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naḥnu
نَّحْنُ
We
aʿlamu
أَعْلَمُ
know best
bimā
بِمَا
what
yaqūlūna
يَقُولُونَ
they will say
idh
إِذْ
when
yaqūlu
يَقُولُ
will say,
amthaluhum
أَمْثَلُهُمْ
(the) best of them
ṭarīqatan
طَرِيقَةً
(in) conduct,
in
إِن
"Not
labith'tum
لَّبِثْتُمْ
you remained
illā
إِلَّا
except (for)
yawman
يَوْمًا
a day."

nahnu a'lamu bimaa yaqooloona iz yaqoolu amsaluhum tareeqatan illabistum illaa yawmaa

Sahih International:

We are most knowing of what they say when the best of them in manner will say, "You remained not but one day."

1 A. J. Arberry

We know very well what they will say, when the justest of them in the way will say, 'You have tarried only a day.'

2 Abdul Haleem

We know best what they say- but the more perceptive of them will say, ‘Your stay [on earth] was only a single day.’

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

We are the Best Knower of that which they will say, when the best of them in judgment Will say: ye tarried not save for a day.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

We know best what they will say, when their leader most eminent in conduct will say; "Ye tarried not longer than a day!"

5 Abul Ala Maududi

We know well what they will say to one another: We also know that even the most cautious in his estimate will say: "You lived in the world no more than a day."

6 Ahmed Ali

We know well what they will say when the most upright among them will say: "You did not tarry more than a day."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

We know well what they will utter, whereas the wisest among them will say, “You have stayed just for a day.”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

We know best what they will say, when the smartest of them in approach will say, ‘You stayed only a day!’

9 Ali Ünal

It is We Who have full knowledge of what they talk about, when the most perceptive among them say, "You stayed only one day."

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

We know best what they will say, when the one of the most upright conduct among them will say, `You have lived (here) only for a day.´

11 English Literal

We are more knowledgeable with what they say, when their best example (in a) method/path says: "That (E) you stayed/remained except a day."

12 Faridul Haque

We know well what they will utter, whereas the wisest among them will say, "You have stayed just for a day."

13 Hamid S. Aziz

They shall whisper to each other, "You have only tarried ten days."

14 Hilali & Khan

We know very well what they will say, when the best among them in knowledge and wisdom will say: "You stayed no longer than a day!"

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Consulting together secretly: You tarried but ten (days).

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

We know best what they say, when the fairest of them in course would say: You tarried but a day.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

We are Best Aware of what they utter when their best in conduct say: Ye have tarried but a day.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

We know best what they say. The moderate ones among them will say, "You did not live on earth for more than a day."

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

We know well what they will say. The most just among them in the matter will declare: 'You have stayed away but one day'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

We know very well what they will say, when the best among them in knowledge and wisdom will say: "You stayed no longer than a day!"

21 Wahiduddin Khan

We know best what they will say. The most perceptive of them will say, "You stayed only one day."

22 Talal Itani

We are fully aware of what they say, when the most exemplary of them in conduct will say, “You have lingered only a day.”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

We know very well what they will say, regarding this matter -- that is, it is not as they say -- when the justest, the most upright, of them in the way, in this, will say, `You have tarried only a day'; they will deem their stay in this world as having been very brief, on account of the terrors they will witness in the Hereafter.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ

We know very well what they will say,

This means in their condition of conversing amongst themselves.

إِذْ يَقُولُ أَمْثَلُهُمْ طَرِيقَةً

when the best among them in knowledge and wisdom will say;

the one with perfect intelligence amongst them,

إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ يَوْمًا



You stayed no longer than a day!

This is because on the Day of Judgement they will sense the shortness of the worldly life within themselves. For the worldly life, with its repetitious time periods and successive nights, days and hours, is as if it is just one day. For this reason, on the Day of Resurrection the disbelievers will think the worldly life was very short. By this they mean to prevent the establishment of the evidence against them due to the shortness of time that they had.

Allah says about this,

وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يُقْسِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ مَا لَبِثُواْ غَيْرَ سَاعَةٍ

And on the Day that the Hour will be established, the criminals will swear that they stayed not but an hour, until His statement,
وَلَكِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
(but you knew not"). (30;55-56)

Allah also says,

أَوَلَمْ نُعَمِّرْكُمْ مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَأءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ

Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it! And the warner came to you. (35;37)

Allah, the Exalted, also says,

قَـلَ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ عَدَدَ سِنِينَ

قَالُواْ لَبِثْنَا يَوْماً أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ فَاسْأَلِ الْعَأدِّينَ

قَالَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلً لَّوْ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

(Allah will say);What number of years did you stay on earth!

They will say;"We stayed a day or part of a day. Ask of those who keep account."

He (Allah) will say;"You stayed not but a little, if you had only known!" (23;112-114)

This means that you only remained in it (the earth) a little while. If you only knew, you would have preferred the eternal life over the temporal life. Yet, you conducted yourselves in an evil manner. You gave the present, temporary life precedence over the eternal and everlasting life