Verily God has heard the saying of those who said, “Indeed God is poor, and we are rich.” We shall write down what they have said and their slaying the prophets without right, and We shall say, “Taste the chastisement of the burning.
That is for what your hands have sent before; for God is never unjust toward His servants.”
If this address were between created beings, it would be a complaint and the complaint to friends about enemies is the way of lovers (sunnat al-aḥbāb).
It is said that He knew that there were those among the believers who were slandering people and this was an ugly way to speak, but He exposed a greater ugliness. This was to show that the ugly speech of the believers was paltry in comparison to the ugliness of the speech of the disbelievers. It is as if He said, “Their speech has been ugly in its defamation but the speech of the disbelievers is even uglier since they have described Us in a way that is not appropriate for Us.”
[This verse] also alludes to the call to humankind and the [divine] for- bearance with those who quarrel [with that call], for surely God (سبحانه) did not deprive them of what He had given them [in this world] in spite of their disregard for His rights.
We shall write down what they have said: These words are cause for embarrassment for the neglectful through the most delicate allusion. It means that even if they have forgotten their states and words, “We will resurrect for them what We have written against them.” Their speaker said:
I have pages
in which blame is buried.
One day they will be published and the blame will linger.
I will be patient
until God brings us together
and if we meet one day I will speak.
That is for what your hands have sent before: for God is never unjust toward His servants: If this were from one created being to another, it would be like absolving oneself of blame for what one has done. It is as if He (سبحانه) is saying, “My servant, the punishment that will come to you on that day is because of your sin. If you had not done it, We would not punish you.”