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wala-in
وَلَئِنْ
And if
akharnā
أَخَّرْنَا
We delay
ʿanhumu
عَنْهُمُ
from them
l-ʿadhāba
ٱلْعَذَابَ
the punishment
ilā
إِلَىٰٓ
for
ummatin
أُمَّةٍ
a time
maʿdūdatin
مَّعْدُودَةٍ
determined,
layaqūlunna
لَّيَقُولُنَّ
they will surely say,
مَا
"What
yaḥbisuhu
يَحْبِسُهُۥٓۗ
detains it?"
alā
أَلَا
No doubt!
yawma
يَوْمَ
(On) the Day
yatīhim
يَأْتِيهِمْ
it comes to them
laysa
لَيْسَ
not
maṣrūfan
مَصْرُوفًا
(will be) averted
ʿanhum
عَنْهُمْ
from them
waḥāqa
وَحَاقَ
and will surround
bihim
بِهِم
them
مَّا
What
kānū
كَانُوا۟
they used (to)
bihi
بِهِۦ
mock at [it].
yastahziūna
يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ
mock at [it].

Wala'in akhkharnaa 'anhumul 'azaaba ilaaa ummatim ma'doodatil la yaqoolunna maa yahbisuh; alaa yawma yaateehim laisa masroofan 'anhum wa haaqa bihim maa kaanoo bihee yastahzi'oon

Sahih International:

And if We hold back from them the punishment for a limited time, they will surely say, "What detains it?" Unquestionably, on the Day it comes to them, it will not be averted from them, and they will be enveloped by what they used to ridicule.

1 A. J. Arberry

And if We postpone the chastisement from them till a reckoned moment they will say 'What is detaining it?' Surely, the day it shall come to them, it shall not be turned aside from them, and they shall be encompassed by that they mocked at.

2 Abdul Haleem

If We defer their punishment for a determined time, they are sure to say, ‘What is holding it back?’ But on the Day it comes upon them, nothing will divert it from them; what they mocked will be all around them.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And if We defer from them the torment until a period determined, they say: What withholdeth it! Lo! the day it betideth them it shall not be averted from them, and shall beset them that whereat they have been mocking.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

If We delay the penalty for them for a definite term, they are sure to say, "What keeps it back?" Ah! On the day it (actually) reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be completely encircled by that which they used to mock at!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And were We to put off the chastisement from them for a determined period, they will cry out: 'What withholds Him from chastising?' Surely when the day of the chastisement will come, nothing will avert it and the chastisement which they had ridiculed shall encompass them.

6 Ahmed Ali

If We defer their punishment for a certain time, they will say: "What is keeping it back?" And yet, the day it comes, they will not be able to avert it; and what they used to laugh at will encompass them.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And if We postpone the punishment upon them for a specified time, they will surely say, “What holds it back?” Pay heed! On the day when it comes upon them, it will not be averted from them, and the very punishment they mocked at will encompass them.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

And if We defer their punishment until a certain time, they will surely say, ‘What holds it back?’ Look! On the day it overtakes them it shall not be turned away from them, and they will be besieged by what they used to deride.

9 Ali Ünal

Seeing that We postpone the punishment (with which We threaten them) until an appointed term, they are sure to say (in mockery): "What detains it that it does not come?" Beware! on the Day when it befalls them, it will not be averted from them, and that which they have been mocking at will overwhelm them.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Infact, if We defer the punishment from them till a reckoned time they would certainly ask, `What is that which withholds it?´ Behold! the day this (punishment) befalls them, it shall not be such as to be averted from them. And that (punishment) which they used to hold in scorn, shall overwhelm them.

11 English Literal

And if We delayed the punishment from them to a counted/numbered generation they will say (E) what prevents/withholds it ? Is it not (on that) day (when it) comes to them (it is) not diverted/sent away from them? And surrounded/encircled with them what they were with it mocking/making fun of.

12 Faridul Haque

And if We postpone the punishment upon them for a specified time, they will surely say, "What holds it back?" Pay heed! On the day when it comes upon them, it will not be averted from them, and the very punishment they mocked at will encompass them.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and His Throne (or authority, control) was (first) upon the Water that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. But should you say, "You will be raised up after death," those who disbelieve will surely say, "This is naught but obvious magic."

14 Hilali & Khan

And if We delay the torment for them till a determined term, they are sure to say, "What keeps it back?" Verily, on the day it reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be surrounded by (fall in) that at which they used to mock!

