Ashraf’s tafsir (explanation/interpretation/commentary/exegesis):
These three verses are, I think, very important to explain, because they shed light on the issue of Martyrdom and present a different image of death than that espoused by the unbelievers. They are to be placed in the context of the war Muslims wage against unbelief and against evil actions. They address the people’s emotional state in light of the death or Martyrdom of those who struggle in the path of God. Feelings of grief, pain, and longing would not be uncommon, and the sudden departure of their loved ones from their lives would be viewed in negative terms, as something that has ended rather than something greater that has just begun. And this negative portrayal would bring about despair and may make people conclude that the struggle in the path of God will only bring pain and grief and suffering. It would ultimately lead them to abandon it or go against it.
That’s the description of what an unbeliever would feel because he believes only in life here on earth and not in Paradise, and in material things not spiritual meanings and values. For him life is the end of it, and so he would be afraid of death and anything that may bring him closer to it. Well, of course, there is the “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”, but that does not transcend the material world.
And then come these verses, which present a different picture of what things would and should look like from the perspective of the Believers. For them death is just a journey, and Martyrdom is something that inspires spiritual happiness and not the grief and emotional suffering that it condemns the surviving unbelievers to. Whereas for the unbelievers the dead are simply decomposed pieces, for the Believers they are alive with God, and their life is not corrupted by the pain and suffering that people experience on earth — they are rejoicing for receiving God’s grace and mercy, and that’s the real and uncorrupted happiness, which does not compare to the so-called happiness that people on earth feel when they rejoice for material delights.
God comforts the Martyrs with His grace and blessings so that they would neither be afraid nor feel sad for having left their loved ones behind. The idea here is that fear is a symptom of the expectation that something bad that will come your way and sadness arises from a difficult situation, and neither has any place in the new life of the Martyr because he won’t have to face any loss. So Martyrs are blessed with God’s grace and they live in total, infinite happiness, and they experience the truth of the promises of reward that were transmitted to the Believers through the Noble Qur’an, in that they become the recipients of God’s mercy and kindness and blessings and infinite love.