Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And whatsoever ye have been given) whatever you are given of wealth and servants, (is a comfort of the life of the world) is like the ornament of the life of the world: like pottery and glass (and an ornament thereof) and an embellishment, and the latter does not last forever; (and that which Allah hath) for Muhammad and his Companions in Paradise (is better and more lasting) than that which you have in the life of the world. (Have ye then no sense?) do you not possess sound thinking to realise that this worldly life is perishing while the Hereafter is lasting?
And whatever things you have been given are [only] the [short-lived] enjoyment of the life of this world and an ornament thereof, in other words, [things] which you enjoy and adorn yourselves with for the days of your lives, after which they perish; and what is with God, in other words, His reward, is better and more lasting. Will you not understand? (ta‘qilūna; or read ya‘qilūna, ‘will they [not] understand’) that what lasts is better than what perishes.
This World is transient and the One Whose concern is this World is not equal to the One Whose concern is the Hereafter
Allah tells us about the insignificance of this world and its contemptible adornments which are nothing in comparison to the great and lasting delights which Allah prepared for His righteous servants in the Hereafter. As Allah says:
مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ
(Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah will remain) (16:96).
وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّلأَبْرَارِ
(and that which is with Allah is the best for the most righteous.) (3:198)
(Is he whom We have promised an excellent promise -- which he will find true -- like him whom We have made to enjoy the luxuries of the life of the world, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up) Is the one who believes in the reward which Allah has promised in return for righteous deeds, which he will undoubtedly attain, like one who disbelieves in the meeting with Allah and in His promises and threats He is only enjoying a few days in this life,
(then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up.) Mujahid and Qatadah said: "He will be among those who are punished.'' It was said that this was revealed concerning the Messenger of Allah and Abu Jahl, or that it was revealed concerning Hamzah and Ali, and Abu Jahl. Both views were narrated from Mujahid. The apparent meaning is that it is more general than that. This is like the Ayah where Allah describes a believer in Paradise looking out at his companion who is in Hell, and saying:
(but the Jinn know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him)) (37:158).
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is the fourth answer to their excuse. To understand it fully one should bear in mind two things:
First, the present life which is no more than a few years for anyone, is only the temporary phase of a journey. The real life which will be everlasting is yet to come. In this life man may amass as much provision as he may please and live the few years at his disposal as comfortably as he can, it will in any case come to an end, and man will depart from the world empty-handed. No sensible person will like to make the bad bargain of suffering the everlasting distress and affliction in the Hereafter in exchange for the pleasures and comforts of his brief sojourn in the world. As against this, he would rather prefer to face a few years of hardships here and earn the goodness that may earn him everlasting bliss and comfort in the eternal life of the Next World.
Secondly, Allah's religion does not demand that man should totally refrain from seeking and enjoying the good things of life and discard its adornments in any case. Its only demand is that he should prefer the Hereafter to the world, for the world is perishable and the Hereafter everlasting; and the pleasures of the world are inferior and of the Hereafter superior. Therefore, man must try to attain those provisions and adornments of the world that may enable him to fare well in the everlasting life of the Next World, or at least protect him from the eternal loss there. But in case there is a question of a comparison between the two, and the success of the world and of the Hereafter oppose and contradict each other, the Faith demands, and this is the demand of man's good sense too, that he should sacrifice the world to the Hereafter, and should never adopt the way of only seeking the transitory provisions and adornments of this world, which inevitably lead to his ruin in the Hereafter forever.
Keeping these two things in view let us see what Allah says to the disbelievers of Makkah in the foregoing sentences. He does not tell them to wind up their business, stop their trade and follow His Prophets and become mendicants. What He says is that the worldly wealth of which they are so enamored, is very meager and they can utilize it only for a few days in this worldly life. Contrary to this, that which is with Allah is much better both in quality and in quantity and is also everlasting. Therefore, they would be foolish if for the sake of benefiting by the limited blessings of this transitory life, they adopted the way whose evil results they will have to suffer in the form of everlasting loss in the Next World. They should judge for themselves as to who is successful: He who exerts himself in the service of his Lord and then is blessed with His favors for ever, or he who will be produced as a culprit in His Court, only after having had an opportunity of enjoying unlawful wealth for a few days in the world.
Whatever things you have been given are only the [short-lived] enjoyment of the life of this world and an ornament thereof…He said:Whoever takes [something] from the world out of his own lust for it, will find that God deprives him of what is better than it both in this world and the Hereafter. Whoever takes from it [the world] out of a necessity [that arises] within himself or to fulfil a duty that is required of him, will not be deprived of what is better in this world, namely, the joy of worship (ʿibāda) and thelove of God, Mighty and Majestic is He, and in the Hereafter of the highest ranks (al-darajāt al-ʿulā). Someone said to ʿĀmir b. ʿAbd al-Qays, ‘You have contented yourself with just a little from this world.’ He replied, ‘Shall I not inform you of someone who has contented himself with even less than myself?’ [Those present] said, ‘Please do!’ He answered, ‘He who has contented himself with having his share of this world in the Hereafter!’ His words: