Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(He it is Who hath sent His messenger) Muhammad (pbuh) (with the guidance) with the Qur'an and faith (and the Religion of Truth) the religion of Islam, and with it the confession that there is no deity except Allah, (that He may cause it to prevail over all religion) that He may Cause the religion of Islam to prevail over all religions which came before it until the Day of Judgement, (however much the idolaters may be averse) that this should be so.
He it is Who has sent His Messenger, Muhammad (s), with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may manifest it, make it prevail, over every religion, all the religions which oppose it, even though the disbelievers be averse, to this.
People of the Scriptures try to extinguish the Light of Islam
Allah says, the disbelieving idolators and People of the Scriptures want to,
أَن يُطْفِئُواْ نُورَ اللَّهِ
(extinguish the Light of Allah). They try through argument and lies to extinguish the guidance and religion of truth that the Messenger of Allah was sent with. Their example is the example of he who wants to extinguish the light of the sun or the moon by blowing at them! Indeed, such a person will never accomplish what he sought. Likewise, the light of what the Messenger was sent with will certainly shine and spread. Allah replied to the idolators' desire and hope,
(but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the disbelievers (Kafirun) hate (it)) 9:32. Linguistincally a Kafir is the person who covers something. For instance, night is called Kafiran covering because it covers things with darkness. The farmer is called Kafiran, because he covers seeds in the ground. Allah said in an Ayah,
أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ
(thereof the growth is pleasing to the Kuffar tillers)57:20.
Islam is the Religion That will dominate over all Other Religions
(It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth.) `Guidance' refers to the true narrations, beneficial faith and true religion that the Messenger came with. `religion of truth' refers to the righteous, legal deeds that bring about benefit in this life and the Hereafter.
لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ
(to make it (Islam) superior over all religions) It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Allah made the eastern and western parts of the earth draw near for me to see, and the rule of my Ummah will extend as far as I saw.) Imam Ahmad recorded from Tamim Ad-Dari that he said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
(This matter (Islam) will keep spreading as far as the night and day reach, until Allah will not leave a house made of mud or hair, but will make this religion enter it, while bringing might to a mighty person (a Muslim) and humiliation to a disgraced person (who rejects Islam). Might with which Allah elevates Islam (and its people) and disgrace with which Allah humiliates disbelief (and its people).) Tamim Ad-Dari who was a Christian before Islam used to say, "I have come to know the meaning of this Hadith in my own people. Those who became Muslims among them acquired goodness, honor and might. Disgrace, humiliation and Jizyah befell those who remained disbelievers.''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Uzair (Ezra) lived during the period around 450 B.C. The Jews regarded him with great reverence as the revivalist of their Scriptures which had beat lost during their captivity in Babylon after the death of Prophet Solomon. So much so that they had lost all the knowledge of their Law, their traditions and of Hebrew, their national language. Then it was Ezra who re-wrote the Old Testament and revived the Law. That is why they used very exaggerated language in his reverence which misled some of the Jewish sects to make him 'the son of God'. The Qur'an, however, does not assert that all the Jews were unanimous in declaring Ezra as 'the son of God'. What it intends to say is that the perversion in the articles of faith of the Jews concerning Allah had degenerated to such an extent that there were some amongst them who considered Ezra as the son of God.
"Those who were involved in Kufr before them" were the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, etc. The Jews and the Christians were so influenced by their philosophies, their superstitions and fancies that they also invented erroneous creeds like theirs. (For details sec E.N. 101 of Al-Maidah).
"They have taken their scholars and monks as their Lords the Holy Prophet himself explained its true significance. According to a Tradition, when Hadrat `Adi bin Hatim, who was formerly a Christian, came to the Holy Prophet with the intention of understanding Islam, he asked several questions in order to remove his doubts. One of these was: "This verse accuses us of taking our scholars and monks as our lords. What is its real meaning, sir? For we do not take them as our fords."
As a reply to this, the Holy Prophet put him a counter-question: "Is it not a fact that you accept as unlawful what they declare to be unlawful, and lawful what they declare to be lawful?" 'Adi confessed, "Yes, sir, it is so." The Holy Prophet replied, "This amounts to making them your lords." Incidentally, this Tradition shows that those who themselves set limits to the lawful and the unlawful without the authority of Allah's Book, assume for themselves the rank of Godhead, and those who acknowledge their right of making laws take them as their Lords.
It should be noted that they have been charged with (a) attributing sons to Allah, and (b) giving the right of making laws to others than Allah. These are to prove that their claim, that they believed in Allah, is false, even though they should believe in his existence. But such a wrong conception of Allah makes their belief in Allah meaningless.
The Arabic word ad-din has been translated into 'ways'. For the word din, as has already been explained in E.N. 204, :Al-Baqarah, is used for the 'way of life' or the 'system of life', which is followed in obedience to the supreme authority.
Now let us try to understand the significance of this verse. The object of the Mission of the Messenger is to make the Guidance and the Right Way he has brought from Allah dominant over all the other ways and systems of life. In other words, the Messenger is not sent to allow Allah's Way to remain subordinate to other ways in order to enjoy concessions from them. He is sent by the Sovereign of the earth and the heavens to make His Way dominant over all other ways. And if a wrong way is at all allowed to remain on the earth, it should be tolerated only under its own protection by the payment of Jizyah under the limits conferred by the Divine System as in the cast of the system of life of the Zimmis who pay Jizyah.
These religious leaders are guilty of two sins. First, they devour the wealth of the common people by selling false decrees, and by taking bribes, gifts and presents on different pretexts. They invent religious regulations and rituals as tempt people to buy their salvations and fortunes in life from them and make deaths and marriages dependent on the payment of due `price' to these "monopolists" of Paradise. To add to this another sin, they debar the people from the Way of Allah by involving them into different sorts of deviations and by obstructing the way of every Righteous Mission with the obstacles of `learned' doubts and `pious' suspicions.