Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when a party of them) from Banu Harithah Ibn al-Harth to their friends in the Ditch (said: O folk of Yathrib!) they mean: O people of Medina! (There is no stand (possible) for you) there is no place for you in the Ditch to fight, (therefore turn back) to Medina. (And certain of them) from the hypocrites among Banu Harithah ((even) sought permission of the Prophet) Allah bless him and give him peace, (saying) allow us, O Prophet of Allah, to go back to Medina: (Our homes lie open (to the enemy)) there are no men in our homes and we fear that thieves may steal from them. (And they lay not open) and they are not without men. (They but wished to flee) from fighting.
And when a party of them, namely, the hypocrites, said, ‘O people of Yathrib!, namely, the region of Medina (it [Yathriba] is a diptote because of its being a proper noun and because of the [morphological similarity it bears to a] verbal form) there is not a stand [possible] (read muqām or maqām) for you [here], in other words, no place to stay and no [strategic] position, so turn back, to your dwellings in Medina — they had set out with the Prophet (s) towards the foot of a mountain outside Medina for battle. And a group of them [even] sought the permission of the Prophet, to turn back, saying, ‘Our homes are exposed, unprotected and we fear for them’. God, exalted be He, says: although they were not exposed. They only sought to flee, from battle.
How the Believers were tested, and the Position of the Hypocrites during the Battle of Al-Khandaq
Allah tells us what happened when the Confederates surrounded Al-Madinah and the Muslims were besieged and found themselves in straitened circumstances, with the Messenger of Allah in their midst. They were tried and tested, and were shaken with a mighty shaking. At this time hypocrisy emerged, and those in whose hearts was a disease spoke about what they really felt.
(And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease said: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!'') Their hypocrisy became apparent, while the one in whose heart was doubt became weak, and he expressed the ideas that were in his heart because of the weakness of his faith and the difficulty of the situation. And other people said, as Allah tells us:
(I was shown in a dream the place to which you will migrate, a land between two lava fields. At first I thought it was Hajar, but it turned out to be Yathrib.) According to another narration:
(Al-Madinah. ) It was said that the origin of its name Yathrib was that a man settled there from (the people of) Al-`Amaliq whose name was Yathrib bin `Ubayd bin Mahlayil bin `Aws bin `Amlaq bin Lawudh bin Iram bin Sam bin Nuh. This was the view of As-Suhayli. He said: "And it was narrated from some of them that he said, `It is given eleven names in the Tawrah: Al-Madinah, Tabah, Tayyibah, Al-Miskinah, Al-Jabirah, Al-Muhibbah, Al-Mahbubah, Al-Qasimah, Al-Majburah, Al-`Adhra' and Al-Marhumah.''' r
لاَ مُقَامَ لَكُمْ
(There is no position for you.) means, `here, with the Prophet, you cannot stand guard,'
(Therefore go back) means, `to your houses and dwellings'.
وَيَسْتَأْذِنُ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمُ النَّبِىَّ
(And a band of them ask for permission of the Prophet) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said, "These were Banu Harithah, who said, `We fear for our homes, that they may be robbed.''' This was also stated by others. Ibn Ishaq mentioned that the one who said this was `Aws bin Qayzi. They were using as an excuse to go back to their houses the claim that they were lying open and had nothing to protect them from the enemy, so they were afraid for their homes. But Allah said:
وَمَا هِىَ بِعَوْرَةٍ
(And they lay not open.) meaning, it is not as they claim.
إِن يُرِيدُونَ إِلاَّ فِرَاراً
(They but wished to flee.) means, they wanted to run away from the battlefield.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "Promises to the effect that the believers will get Allah's support and succor and will be helped to attain victory in the end. "
This sentence has two meanings: The apparent meaning is that there is no chance for them to stay at the Trench against the polytheists; therefore, they should return to the city. And the hidden meaning is that there is no chance for them to remain in Islam; therefore, they should return to their ancestral religion, so that they might escape the danger in which they had involved themselves by earning the hostility of the whole of Arabia. The hypocrites uttered such mischievous things so that they could make the one who would listen to them understand the intended hidden meaning, but in case someone took exception to their words, they could say they had been misunderstood.
That is, "When the Bani Quraizah also joined the invaders, the hypocrites had a good excuse for defection and they started asking the Holy Prophet for leave to go and protect their houses and families, which, they said, had been endangered, whereas at that time the Holy Prophet was responsible for the defense and protection of all the people of Madinah. After the treachery of the Quraizah it was for the Holy Prophet to devise plans for the protection of the city and its people and not of the soldiers of the army individually."
That is, "The Holy Prophet had already made arrangements for protection against the danger, which were a part of the collective scheme of defense being implemented by him as Commander of the Islamic forces. Therefore, there was no immediate danger in the face of which these people could justifiably make such an excuse. "
"Urged to treachery": Urged by the disbelievers to join them to vanquish the Muslims after entering the city as conquerors.
That is, "They had felt regret at the weakness they had shown on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud and pledged to Allah that they would compensate for their error in any trial that they would confront in the future. But Allah cannot be deceived by empty words. He puts to one or the other test everyone who makes a pledge with Him so that his sincerity of intention or otherwise is found out. Therefore, just after two years of the Battle of Uhud, He made them confront an even more serious danger and discovered how far they were sincere in their pledge."