Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Thy Lord bringeth to pass what He willeth) as He wills (and chooseth) from His created beings those upon whom He bestows prophethood, i.e. Muhammad (pbuh). (They) the people of Mecca (have never any choice. Glorified be Allah) Allah sanctifies Himself (and exalted) and exonerates Himself (above all that they associate (with Him)) of idols!
And your Lord creates whatever He will and chooses, whatever He will. They, the idolaters, do not have the choice, the right to choose anything. Glory be to God and exalted be He above what they associate, [above] their idolatry.
Allah Alone is the One Who has the Power of Creation, Knowledge and Choice
Allah tells us that He is the only One Who has the power to create and make decisions, and there is no one who can dispute with Him in that or reverse His judgement. His saying:
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيَخْتَارُ
(And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses,) means, whatever He wills, for what He wills, happens; and what He does not will, does not happen. All things, good and bad alike, are in His Hands and will return to Him.
مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ
(no choice have they.) is a negation, according to the correct view. This is like the Ayah,
(It is the same whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly, whether he be hid by night or goes forth freely by day.) (13:10).
وَهُوَ اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ
(And He is Allah; La ilaha illa Huwa,) meaning, He is unique in His divinity, for none is to be worshipped besides Him, and there is no lord who can create what he wills and chooses besides Him.
لَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِى الاٍّولَى وَالاٌّخِرَةِ
(His is the praise, in the first and in the last,) in all that He does, He is to be praised for His justice and wisdom.
(His is the decision,) that none can put back, because of His might, power, wisdom and mercy.
(and to Him shall you be returned.) means, all of you on the Day of Resurrection, and everyone will be rewarded or punished according to his deeds, good and evil alike, and absolutely none of their deeds will be concealed from Him.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This, in fact, is a refutation of shirk. Allah objects to the setting up of countless gods froth among His creatures by the mushriks and assigning to them from themselves of attributes and ranks and offices, and says: "We Ourselves bless with whatever attributes, capabilities and powers whomever We like from among the men, angels, jinns and other servants whom We have created, and employ whomever We will for whatever service We will. But, how and where from have the mushriks got the authority that they should make whomever they like from among My servants remover of hardships, bestower of treasures and answerer of prayers? That they should make someone the lord of rain, another the giver of jobs and children, still another bestower of health and ill-health? That they should look upon whomever they please as the ruler of a part of My Kingdom and assign to him whichever of My powers they like? Whether it is an angel or a jinn, or a prophet, or saint, or anybody else, he has been created by Us Whatever excellences he has, have been granted by Us, and whatever service We willed to take from him, We have taken. Therefore, the selection. of someone for a particular service does not mean that he should be raised from the position of a servant to godhead and worshiped instead of God, invoked for help, prayed to for fulfillment of needs, taken as maker or destroyer of destinies and possessor of divine; attributes and powers.
The object for which this thing has been said in this context is: A person (or persons) can make a claim before the people in this world that he is fully satisfied on rational grounds that the deviation he has adopted is sound and right, and the arguments that are given against it are not convincing; that he has adopted the deviation not due to any evil motive but with the sincerest and purest intentions; that he has never been confronted by anything that might have proved him to be in the wrong. But he cannot advance such an argument before Allah, for Allah is not only aware of the open, but also of the hidden secrets of the mind and heart: He knows directly what kind of knowledge and feelings and sentiments and desires and intentions and conscience a certain person has: He is aware of the occasions and the means and the ways through which a person was warned, through which the Truth reached him, through which falsehood was proved to be Falsehood to him, and also the real motives for which he preferred his deviation to the Right Way.
(Thy Lord bringeth to pass what He willeth and chooseth…) [28:68]. The specialists of Qur’anic exegesis said: “This verse was revealed as an answer to al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah when he said, as reported by Allah, exalted is He, in the Qur’an (And they say: If only this Qur’an had been revealed to some great man of the two towns?) [43:31]. Allah, exalted is He, informed that the messengers are not sent of their own accord”.