Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
When they could not bring a Scripture, Allah said: (And if they answer thee not) if the wrong-doers do not produce that which you have asked them, (then know that what they follow is their lusts) through disbelief, idolatry and idol worship. (And who goeth farther astray) from the Truth and guidance (than he who followeth his lust) through disbelief, idolatry, and idol worship (without guidance from Allah) without proof or exposition from Allah. (Lo! Allah guideth not) to His religion (wrong-doing folk) the idolaters: Abu Jahl and his host.
Then if they do not respond to you, regarding your invitation [to them] to bring a Scripture, know that they are only following their desires, in [persisting in] their disbelief. And who is more astray than he who follows his desire without any guidance from God?, in other words, there is no one more astray than such [a person]. Truly God does not guide the evildoing, the disbelieving, folk.
Allah tells us that if people were to be punished before proof was established against them, they would use the excuse that no Messenger came to them, but when the truth did come to them through Muhammad, in their stubbornness, disbelief, ignorance and misguided thinking, they said:
لَوْلا أُوتِىَ مِثْلَ مَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَى
(Why is he not given the like of what was given to Musa) Meaning -- and Allah knows best -- many signs like the staff, the hand, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, the blood, the destruction of crops and fruits -- which made things difficult for the enemies of Allah -- and the parting of the sea, the clouds (following the Children of Israel in the wilderness and) shading them, the manna and quails, and other clear signs and definitive proof, miracles which Allah wrought at the hands of Musa as evidence and proof against Fir`awn and his chiefs and the Children of Israel. But all of this had no effect on Fir`awn and his chiefs; on the contrary, they denied Musa and his brother Harun, as Allah tells us:
(Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Musa of old) Did not mankind disbelieve in those mighty signs which were given to Musa
قَالُواْ سِحْرَانِ تَظَـهَرَا
(They say: "Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!'') cooperating or working one with the other.
وَقَالُواْ إِنَّا بِكُلٍّ كَـفِرُونَ
(And they say: "Verily, in both we are disbelievers.'') meaning, `we disbelieve in each of them.' Because of the close relationship between Musa and Harun, mention of one includes the other.
False Accusation that Musa and Harun (peace be upon them both) practiced Magic
Mujahid bin Jabr said, "The Jews told Quraysh to say this to Muhammad, then Allah said: `Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Musa of old They say: Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!' This refers to Musa and Harun, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both,
(each helping the other) i.e., working together and supporting one another.'' This was also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr and Abu Razin that the phrase "two kinds of magic'' referred to Musa and Harun. This is a good suggestion. And Allah knows best.
The Response to this False Accusation
(Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!) `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this refers to the Tawrah and the Qur'an, because Allah says next:
(Verily, we have heard a Book sent down after Musa, confirming what came before it) (46:30). Waraqah bin Nawfal said, "This is An-Namus, who came down to Musa.'' And those who are possessed of insight know instinctively that among the many Books which He has sent down to His Prophets, there is no Book more perfect, more eloquent or more noble than the Book which He revealed to Muhammad, which is the Qur'an. Next to it in status and greatness is the Book which Allah revealed to Musa bin `Imran, which is the Book concerning which Allah says:
(Verily, We did send down the Tawrah, therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged for the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests, for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto) (5:44). The Injil was revealed as a continuation and complement of the Tawrah and to permit some of the things that had been forbidden to the Children of Israel. Allah says:
(And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah) means, with no guidance taken from the Book of Allah.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ
(Verily, Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers.)
وَلَقَدْ وَصَّلْنَا لَهُمُ الْقَوْلَ
(And indeed now We have conveyed the Word) Mujahid said: "We have explained the Word to them.'' As-Suddi said something similar. Qatadah said: "Allah is saying, `He has told them what He did in the past and what He will do in the future.'''
(in order that they may remember.) Mujahid and others said:
(We have conveyed the Word) means, to Quraysh.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "Why has. not Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) been given all those miracles which had been given to the Prophet Moses? He also should have shown us the miracle of the staff; his hand also should have shone like the sun; his deniers also should have been struck with storms and plagues from the earth and heaven; and he also should have brought them Commandments written on stone tablets."
This is a reply to their objection, which implies: "The disbelievers of Makkah had not believed in Moses either, nor followed his teachings. Therefore they had no right to say: Why has the Prophet Muhammad not been given the same miracles that were given to the Prophet "Moses?" In Surah Saba': 31, this saying of the disbelievers of Makkah has been related: "We shall never believe in this Qur'an, nor in any other Book which came before it."
That is, the Qur'an and the Torah both.
That is, "I have to follow the guidance in any case, provided that it is not forged but is real guidance from God. If you possess a Divine Book which gives better guidance than the Qur'an and the Torah, you should produce it: I shall follow it without any hesitation."
That is, "As far as conveying of the admonition is concerned, we have done full justice to it in the Qur'an in the best way. But guidance is attained only by him who gives up stubbornness and frees his heart from prejudices and is inclined to accept the Truth willingly and sincerely."