Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Say) O Muhammad to 'Uyaynah and his folk: (I am forbidden) in the Qur'an (to worship those on whom you call) you worship (instead of Allah) i.e. idols. (Say) O Muhammad to 'Uyaynah and his folk: (I will not follow your desires) by worshipping idols and repelling Salman and his fellow believers from me, (for then) for if I do that (should I go astray) from guidance (and I should not be of the rightly guided) to that which is right if I were to do so.
Say: ‘Truly I have been forbidden to worship those whom you call upon, [those whom] you worship, besides God.’ Say: ‘I shall not follow your whims, by worshipping them, for then, if I did follow them, verily I would have gone astray and I would not be of the rightly guided’.
Say: 'Truly I have been forbidden to worship, those besides God whom you worship by your caprice in the way of wealth or soul or lust or corporeal pleasure or otherwise, but no: 'I shall not follow your whims, by worshipping these and then end up astray by being veiled thereby and fail to be guided to the affirmation of Oneness. The significance of the [use of the] past tense [here of the verb qad ḍalaltu] is that my error would have been realised in such a situation and I would be nowhere near guidance.
The Prophet Understands What He Conveys; Torment is in Allah's Hands Not the Prophet's
Allah says, just as We mentioned the clear signs that testify and direct to the path of guidance, all the while chastising useless arguments and defiance,
كَذلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَـتِ
(And thus do We explain the Ayat in detail,) that is, whatever responsible adults need explained to them, in the affairs of life and religion,
وَلِتَسْتَبِينَ سَبِيلُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ
(That the way of the criminals may become manifest.) so that the path of the criminals who defy the Prophets is apparent and clear. This Ayah was also said to mean, so that you, O Muhammad, are aware of the path of the criminals. Allah's statement,
قُلْ إِنِّى عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّى
(Say: "I am on clear proof from my Lord...'') means: I have a clear understanding of the Law of Allah that He has revealed to me,
(but you deny it.) meaning, but you disbelieve in the truth that came to me from Allah.
مَا عِندِى مَا تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِهِ
(I do not have what you are hastily seeking) meaning, the torment,
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ للَّهِ
(The decision is only for Allah,) for the ruling of this is with Allah. If He wills, He will punish you soon in response to your wish! If He wills, He will give you respite, out of His great wisdom. This is why Allah said,
يَقُصُّ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْفَـصِلِينَ
(He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.) and the best in reckoning between His servants. Allah's statement,
(Say: "If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I,'') means, if I have what you ask for, I will surely send down what you deserve of it,
وَاللهُ أَعْلَمْ بِالظَّالِمِيَن
(but Allah knows best the wrongdoers) Someone might ask about the meaning of this Ayah compared to the Hadith in the Two Sahihs, from `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said to the Messenger, "O Allah's Messenger ! Have you encountered a day harder than the day (of the battle) of Uhud'' The Prophet replied,
(Your people have troubled me alot and the worst trouble was on the day of `Aqabah when I presented myself to Ibn `Abd Yalil bin `Abd Kulal, who did not respond to my call. So I departed, overwhelmed with severe sorrow, proceeded on and could not relax until I found myself at Qarn Ath-Tha`alib where I raised my head towards the sky to see a cloud unexpectedly shading me. I looked up and saw Jibril in it and he called me saying, `Indeed Allah has heard what you said to the people and what they have responded to you. Therefore, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.' The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, `O Muhammad! verily, Allah has heard how your people responded to you and He has sent me to you so that you could order me to do what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akhshabayn (two mountains to the north and south of Makkah) fall on them.' The Prophet said, No, but I hope that Allah will let them generate offspring who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship none besides Him.) This is the wording of Muslim. Tormenting the disbelievers of Quraysh was offered to the Prophet, but he chose patience and asked Allah for respite for them, so that Allah might let them generate offspring who will not associate anything with Him in worship. Therefore, how can we combine the meaning of this Hadith and the honorable Ayah,
(Say: "If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I, but Allah knows best the wrongdoers.'') The answer to this question is, Allah knows the best, that the Ayah states that if the punishment that they asked for was in the Prophet's hand at the time, he would have sent it on them as they asked. As for the Hadith, the disbelievers did not ask the Prophet to send the torment down on them. Rather, the angel responsible for the mountains offered him the choice to let the two mountains to the north and south of Makkah close in on the disbelievers and crush them. The Prophet did not wish that and asked for respite out of compassion for them.
(Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware)'') 31:34. Allah's statement,
وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِى الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ
(And He knows whatever there is on the land and in the sea;) means, Allah's honored knowledge encompasses everything, including the creatures living in the sea and on land, and none of it, not even the weight of an atom on earth or in heaven, ever escapes His knowledge. Allah's statement,
وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا
(not a leaf falls, but He knows it.) means, He knows the movements of everything including inanimate things. Therefore, what about His knowledge of the living creatures, especially, those whom the Divine laws have been imposed upon such as mankind and the Jinns In another Ayah, Allah said;
(Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.) 40:19
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This alludes to the demand of the opponents for the scourge of Allah with which they were being threatened. They said, "Why does a scourge not come down upon us, when we are openly denying and defying you? If you have been really sent by Allah, then anyone, who denied and insulted you, would have been swallowed by the earth or stricken dead by lightning. How is it that the Messenger of Allah and his followers are undergoing untold afflictions and sufferings, while their tormentors are enjoying their lives merrily?"
Angels who keep strict watch over each and everything a man does or thinks of and maintain a complete record of all this.