This verse negated the school of fatalism and destroyed it completely.
(… وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ ) (And what [harm would come] upon them …): This sentence does not come unless there is a choice between to believe or not to believe. Islam is religion, and a religion does not depend on compulsion, but on a choice, a religion of argument, reason and proof, not a religion of sword, murder and terrorism, because you are in front of a heart and a mould. The mold can be subdued by force and it may prostrate before you for fear of you and your weapon, but you cannot enter the heart and control it except with persuasion, argument and proof. This is the authority of religion.
(… لَوْ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ …) (…if they believed in Allah and the Last Day and spent out of what Allah provided for them?…): So they were free of choice but they chose the contrary of that.