Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And they say) i.e. Harth Ibn 'Amr al-Nawfali and his host: (If we were to follow the Guidance) the confession of Allah's divine Oneness (with thee) O Muhammad (we should be torn out) expelled (of our land) Mecca. (Have We not established for them) We made them dwell in (a sure sanctuary) free of turmoil, (whereunto the produce of all things is brought (in trade), a provision from Our presence?) A sustenance for them from Us, so how am I to set the disbelievers on them if they were to believe? (But most of them know not) this nor believe in it.
And they, his people, say, ‘If we were to follow the Guidance with you, we will be deprived from our land’, torn out of it swiftly. God, exalted be He, says: Have We not established for them a secure Sanctuary, [one] in which they are secure from the raids and killings that occur among the Arab tribes, to which are brought (read tujbā or yujbā) fruits of all kinds, [fruits] from every direction, as a provision, for them, from Us? But most of them do not know, that what We say is the truth.
(Verily, you guide not whom you like)' meaning, `the matter does not rest with you; all that you have to do is convey the Message, and Allah will guide whom He wills, and His is the ultimate wisdom,' as He says:
(Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.) meaning: Allah knows best who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be misguided. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that this Ayah was revealed concerning Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allah. He used to protect the Prophet, support him and stand by him. He loved the Prophet dearly, but this love was a natural love, i.e., born of kinship, not a love that was born of the fact that he was the Messenger of Allah. When he was on his deathbed, the Messenger of Allah called him to Faith and to enter Islam, but the decree overtook him and he remained a follower of disbelief, and Allah's is the complete wisdom. Az-Zuhri said: "Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib narrated to me that his father, Al-Musayyib bin Hazan Al-Makhzumi, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "When Abu Talib was dying, the Messenger of Allah came to him and found Abu Jahl bin Hisham and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah with him. The Messenger of Allah said:
(O my uncle, say La ilaha illallah, a word which I may use as evidence in your favor before Allah in the Hereafter.) Abu Jahl bin Hisham and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah said: `O Abu Talib, will you leave the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib' The Messenger of Allah kept urging him to say La ilaha illallah, and they kept saying, `Will you leave the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib' -- until, at the very end, he said that he was on the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib, and he refused to say La ilaha illallah. The Messenger of Allah said:
(And they say: "If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.'') Allah tells us that this is the excuse which was given by some of the disbelievers for not following true guidance. They said to the Messenger of Allah :
(If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.), meaning, `we are afraid that if we follow the message of guidance that you have brought, and go against the pagan Arab tribes around us, they will seek to do us harm and wage war against us, and they may snatch us away from wherever we may be.' Allah said in response to them:
أَوَلَمْ نُمَكِّن لَّهُمْ حَرَماً ءَامِناً
(Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary,) meaning, the excuse they give is a lie and is false, because Allah has put them in a secure city and a venerated sanctuary which has been safe from the time it was built -- how could this sanctuary be safe for them when they believed in disbelief and Shirk, and how could it not be safe for them when they become Muslims and follow the truth
يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِ ثَمَرَاتُ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ
(to which are brought fruits of all kinds, ) means, all kinds of fruits from the surrounding regions, from At-Ta'if and elsewhere. Similarly, the people of Makkah engaged in trade and other goods also came to their city.
(a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.) - this is why they said what they said.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is the first reply to their excuse by Allah. It means this: It is all due to the sacredness and the central position of this Sanctuary that the merchandise of the entire world is being drawn and attracted to this barren and uncultivated valley, for your benefit and use. You should know that you are in no way responsible for giving it the central position it enjoys and for the state of security that prevails in the areas around it. 2;500 years ago a servant of Allah came to this barren valley in the bare mountains with his wife and suckling child. Here he built a small room with stone and mud, proclaimed that Allah had made it a Sanctuary, and that the people should come to visit it and go round it in worship and adoration. Now this is only due to Allah's blessing that this Sanctuary has been the center of Arabia for the past 25 centuries. Peace reigns here even when there is chaos all around. It is held in the highest esteem by every Arab, and thousands of people are drawn to it every year for going round it in worship. It is only by virtue of this blessing that you are looked upon as the spiritual leaders of Arabia and a large part of the international trade is under your control. Now, do you think; that if you turned and revolted against that God Who has favored you with this blessing. you will prosper, but as soon as you followed His Faith you would he ruined?
(And they say: If we were to follow the Guidance with thee we should be torn out of our land…) [28:57]. This verse was revealed about al-Harith ibn ‘Uthman ibn Nawfal ibn ‘Abd Manaf when he said to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace: “We know that what you say is the truth. However, what prevents us from following you is the fear that the Arabs will drive us out of our land, since they are unanimously against us and we have no power against them”. Therefore, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse.