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waqālū
وَقَالُوٓا۟
And they say,
asāṭīru
أَسَٰطِيرُ
"Tales
l-awalīna
ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ
(of) the former people
ik'tatabahā
ٱكْتَتَبَهَا
which he has had written
fahiya
فَهِىَ
and they
tum'lā
تُمْلَىٰ
are dictated
ʿalayhi
عَلَيْهِ
to him
buk'ratan
بُكْرَةً
morning
wa-aṣīlan
وَأَصِيلًا
and evening."

Wa qaalooo asaateerul awwaleenak tatabahaa fahiya tumlaa 'alaihi bukratanw wa aseelaa

Sahih International:

And they say, "Legends of the former peoples which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon."

1 A. J. Arberry

They say, 'Fairy-tales of the ancients that he has had written down, so that they are recited to him at the dawn and in the evening.'

2 Abdul Haleem

and they say, ‘It is just ancient fables, which he has had written down: they are dictated to him morning and evening.’

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And they say: fables of the ancients which he hath had written down, so they are dictated unto him, morning and evening.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And they say; "Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written; and they are dictated before him morning and evening."

5 Abul Ala Maududi

They say, "These things are the writings of the ancients which he has got copied down for himself, and then these are recited to him in the morning and evening.''

6 Ahmed Ali

And they say: "These are fables of antiquity he has invented, which are dictated to him morning and evening."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And they said, “These are stories of the former people, which he has written down, so they are read to him morning and evening.”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

They say, ‘He has taken down myths of the ancients, and they are dictated to him morning and evening.’

9 Ali Ünal

They also say: "(It consists of) only fables of the ancients which he has got written. They are being read to him in early mornings and evenings (while people are at home)."

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

They (also) say, `(This Qur´ân consists of) fables of the ancients that he has got written down and now they are read out to him morning and evening.´

11 English Literal

And they said: "The first`s/beginner`s myths/baseless stories , he wrote it, so it is being dictated on (to) him early mornings and evening to sunset ."

12 Faridul Haque

And they said, “These are stories of the former people, which he has written down, so they are read to him morning and evening.”

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And those who disbelieve say, "This is nothing but a lie which he has invented, and another people hath helped him with it;" But, in truth, it is they who have wrought an injustice and a falsehood.

14 Hilali & Khan

And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon."

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And those who disbelieve say: This is nothing but a lie, which he has forged, and other people have helped him at it. So indeed they have brought an iniquity and a falsehood.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And they say: The stories of the ancients-- he has got them written-- so these are read out to him morning and evening.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And they say: Fables of the men of old which he hath had written down so that they are dictated to him morn and evening.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

They have also said, "It, (the Quran), is only ancient legends, which were written down while they were dictated to him in the mornings and the evenings".

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

They say: 'He has written tales of the ancients, they are recited to him at dawn and at the evening'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And they say: "Tales of the ancients which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon. "

21 Wahiduddin Khan

They say, "It is just fables of the ancients, which he has had written down. They are dictated to him morning and evening."

22 Talal Itani

And they say, “Tales of the ancients; he wrote them down; they are dictated to him morning and evening.”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And they say, that it [the Qur'n] is also, `Fables, their lies (astir is the plural of ustra) of the ancients which he has had written down, that he has had someone from among those people copy it down for him, so that they are read to him, for him to memorise, morning and evening'. God, exalted be He, responds to them saying;

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَقَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الاَْوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا

And they say;"Tales of the ancients which he has written down..."

meaning, the ancients wrote them down, and he has copied it.

فَهِيَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ

and they are dictated to him,

means, they are read or recited to him.

بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلً



morning and afternoon.

at the beginning and end of the day.

Because this idea is so foolish and is so patently false, everyone knows that it is not true. It is known through Mutawatir reports and is a common fact that Muhammad the Messenger of Allah never learned to read or write, either at the beginning or the end of his life. He grew up among them for approximately forty years, from the time he was born until the time when his mission began. They knew all about him, and about his honest and sound character and how he would never lie or do anything immoral or bad. They even used to call him Al-Amin (the Trustworthy One) from a young age, until his mission began, because they saw how truthful and honest he was. When Allah honored him with that which He honored him, they declared their enmity towards him and came up with all these accusations which any reasonable person would know he was innocent of. They were not sure what to accuse him of.

Sometimes they said that he was a sorcerer, at other times they would say he was a poet, or crazy, or a liar.

So Allah said;

انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلً

See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way. (17;48)
In response to their stubbornness, Allah says here