This verse addresses all of mankind. In some other places, Allah U addresses them through:
﴾يَا بَنِي آدَمَ ﴿
“O children of Adam” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 26]
to remind them of their father Adam u. In others, He uses:
﴾يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا﴿
“Oh you who have believed” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 104].
This third way of addressing, which specifically calls on the believers, is always followed by responsibilities and tasks. This is because, the one who has believed is bound to a contract and agreement with Allah u. Thus, he is given the obligations of prayer, fasting, paying of alms as well as all the other responsibilities. An example is found in the following vers:
﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ الصِّيَامُ﴿
“O you who have believed, fasting has been decreed upon you.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah: 183].
The one who has not believed is not obliged to fast, pray and perform all the other responsibilities. Hence, these obligations are a result of entering into the contract with Allah U. It is not made by coercion but rather, it is a voluntary contract. Therefore, the one who has chosen to believe will have to abide by the do’s and don’ts. You are not forced to believe, for you are free to choose your religion, as Allah U states:
﴾لا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ﴿
“There is no compulsion in religion” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 256].