بَلْ قَالُوْا مِثْلَ مَا قَالَ الْاَوَّلُوْنَ ( المؤمنون: ٨١ )
the former (people)
Bal qaaloo misla maa qaalal awwaloon (al-Muʾminūn 23:81)
Rather, they say like what the former peoples said. (Al-Mu'minun  : 81)
1 Mufti Taqi Usmani
But they say as the earlier people had said.