Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Allah then mentioned His pleasure with those who swore allegiance at the pledge of Ridwan, saying: (Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto thee beneath the tree) when they swore allegiance to you at al-Hudaybiyyah under the Samurah tree; they were about 1,500 men who swore allegiance to assist and defend the Prophet and to remain in fighting, if need be, till death, (and He knew what was in their hearts) of truthfulness and loyalty, (and He) Allah Exalted is He (sent down peace of reassurance) tranquillity (on them) and removed zealotry from them, (and hath rewarded them) after this (with a near victory) the conquest of Khaybar, soon after that;
Verily God was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, at al-Hudaybiyya, under the tree, this was an acacia — they [these believers] numbered 1300 or more; he took an oath of allegiance from them that they would fight against Quraysh and not [attempt to] flee from death. And He, God, knew what was in their hearts, of sincerity and loyalty, so He sent down the spirit of Peace upon them, and rewarded them with a near victory, which was the conquest of Khaybar, following their departure from al-Hudaybiyya,
Good News to the Participants of the Ridwan Pledge of Allah's Pleasure and earning Spoils of War
Allah declares that He is pleased with the believers who gave the pledge to the Messenger of Allah under the tree. We mentioned the number of these believers as being one thousand and four hundred and that the tree was a Samurah tree, located in the area of Hudaybiyyah. Al-Bukhari narrated from Tariq that `Abdur-Rahman said, "I went on Hajj and passed by people praying and asked, `What is this Masjid' They said, `This is the tree where the Messenger of Allah took the pledge of Ar-Ridwan.' So, I went to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib and told him. Sa`id said, `My father told me that he was among those who gave their pledge to the Messenger of Allah under the tree. My father said: The following year, when we went out, we forgot its place and could not agree which tree it was.' Sa`id said, `The Companions of Muhammad forgot where the tree was, but you know where it is. Therefore, you have better knowledge than them!''' Allah said,
فَعَلِمَ مَا فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ
(He knew what was in their hearts,) meaning, of truthfulness, trustworthiness, obedience and adherence,
(and He sent down As-Sakinah), calmness and tranquillity,
عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَثَـبَهُمْ فَتْحاً قَرِيباً
(upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.) in reference to the goodness that Allah the Exalted and Most Honored caused to happened to the Companions on account of the peace treaty between them and their disbelieving enemies. Ever after that, the Companions gained abundant, general and continuous benefits and accomplishments, leading to the conquest of Khaybar and Makkah and then the various surrounding provinces and areas. They earned tremendous glory, triumphs and an elevated and honorable status in this life and in the Hereafter, just as Allah the Exalted said,
(And abundant spoils that they will capture. And Allah is Ever All-Mighty, All-Wise.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Here again the pledge taken from the Companions at Hudaibiyah has been mentioned. This is called Bai 'at Ridwan. for Allah in this verse has given the good news that he became well pleased with those who on this dangerous occasion did not show the least hesitation in offering their lives for the cause of Islam and gave an express proof of their being true in their faith by taking the pledge on the hand of the Holy Prophet. The Muslims at this time were equipped only with a sword each. numbered only 1,400, were unprepared for warfare, but were donning the pilgrim garments, were 25 miles away from their military headquarters (Madinah), while the enemy's stronghold (Makkah) where from it could get any kind of help was just 13 miles off. Had these people been lacking in their sincerity of Allah and His Messenger and His Religion in any degree, they would have abandoned the Messenger on this extremely dangerous occasion, and Islam would have been vanquished for ever. Apart from their own sincerity there was no external pressure under which they might have been compelled to take the pledge. Their becoming ready at that time to fight in the cause of Allah's Religion regardless of the dangers, is a clear proof that they were true and sincere in their Faith and loyal to th ò cause of Allah and His Messenger in the highest degree. That is why Allah honored them with this certificate of His good pleasure. Now it some one becomes angry with them after they have been honored with this certificate of Allah's good pleasure, or slanders and vilifies them, his enmity is with Allah, not with them. Those who say that at that time when Allah honored them with this certificate of His good pleasure, they were sincere, but afterwards they became disloyal to Allah and His Messenger, perhaps harbor a mistrust about Allah that while sending down this verse He was unaware of their future; therefore, He awarded them this warrant only in view of their state at that time, and probably due to the same unawareness inscribed this verse in His Holy Book as well so that afterwards also, when those people have turned disloyal, the world should continue reading this verse about them and praising the knowledge of the unseen of that Allah Who, God forbid, had granted these faithless and disloyal people the warrant of His good pleasure.
