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faka-ayyin
فَكَأَيِّن
And how many
min
مِّن
of
qaryatin
قَرْيَةٍ
a township
ahlaknāhā
أَهْلَكْنَٰهَا
We have destroyed it,
wahiya
وَهِىَ
while it
ẓālimatun
ظَالِمَةٌ
was doing wrong,
fahiya
فَهِىَ
so it
khāwiyatun
خَاوِيَةٌ
fell
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
ʿurūshihā
عُرُوشِهَا
its roofs,
wabi'rin
وَبِئْرٍ
and well
muʿaṭṭalatin
مُّعَطَّلَةٍ
abandoned,
waqaṣrin
وَقَصْرٍ
and castle
mashīdin
مَّشِيدٍ
lofty.

Faka ayyim min qaryatin ahlaknaahaa wa hiya zaalimatun fahiya khaawiyatun 'alaa 'urooshihaa wa bi'rim mu'at talatinw wa qasrim masheed

Sahih International:

And how many a city did We destroy while it was committing wrong - so it is [now] fallen into ruin - and [how many] an abandoned well and [how many] a lofty palace.

1 A. J. Arberry

How many a city We have destroyed in its evildoing, and now it is fallen down upon its turrets! How many a ruined well, a tall palace!

2 Abdul Haleem

How many towns steeped in wrongdoing We have destroyed and left in total ruin; how many deserted wells; how many lofty palaces!

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

How many a city have We destroyed, while it was a wrong- doer--and it lieth overturned on its roofs, -and how many a well abandoned and how many a castle fortifred!

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

How many populations have We destroyed, which were given to wrong-doing? They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells are lying idle and neglected, and castles lofty and well-built?

5 Abul Ala Maududi

How many towns have We destroyed because their people were steeped in iniquity: so they lie fallen down upon their turrets! How many wells lie deserted; and how many towering palaces lie in ruins!

6 Ahmed Ali

How many a habitation given to wickedness have We destroyed, whose roofs tumbled down, which fell into ruins. How many a well and fortress reinforced lie abandoned!

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And many a township did We destroy, for they were oppressors – so they now lie flat on their roofs, and many a well lying useless and many a palace in ruins.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

How many towns We have destroyed when they had been wrongdoers! So they lie fallen on their trellises, their wells neglected and their ruined palaces!

9 Ali Ünal

How many a township have We destroyed because it was given up to wrongdoing: so they all lie in ruins, with their roofs caved in, wells and fountains deserted, and towering, lofty castles collapsed.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

We have destroyed so many townships because (the people thereof) were given to wicked ways so that they have fallen down on their roofs, and how many a well is completely deserted: (similarly) many a strongly built lofty castles (met the same doom because We destroyed their occupants).

11 English Literal

So how many from a village/urban city We made it die/destroyed it, and it is unjust/oppressive, so it is empty/destroyed on its ceilings/structures , and a well abandoned/inactive , and an erected/plastered castle/palace ?

12 Faridul Haque

And many a township did We destroy, for they were oppressors – so they now lie flat on their roofs, and many a well lying useless and many a palace in ruins.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And the dweller of Midian; and Moses was called a liar too: but I indulged the disbelievers a long while, and then I seized them, and how terrible was My rejection!

14 Hilali & Khan

And many a township have We destroyed while it was given to wrong-doing, so that it lies in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castles!

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And the dwellers of Midian. And Moses (too) was rejected. But I gave respite to the disbelievers, then I seized them; so how (severe) was My disapproval!

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

So how many a town did We destroy while it was unjust, so it was fallen down upon its roofs, and (how many a) deserted well and palace raised high.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

How many a township have We destroyed while it was sinful, so that it lieth (to this day) in ruins, and (how many) a deserted well and lofty tower!

18 Muhammad Sarwar

How many were the unjust dwellers of the towns that We destroyed. From their trellises to their lofty mansions, all were toppled and their wells were abandoned.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

How many a village We have destroyed in its harmdoing, so that it lies fallen upon its turrets, and how many an abandoned well, and empty palace!

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins, and a deserted well and castle Mashid!

21 Wahiduddin Khan

How many a town We destroyed which was given to wrongdoing, so that its roofs fell down, and how many a well is deserted and how many a lofty castle is in ruins.

22 Talal Itani

How many a town have We destroyed while it was doing wrong? They lie in ruins; with stilled wells, and lofty mansions.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

How many a town I have destroyed (ahlaktuh, a variant reading has ahlaknh, `We have destroyed'), while it was doing wrong, that is, while its inhabitants were [doing wrong] by being disbelievers, but now it lies fallen down, collapsed, on its roofs and, how many, a neglected well, abandoned because of the death of its owners, and a lofty palace, stands empty because of the death of its residents.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا

And many a township did We destroy,

وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ

while they were given wrongdoing,

meaning, they were rejecting their Messengers.

فَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا

so that it lie in ruins,

Ad-Dahhak said,

"(Leveled to) their roofs," i.e., their houses and cities were destroyed.

وَبِيْرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ

and (many) a deserted well,

means, they draw no water from it, and no one comes to it, after it had been frequented often by crowds of people.

وَقَصْرٍ مَّشِيدٍ



and a castle Mashid!

Ikrimah said,

"This means whitened with plaster."

Something similar was narrated from Ali bin Abi Talib, Mujahid, Ata', Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Al-Mulayh and Ad-Dahhak.

Others said that it means high and impenetrable fortresses.

All of these suggestions are close in meaning and do not contradict one another, for this sturdy construction and great height did not help their occupants or afford them any protection when the punishment of Allah came upon them, as He says;

أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ

"Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in Buruj Mushayyadah!" (4;78)