They long that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, so then you would be equal; therefore do not take friends from among them until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn away, take them and slay them wherever you find them; and do not take any of them as a patron, or as a helper.
Except those who attach themselves to a people between whom and you there is a covenant, or come to you with their breasts constricted about the prospect of fighting you, or fighting their people. Had God willed, He would have given them sway over you, so that assuredly they would have fought you. And so if they stay away from you and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then God does not allow you any way against them.
[This] alludes to those in confused and sickly states-they wish that the sincere would be like them. How absurd that their desire should come true! Until your antagonists stop trying to thwart you, separate yourselves from them, oppose them, and do not change your state to suit them. Do not associate with them, and do not take any of them as a patron or as a helper. Someone who is in harmony with your goal is better for you than forced association with someone who opposes you.
Except those who attach themselves to a people. . . This verse is an allusion to [the fact] that He gives leave with these exceptions to associate outwardly in a kindly manner with those who are in a weak and oppressed condition.
And so if they stay away from you. . . this alludes to [the case] when someone who is not one of the people of the story associates with you. If they are intent on remaining in their familiar areas of worldly concerns, do not call them to your path but leave them be in peace. If [God] gives you the opportunity to look to them with mercy, follow your good intentions with them. But if not, leave them be in peace.