(Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said…) [3:181]. ‘Ikrimah, al-Suddi and Muqatil ibn Ishaq related that, one day, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq entered a Jewish place of study and found a group of Jewish people gathered around one of them called Finhas ibn ‘Azura, who was one of their doctors. Abu Bakr said to Finhas: “Fear Allah and embrace Islam, for by Allah you know well that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah who has brought the truth to you from Allah. He is mentioned in your Torah; so believe and accept the truth and grant Allah a goodly offering and He will make you enter the Garden and multiply your reward”. Finhas responded: “O Abu Bakr, you claim that our Lord is asking us to lend Him our wealth. Yet, it is only the poor who borrow from the rich. And if what you say is true, it follows that Allah is poor and we are rich, for if He were rich He would not ask us to lend Him our wealth”. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, may Allah be well pleased with him, became very angry and struck the face of Finhas with a mighty blow. He then said to him: “By Him in whose Hand is my soul, if it were not for the treaty between us, O enemy of Allah, I would have killed you”. Finhas went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: “O Muhammad! Look at what your companion has done to me”. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked Abu Bakr: “What has driven you to do what you have done?” He said: “O Messenger of Allah, this enemy of Allah has said something very serious. He claimed that Allah is poor and they are rich. I therefore got angry for the sake of Allah and hit his face”. But Finhas denied that he ever uttered those words, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said…) to give the lie to Finhas and to confirm that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq said the truth. ‘Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir informed us> Abu ‘Amr ibn Matar> Ja‘far ibn al-Layth al-Ziyadi> Hudhayfah Musa ibn Mas‘ud> Shibl> Ibn Abi Najih> Mujahid who said: “This verse was revealed about the Jews; Abu Bakr, may Allah be well pleased with him, had struck the face of one of their men who said ‘Allah is poor and we are rich’ ”. Shibl commented: “I was informed that this man was Finhas the Jew, and it is also this man who said: (Allah’s hand is fettered) [5:64]”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou