Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Lo! those who believe) in Muhammad (pbuh) (and those who are Jews) the Jews of Medina, (and the Sabaeans) the Itinerants, a Christian sect (and the Christians) the Christians of Najran (and the Magians) the worshippers of the sun and fire (and the idolaters) the Arab idolaters. (Lo! Allah will decide between them on the Day of Resurrection. Lo! Allah is Witness over all things) Allah is aware of their differences and works.
Truly those who believe, and those of Jewry, namely, the Jews, and the Sabaeans, a sect from among them, and the Christians, and the Magians and the polytheists — God will indeed judge between them on the Day of Resurrection, by admitting the believers into Paradise, and all others into the Fire. Assuredly God, over all things, [the things] which they do, is Witness, Knowing them a knowledge of direct vision (‘ilm mushāhada).
Allah will judge between the Sects on the Day of Resurrection
Allah tells us about the followers of these various religions, the believers (Muslims) and others such as the Jews and Sabians. We have already seen a definition of them in Surat Al-Baqarah and have noted how people differ over who they are. There are also the Christians, Majus and others who worship others alongside Allah. Allah will
يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيـمَةِ
(judge between them on the Day of Resurrection) with justice; He will admit those who believed in Him to Paradise and will send those who disbelieved in Him to Hell, for He is a Witness over their deeds, and He knows all that they say and all that they do in secret, and conceal in their breast.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This means the "Muslims" of every age who believed in the Prophets of Allah and His Books up to the time of Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him): they included both the sincere Muslims and the wavering Muslims.
See E.N. 72 of Chapter IV (An-Nisa).
"Sabaeans": In ancient times two sects were known by this title:
(1) The followers of Prophet John, who were found in upper Iraq in large numbers and practiced baptism.
(2) The worshipers of stars, who ascribed their creed to Prophets Shith and Idris (peace be upon them) and believed that the elements were governed by the planets and the planets by the angels. Their center was at Harran with branches spread all over Iraq. These people have been well known for their knowledge of philosophy and science and their achievements in medicine.
Probably here the first sect is referred to, because the second sect was not known by this name at the time the Qur'an was revealed.
See E. N. 36 of Chapter V (AI-Ma'idah).
That is, the fire-worshipers of Iran, who believed in two gods -one of light and the other of darknesses-and regarded themselves as the followers of Zoroaster. Their creed and morals were so corrupted by Mazdak that a brother could easily enter into matrimony with his sister.
That is, "The mushriks of Arabia and of other countries, who had no special name like those mentioned above."
That is, "Allah will pass His judgment on the Day of Resurrection in regard to all the differences and disputes which take place between different people and different religions and will decide which of them was right and which was wrong. "
See E.N. 25 Chapter XIII (Ar-Ra`d) and E.N. 41 of Chapter XVI (An-Nahl).
That is, "Angels, stars, planets, etc. and all the creation that exists in other parts of the universe, whether it is rational and possesses freedom of will and choice like man, or irrational like animals, vegetation, solid matter, air and light.
That is, "A large number of the people bow down before Allah not by compulsion but willingly. On the other hand, there are many other people who bow down before Him under compulsion along with everything else in the universe, but they deserve punishment because they refuse to obey Allah in those spheres of life in which they have the choice to obey or not to obey.
That is, though the Final Judgment will be passed on the Day of Resurrection, a discerning eye can see even today those "who have already deserved the torment." For instance, the man who rejects the Message of the open book of Nature and the Message of the Prophets and adopts self-made false creeds and then disputes about them with the Believers, proves himself to be in manifest error in this world as well.
In this verse "honor" and "disgrace" mean the acceptance of the Truth and its rejection. It is obvious that the one who does not see manifest realities is doomed to disgrace: for Allah lets him attain what he desires and works for; and when Allah does not bestow on anyone the honor of following the Truth, there is none else who can bestow it on him.
Here it is obligatory to perform a sajdah (prostration), which is agreed upon by all Jurists. For further details please See E.N. 157 of Chapter VII (Al-A'raf).