لَّوْلاَ كِتَابٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
Lawla kitabun mina Allahi sabaqa lamassakum feema akhathtum AAathabun AAatheemun
The Aya says:
Except for an ordinance from Allah that had already preceded then would have hit you (plural) ,by what you took, great punishment.
My personal note:
The aya talks that that they would have been punished for taking the captives of way but there was already an ordinance from Allah that protected them from the punishment and this ordinance could have been an ordinance of forgiving them for any wrongdoing they may do or the ordinance that in the future Allah will allow them to have prisoners of war or both. However the bottom line is that they were forgiven and not punished.
Translation of the transliterated words:
Lawla: if not/ except for
Kitabun: a book/ the collection of knowledge/ an already made decision/ an ordinance
Note: the root K-T-B and it means putting things together as in grouping the herd together or closing the lips or writing (the most common use), because in writing, one puts the letters and the ideas together. KITABUN means, the process of writing or the book or anything related to it from the ideas to the ink and paper to the place where all is put together. In a sense, it points to the collection of knowledge and information that are communicated. In this context it is pointing to already made decision.
Note: SABAQA is derived from the root S-B-Qaf and it means being ahead in time or place or in a race. Conceptually, it is used for preceding and for racing. SABAQA is an action that is completed. It means the action of preceding happened by the subject (third person singular).
Lamassakum: then would have touched you (plural)
Note: la is for answering the conditional. Massakum is derived from the root M-S-S and it means touching. Conceptually, it takes many meanings that are related to touch and they range from just touch to deep influence and so on according to the context. MASSA is an action that is completed. It means: the action of touching or affecting the object (KUM= plural you) happened by the subject (AAathab= suffering).
Feema: in what
Akhathtum: you (plural) took
Note: AKHATHTUM is derived from the root Hamza-KH-TH and it means taking. AKHATHTUM is an action that is completed. It means: the action of taking the object (MA= what) happened by the subject (second person plural).
AAathabun: suffering/ punishment
Note: the root is Ain-TH-B and it means an easy to swallow food or drink. AAaTHAB is what makes one not take an easy to swallow food or drink. That is suffering of.
Note: the root is Ain-TH-M and it means great/hard/strong. The concrete word is AAaTHM and that is the bones or the hard/strong/firm core of things. AAaTHEEM means great.
Salaam all and have a great day