Nay, but they deny the [coming of the] Hour, the Resurrection, and We have prepared for those who deny the Hour a blaze (sa‘īr), a fire that has been set ablaze (musa‘‘ara), in other words, an intense [fire].
(Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him) They were saying: why doesn't an angel come down to him from Allah, to be a witness that what he is claiming is true This is like when Fira`wn said:
("Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him'') (43:53). These people had a similar mentality and said the same kind of thing. They said:
أَوْ يُلْقَى إِلَيْهِ كَنْزٌ
(Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him) meaning, treasure that he could spend on his needs and wants.
أَوْ تَكُونُ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ يَأْكُلُ مِنْهَا
(or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat) meaning, a garden that would go with him wherever he went. All of this is easy for Allah, but He had a reason for not doing any of these things, and with Him is the perfect proof and argument.
(See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray,) meaning, they accused you and belied you when they said that you were a sorcerer or bewitched or crazy or a liar or a poet, but all of these are false ideas. Everyone who has the slightest understanding will recognize that they are lying. Allah says:
(so they have gone astray) from the path of guidance.
فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً
(and they cannot find a path.) Everyone who steps outside of the way of truth and guidance has gone astray, no matter what direction he takes, because the truth is one and its methodology is unified, parts of it confirming other parts. Then Allah tells His Prophet that if He willed, He could bestow on him in this world something far better than what they were saying. He said:
(Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than (all) that...) Mujahid said, "This means in this world.'' And he said: "The Quraysh used to call every house that was made of stone a `palace', whether it was large or small.''
بَلْ كَذَّبُواْ بِالسَّاعَةِ
(Nay, they deny the Hour,) means, they say this in stubborn disbelief, not because they are seeking insight and guidance, but because their disbelief in the Day of Resurrection makes them say what they say.
(And We have prepared) means, `We have made ready,'
لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيراً
(for those who deny the Hour, a flaming Fire.) means, an unbearably hot and painful torment in the fire of Hell.
(When it sees them) means, when Hell sees them,
مِن مَّكَانِ بَعِيدٍ
(from a far place,) means from the place of gathering (on the Day of Resurrection),
سَمِعُواْ لَهَا تَغَيُّظاً وَزَفِيراً
(they will hear its raging and its roaring.) means, (it will make those sounds) out of hatred towards them. This is like the Ayah,
(When they are cast therein, they will hear the (terrible) drawing in of its breath as it blazes forth. It almost bursts up with fury) (67:7-8), which means that parts of it almost separate from other parts because of its intense hatred towards those who disbelieved in Allah. Imam Abu Ja`far bin Jarir narrated that Ibn `Abbas said: "A man will be dragged towards Hell, which will be expanding and contracting, and Ar-Rahman will say to it: `What is the matter with you' It will say: `He is seeking refuge from me.' So Allah will say, `Let My servant go.' Another man will be dragged towards Hell and he will say, `O Lord, I never expected this from You.' Allah will say, `What did you expect' The man will say, `I expected that Your mercy would be great enough to include me.' So Allah will say, `Let My servant go.' Another man will be dragged towards Hell, and Hell will bray at him like a donkey braying at barley. Then it will give a moan that will instill fear in everyone.'' Its chain of narrators is Sahih.
سَمِعُواْ لَهَا تَغَيُّظاً وَزَفِيراً
(they will hear its raging and its roaring. ) `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that `Ubayd bin `Umayr said: "Hell will utter a moan such that there will be no angel who is close to Allah and no Prophet sent to mankind, but he will fall on his face, shaking all over. Even Ibrahim, peace be upon him, will fall to his knees and say: `O Lord, I do not ask You for salvation this Day except for myself.'''
(And when they shall be thrown into a narrow place thereof, chained together,) Qatadah narrated from Abu Ayyub that `Abdullah bin `Amr said: "Like the point of a spear, i.e., in its narrowness.''
(chained together,) Abu Salih said, "This means, tied from their shoulders.''
دَعَوْاْ هُنَالِكَ ثُبُوراً
(they will exclaim therein for destruction.) means, they will utter cries of woe, regret and sorrow.
لاَّ تَدْعُواْ الْيَوْمَ ثُبُوراً وَحِداً
(Exclaim not today for one destruction...)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The word As-Sa'at, meaning the Time or the Hour, has been used in the Qur'an as a term for the promised Hour of Resurrection, when all human beings of all ages will be raised from the dead and gathered together before Allah Almighty to account for their beliefs and deeds, right or wrong, and rewarded or punished accordingly.
That is, "The objections they are raising are not due to the reason that they doubt the authenticity of the Qur'an on some rational ground, or that they do not believe in you for the reason that you eat food and walk about in the streets like the common people, or that they did not accept your Message of Truth only because you were not escorted by an angel, or were not given a treasure. But the real reason why they are putting forward all sorts of absurd arguments to reject your Message, is that they do not believe in the life-after-death, and this denial has made them free from all moral obligations. For when one denies the life-after death, there remains no need for him to consider and decide what is true or false, or what is right or wrong, etc. Their argument is like this: 'There is going to be no life after this one on the earth when we will be called to account for our deeds before God. Death will be the end of everything, and it will therefore make no difference whether one was a worshiper of God or a disbeliever or a mushrik or an atheist When the ultimate end is to become one with the dust, there is no need of judging what is right and what is wrong except by the criterion of "success" and "failure" in this life'. Those who deny the Hereafter also see that worldly success or failure does not entirely depend upon one's faith or conduct; nay, they very often see that the righteous and the wicked persons meet with the same end irrespective of their faith for which there is no ordained punishment or reward in this life; one righteous person may be living a life of hardship while another enjoying all the good things of life; one wicked person may be suffering for his misdeeds while the other enjoying a life of pleasure and plenty. As such, as far as the worldly consequences of adopting a particular moral attitude are concerned, the disbelievers in the Hereafter cannot be satisfied whether it is right or wrong. In view of this, those who deny the Hereafter, do not see any need to consider an invitation to faith and morality even if it is presented in a most forceful way."
"The Fire will see them" The words used in the Text may be metaphorical, or they may mean that the Fire of Hell will be endowed with the faculties of seeing, thinking and judging.