be no possibility of bringing a case against them in the Next World. That is why in the parenthetical clause that follows they have been asked whether they really believed Allah to be unaware of the affairs of the people.
This refers to the common people of the Jews, who were totally ignorant of the teachings of their own Scriptures. They had neither any knowledge of the fundamentals of religion, nor of the regulations concerning morality and rules of everyday life, nor of the principles leading to ultimate success or failure. And the pity is that they had formed their own notions about religion without this knowledge and were living on false hopes.
This refers to what their learned people did. They not only perverted their Scriptures to suit their desires and vanities, but also blended with the Text of the Bible their own interpretations, their national history, their superstitions, their self-made theories, philosophies and laws. Then they presented all this mixture before the people as if it were actually from God. Every historical fiction, every interpretation, every man-made creed, and every bye law that had somehow entered into the Holy Book, became the "Word of God," and it was absolutely obligatory for every Jew to believe in all these things and, if one did not, he was declared to be a renegade or a heretic.
There was a general belief among the common Jews and their religious leaders that they would not be seat to Hell in spite of their wrong beliefs and evil deeds just because they were Jews. They thought that even if any punishment was imposed on them, it would be for a few days only after which they would be sent to Paradise.
Not so; whoever earns evil and is encompassed by his transgressionthose are the inhabitants of the fire therein abiding khālidūn. In the language of scholars the one who is encompassed by his transgression is the disbeliever. But the allusion in it is to one whose heart has ceased its perpetual calling for help. The possessors of realities are like grain in the frying pan in their moments of wakefulness ṣaḥw. Those [of them] who have become still are thus because of His excessive majesty not because they are listless. Whoever relies on obedience seeks favor from it and thinks that he [can] draw near by means of it but he should keep his distance from this [idea]. Whoever comes to know the truth of God's unity knows that there is no means to Him except through Him.