Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Nay, but We gave these) the people of Mecca (and their fathers) before them (ease) a reprieve (until life grew long for them) until their lifespan grew long for them. (See they) i.e. the people of Mecca (not how we visit the land) how We seize the land, (reducing it) conquering it, for Muhammad (of its outlying parts) from its sides? (Can they then be the victors) are they then going to be victorious over Muhammad (pbuh)?
Nay, but We provided [comforts] for these and their fathers, in the way of the graces which We bestowed on them, until life lasted long for them, so that they were deluded by such [longevity]. Do they not see how We visit the land, [how] We target their land, diminishing it at its edges?, by granting the Prophet victory [through conquest]. Are they the ones who will prevail? No, it is rather the Prophet and his Companions [who will do so].
How the Idolators are deceived by their long and luxurious Lives in this World, and the Explanation of the Truth
Allah explains that they have been deceived and misled by the luxuries that they enjoy in this world and the long life that they have been given, so they believe that they are following something good. Then Allah warns them:
(And indeed We have destroyed towns round about you, and We have shown the Ayat in various ways that they might return.) 46:27 Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "This means the victory of Islam over disbelief.'' The meaning is: Do they not learn a lesson from the fact that Allah supported those (believers) against their enemies, He destroyed the disbelieving nations and the evil-doing townships, and He saved His believing servants So Allah says:
(Is it then they who will overcome) meaning, on the contrary, they are the ones who will be overcomed, who will be defeated, humiliated and brought low.
قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أُنذِرُكُم بِالْوَحْىِ
(Say: "I warn you only by the revelation.'') meaning, `I only convey to you the warning of Allah's punishment and vengeance, and this is no more than that which Allah reveals to me.' But this is of no benefit to the one whom Allah has made blind and has put a seal over his hearing and his heart. He says:
(And if a breath of the torment of your Lord touches them, they will surely, cry: "Woe unto us! Indeed we have been wrongdoers!'') If these disbelievers were affected by the slightest touch of Allah's punishment, they would confess their sins and admit that they had wronged themselves in this world.
(And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything.) meaning, "We shall set up the Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection.'' The majority of scholars state that it is one Balance, and the plural form is used here to reflect the large number of deeds which will be weighed therein.
("O my son! If it be equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle, Well-Aware.'') 31:16 In the Two Sahihs it was recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Two words which are light on the tongue, heavy in the Balance and beloved to Ar-Rahman: "Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi, Subhan Allahil `Azim (Glory and praise be to Allah, Glory be to Allah the Almighty).'') Imam Ahmad also recorded that `A'ishah said that one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah sat down before him and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I have two slaves who lie to me, betray me and disobey me, and I hit them and insult them. How do I stand with regard to them'' The Messenger of Allah said:
(The extent to which they betrayed you, disobeyed you and lied to you will be measured against the punishment you meted out to them. If your punishment was commensurate with their misconduct, then you will be equal and you will not have anything counted for you or against you. If your punishment of them was less than that what they deserved for their misconduct, then this will count in your favor. If your punishment of them was more than what they deserved for their misconduct, then Allah will take what is due to them from you.) Then the man started to weep before the Messenger of Allah, and the Messenger of Allah asked,
(What is the matter with him Has he not read the words of Allah, (And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And sufficient are We to take account.)) The man said, "O Messenger of Allah, I think there is nothing better than keeping away from these people -- meaning his slaves -- I call upon you to bear witness that they are all free.''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is to say, "Who is there to protect and save you from the scourge of Allah if you are suddenly visited by it any time during the night or day?"
In other words it means: "These people have been deluded by Our favor and Our provisions. They think they are enjoying prosperity and good life as their personal right and there is none to take it away from them. They have forgotten that there is God above them Who is able to make or mar their fortune".
In this connection, see Ar-Ra`d (XIII): 41 and E. N. 60 thereof. Here it bears an additional meaning also: "Do they not see that an All-Powerful Being is showing His Signs every now and then everywhere on the earth in the form of famines, epidemics, floods, earthquakes and other calamities; millions of people are killed, habitations and harvests are destroyed and other damages are caused, which frustrate all human designs?"
It means: "When they know that all the resources and provisions of life are in Our hands and that We can increase or decrease them as We will, have they the power and strength to defend themselves against Our punishment? Can they not see from these "Signs" that their power, prosperity and luxury are not everlasting and that there is an All-Powerful Allah to seize and punish them?"
That is, "The same scourge which they are demanding to be hastened and of which they are making fun."