About the Tree under which this pledge was taken Ibn `Umar's slave Hadrat Nafi's tradition has generally spread saying that the people had started visiting it and offering Prayers by it, so that when Hadrat 'Umar came to know of it, he rebuked and warned the people and ordered it to be cut down. ( Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, vol. II, p. l00). But there are several other traditions which contradict it. A tradition from Hadrat Nafi' himself has been reported in Tabaqat of Ibn S`ad to the effect that many years after the Bai at Ridwan the Companions looked for the Tree but they could not recognize it and differed as to which tree it was. (p. 106). The second tradition has been reported in Bukhari, Muslim, and Tabaqat on the authority of Hadrat Said bin al-Musayyab. He says that his father was one of those who had participated in the Bai `at Ridwan. He told him that when they had gone for 'Umrah al-Qada the following year, they had forgotten the Tree, and they could not locate it even after looking for it. The third tradition is from lbn Jarir. He says that when Hadrat `Umar during his caliphate passed by Hudaibiyah, he inquired about the Tree under which the pledge had been sworn. Someone pointed to one tree and another one to another tree. At this Hadrat `Umar told the people to forget it as there was no real need to bother about it.
Here, sakinat means that state of the heart on whose strength a man throws himself into dangers with complete calm and peace of mind for the sake of a great objective and resolves without fear and consternation to undertake it regardless of the consequences.
The reference is to the conquest of Khaiber and its rich spoils and this verse expressly points out that Allah had reserved this reward only for those
People who had taken part in the Bai at Ridwan; apart from them no one else was entitled to take part in the victory and have a share in the spoils. That is why when the, Holy Prophet marched out to attack Khaiber in Safar, A.H. 7, he took only those people with him. No doubt afterwards he gave some of the spoils of Khaiber to those emigrants also who returned from Habash and to some Companions from the Dus and Ash'ar tribes as well, but this was given either from Khums (one fifth of the spoils of war given into the public treasury), or with the approval of the Companions who had taken the pledge of Ridwan; no one else was given any share of it.
This refers to the other victories that the Muslim achieved successively after Khaiber.
This implies the treaty of Hudaibiyah which has been described as "a manifest victory" in the beginning of the Surah.
That is, "He restrained the disbelieving Quraish from attacking you at Hudaibiyah although from all appearances they were in a much better position and yours was a much weaker side militarily." Furthermore, it also implies that no enemy power could muster courage to attack Madinah in those days, whereas after the departure of 1,400 soldiers the Madinah front had become very weak, and the Jews, the polytheists and hypocrites could take advantage of the situation.
Sign of this as to how Allah helps the one who remains steadfast on obedience to Allah and His Messenger and comes out to support and defend the Truth and righteousness with his trust and faith in Allah.
"To the right way" : "To the way of greater insight and faith so that you may remain steadfast on obedience to Allah and His Messenger in the future and may go on marching on the way of truth with trust in Allah, and may learn this lesson from these experiences that the believer should take practical steps to do whatever is demanded by Allahs Religion with his trust in Him, and should not overestimate either his own strength or the strength of the unbelievers."
Most probably this is a reference to the Conquest of Makkah. The same is the opinion of Qatadah and Ibn Jarir. It seems to mean this: "Though Makkah has not yet fallen to you, Allah has encircled it, and as a result of this victory at Hudaibiyah, it will also fall to you. "