Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Revile not those unto whom they pray) worship (beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance) because they have no knowledge, argument; this after He told them: (Lo! you (idolaters) and that which you worship beside Allah are fuel of hell) but then this was abrogated by the verse of fighting. (Thus) as We made their religion and works seem fair to them (unto every nation) to every adherents of a religion (have We made their deed) and their religion (seem fair. Then unto their Lord is their return) after they die, (and He will tell them what they used to do) in relation to their religion.
Do not revile those whom they call upon, besides God, namely, the idols, lest they then revile God out of spite, out of aggression and wrongfully, through ignorance, that is, through their ignorance of God. So, in the same way that We have adorned for these that which they practise, We have adorned for every community their, good and evil, deeds, and they commit them; then to their Lord they shall return, in the Hereafter, and He will tell them what they used to do, and requite them for it.
The Prohibition of Insulting the False gods of the Disbelievers, So that they Do not Insult Allah
Allah prohibits His Messenger and the believers from insulting the false deities of the idolators, although there is a clear benefit in doing so. Insulting their deities will lead to a bigger evil than its benefit, for the idolators might retaliate by insulting the God of the believers, Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah 6:108; "They (disbelievers) said, `O Muhammad! You will stop insulting our gods, or we will insult your Lord.' Thereafter, Allah prohibited the believers from insulting the disbelievers' idols,
فَيَسُبُّواْ اللَّهَ عَدْواً بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
(lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge.)'' `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said, "Muslims used to insult the idols of the disbelievers and the disbelievers would retaliate by insulting Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Allah revealed,
(And insult not those whom they worship besides Allah.)'' On this same subject -- abandoning what carries benefit to avert a greater evil - it is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَلْعُونٌ مَنْ سَبَّ وَالِدَيْه»
(Cursed is he who insults his own parents!) They said, "O Allah's Messenger! And how would a man insult his own parents'' He said,
(He insults a man's father, and that man insults his father, and insults his mother and that man insults his mother.) Allah's statement,
كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ
(Thus We have made fair seeming to each people its own doings;) means, as We made fair seeming to the idolators loving their idols and defending them, likewise We made fair seeming to every previous nation the misguidance they indulged in. Allah's is the most perfect proof, and the most complete wisdom in all that He wills and chooses.
ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ مَّرْجِعُهُمْ
(then to their Lord is their return,) gathering and final destination,
فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
(and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do.) He will compensate them for their deeds, good for good and evil for evil.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The different ways of expression, in which the Revelation has been couched, are a test for the people, because they help to discriminate the counterfeit from the genuine. The same thing has already been stated in Al-Baqarah, II: 26, in connection with the mention of insignificant things like flies, gnats, etc. in the parables of the Qur'an. Just as the mention of these insignificant things helps the seekers in finding the Truth, in the same way the different ways of expression help those, who have knowledge and make use of it, to think deeply about their aims and objects and learn lessons for their own good. On the contrary, those people, who are bigoted, pay no attention to the subject-matter, but begin to think on other lines. For instance, they begin to conjecture how this illiterate man can compose such excellent discourses. Thus, instead of judging the Qur'an from its excellent themes to be the Revelation from Allah, they turn to every other possible source and say, "You have learned this from such and such a one." Then in the "light" of this so-called successful "Research" into the source of the Qur'an, they conclude that it could not be the Book of God.
It means: "You have been appointed to invite the people to the Message and not to keep watch over them like a police inspector. Therefore your only duty is to present the Message to the people and try, your best to convince them of the Truth. After that, if someone does not accept the Truth, leave him alone. You have not been appointed to force the people to accept it so as to leave no worshiper of falsehood within the range of your Prophethood. Therefore you should not worry yourself and try to make them open their eyes which they have deliberately shut. If Allah had, in His Wisdom, willed that there should remain no worshiper of falsehood, He would not have entrusted you with this task. He could have made each and every human being a follower of the Truth, merely by a single word of His Command. But this is not the object of the creation of man. The real object is that man be given the freedom of choice between the Truth and falsehood: And then by presenting the light of the Truth before him, he be tested which one of the two he chooses. Now the right course for you is to follow the Right Way yourself and to invite others to follow it. Then you should make those, who accept it, your friends and not to forsake them in any case, even though they are very insignificant in the eyes of the worldly people. On the other hand, you should leave those alone who do not accept it and let them go to the evil end to which they themselves want to go and persist in doing so."
The followers of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) have been advised not to lose their balance in zeal for preaching but to remain within proper limits when engaged in discussions and polemics with the non-Muslims and to refrain from offending against their creeds and from vilifying their leaders and objects of worship, for this will repel and alienate them all the more from the Truth.
Allah has ascribed their deeds to Himself, for everything that takes place in accordance with the Laws of Nature does, in fact, happens by the command of Allah. (Please refer to E.N. 17 above). As Allah is the Author of all the Laws of Nature, everything happens by His Command: therefore, Allah says, "We have made the deeds of every people seem fair to them." The human beings would, however, express the same thing, saying, "This has happened according to the Law of Nature. "
(Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance…) [5:108]. Said ibn ‘Abbas, according to the report of al-Walibi: “They [the idolaters] said: ‘O Muhammad, either you stop reviling our idols or we will revile your Lord’. And so Allah, exalted is He, warned against reviling their idols lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance”. Qatadah said: “The Muslims used to revile the idols of the unbelievers and the latter used to react against them. Allah, exalted is He, therefore, warned the Muslims against being the cause which drives ignorant unbelievers, who have no knowledge of Allah, to revile Allah as a result of reviling their idols”. Said al-Suddi: “When Abu Talib was dying, [some chiefs of] the Quraysh said: ‘let us go to this man and ask him to forbid his nephew from reviling our idols, for we feel shame to kill him after he passes away and drive the Arabs to say: ‘He used to defend him but once he passed away, they killed him’. And so Abu Sufyan, Abu Jahl, al-Nadr ibn al-Harith, Umayyah and Ubayy the sons of Khalaf, ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu‘ayt, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, al-Aswad ibn al-Bukhturi went to see Abu Talib. They said to him: ‘You are our master and chief, but Muhammad has harmed us and harmed our idols. We would like you to call him and warn him against speaking ill of our idols. And from our part, we will leave him alone to his Allah’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, went when he was summoned. Abu Talib said to him: ‘These are your people and cousins!’ The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked them: ‘What do you want?’ They said: ‘We want you to leave us alone with our idols and we will leave you alone with your Allah’. Abu Talib said: ‘Your people are being fair with you, so give your consent’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘If I agree to this would you agree to give me one sentence, if you were to utter it, you would rule over the Arabs and non-Arabs alike?’ Abu Jahl said: ‘Yes, by your father, we will give it to you and also give you ten other things like it; but what is it? He said: ‘Say: there is no god but Allah!’ They refused and expressed their aversion at this proposal, upon which Abu Talib said; ‘Son of my brother, ask for something else, for your people are wary of this’. He said: ‘O uncle, I am not one who would ask for other than that. If they were to place the sun in my hand, I would not ask for anything other than that’. The chiefs of Quraysh said: ‘You would better stop reviling our idols or we will revile you and revile He Who commands you’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.