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods; and His Throne of Power is ever on water that He might manifest (the good qualities in) you whoever of you is best in deeds. And if thou sayest, You shall surely be raised up after death, those who disbelieve say: This is nothing but clear deceit.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And if We hold back from them the punishment until a stated period of time, they will certainly say: What prevents it? Now surely on the day when it will come to them, it shall not be averted from them and that which they scoffed at shall beset them.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And if We delay for them the doom until a reckoned time, they will surely say: What withholdeth it? Verily on the day when it cometh unto them, it cannot be averted from them, and that which they derided will surround them.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

If We delay in afflicting them with Our punishment for an appointed time, they ask, "What is preventing it (the punishment) from taking place?" On the day when it (punishment) befalls them, no one will be able to escape from it and that which they have mocked will surround them from all sides.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

And if We delay the punishment till an appointed time, they will ask: 'What has detained it' Indeed, the Day will come to them, it will not be turned awayfrom them, and that they mocked at will encompass them.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And if We delay the torment for them till a determined Ummah (term), they are sure to say, "What keeps it back" Verily, on the day it reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be surrounded by (or fall in) that at which they used to mock!

21 Wahiduddin Khan

If We defer their punishment till an appointed time, they ask, "What is holding it back?" On the Day when it overtakes them, there will be nothing to avert it from them; and what they used to mock at shall encompass them.

22 Talal Itani

And if We postponed their punishment until a stated time, they would say, “What holds it back?” On the Day when it reaches them, it will not be averted from them, and what they used to ridicule will besiege them.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And if we postpone the chastisement for them until, the arrival of, a reckoned time, [reckoned] moments, they will surely say, in mockery; `What is detaining it?', what is preventing it from being sent down? God, exalted be He, says; Verily on the day when it comes to them, it cannot be averted, warded off, from them, and that, chastisement, which they derided shall surround them, [it] shall come down upon them.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَلَيِنْ أَخَّرْنَا عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابَ إِلَى أُمَّةٍ مَّعْدُودَةٍ

And if We delay the torment for them till a determined Ummah (term),

Allah, the Exalted, is saying "If We delay the torment and the destruction of these polytheists until an appointed time and a period determined, and We promise them a specific time period (of life), they would still say, in rejection and haste;

لَّيَقُولُنَّ مَا يَحْبِسُهُ

they are sure to say, "What keeps it back!"

They mean by this, "What delays this torment from overtaking us." Both rejection and doubt are their very nature. Therefore, they have no escape or refuge from the torment.

أَلَا يَوْمَ يَأْتِيهِمْ لَيْسَ مَصْرُوفًا عَنْهُمْ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِوُونَ



Verily, on the day it reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be surrounded by (or fall in) that at which they used to mock!
The Meanings of the Word Ummah

The word Ummah is used in the Qur'an and Sunnah with a number of different meanings.

Sometimes when it is used it means a specified period of time.

An example is the statement of Allah, the Exalted, in this verse,
إِلَى أُمَّةٍ مَّعْدُودَةٍ
(till a determined Ummah (term),

This is also the meaning in the statement of Allah in Surah Yusuf,

وَقَالَ الَّذِى نَجَا مِنْهُمَا وَادَّكَرَ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ

Then the man who was released, now after Ummah (some time) remembered. (12;45)

The word Ummah is also used to refer to the Imam (leader) who is followed. An example of this is in the statement of Allah,

إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَـنِتًا لِلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah, obedient to Allah, Hanif, and he was not of those who were polytheists. (16;120)

The word Ummah is also used to mean religion and religious creed. This is as Allah mentions concerning the polytheists, that they said,

إِنَّا وَجَدْنَأ ءَابَأءَنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ

Verily, we found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps. (43;23)

The word Ummah is also used to mean a group (of people). This is as Allah says,

وَلَمَّا وَرَدَ مَأءَ مَدْيَنَ وَجَدَ عَلَيْهِ أُمَّةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ يَسْقُونَ

And when he arrived at the water (well) of Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks). (28;23)

Allah also said,

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming);"Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid Taghut." (16;36)

Allah also said,

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولٌ فَإِذَا جَأءَ رَسُولُهُمْ قُضِىَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْقِسْطِ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

And for every Ummah there is a Messenger; when their Messenger comes, the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. (10;47)

The meaning of Ummah here is those people who have had a Messenger sent among them.

The meaning of Ummah in this context includes the believers and the disbelievers among them. This is like what has been recorded in Sahih Muslim,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَاا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الاْاُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَاا نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ لَاا يُوْمِنُ بِي إِلاَّ دَخَلَ النَّار

By He in Whose Hand is my soul! there is no one of this Ummah, whether he be a Jew or Christian, who hears of me and does not believe in me, except that he will enter the Hell- fire.

In reference to the Ummah of followers, then they are those who believe in the Messengers, as Allah said,

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You (the followers of Prophet Muhammad) are the best Ummah ever raised up for mankind. (3;110)

In the Sahih the Prophet said,

فَأَقُولُ أُمَّتِي أُمَّتِي

Then I will say, "My Ummah (followers), my Ummah!"

The word Ummah is also used to mean a sect or party. An example of this usage is in the statement of Allah,

وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ

And of the people of Musa there is an Ummah who lead (the men) with truth and established justice therewith. (7;159)

Likewise is His statement,

مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ أُمَّةٌ قَأيِمَةٌ

A party of the People of the Scripture stand for the right. (3;113