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fa-aʿraḍū
فَأَعْرَضُوا۟
But they turned away,
fa-arsalnā
فَأَرْسَلْنَا
so We sent
ʿalayhim
عَلَيْهِمْ
upon them
sayla
سَيْلَ
(the) flood
l-ʿarimi
ٱلْعَرِمِ
(of) the dam,
wabaddalnāhum
وَبَدَّلْنَٰهُم
and We changed for them
bijannatayhim
بِجَنَّتَيْهِمْ
their two gardens
jannatayni
جَنَّتَيْنِ
(with) two gardens
dhawātay
ذَوَاتَىْ
producing fruit
ukulin
أُكُلٍ
producing fruit
khamṭin
خَمْطٍ
bitter,
wa-athlin
وَأَثْلٍ
and tamarisks
washayin
وَشَىْءٍ
and (some)thing
min
مِّن
of
sid'rin
سِدْرٍ
lote trees
qalīlin
قَلِيلٍ
few.

Fa-a''radoo fa-arsalnaa 'alaihim Sailal 'Arimi wa baddalnaahum bijannataihim jannataini azwaatai ukulin khamtinw wa aslinw wa shai'im min sidrin qaleel

Sahih International:

But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees.

1 A. J. Arberry

But they turned away; so We loosed on them the Flood of Arim, and We gave them, in exchange for their two gardens, two gardens bearing bitter produce and tamarisk-bushes, and here and there a few lote-trees.

2 Abdul Haleem

But they paid no heed, so We let loose on them a flood from the dam and replaced their two gardens with others that yielded bitter fruit, tamarisk bushes, and a few lote trees.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

But they turned away. Wherefore We sent upon them the inundation of the dam and We exchanged their two gardens for two gardens bearing bitter fruit, and tamarisk. And some few lote-trees.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

But they turned away (from Allah), and We sent against them the Flood (released) from the dams, and We converted their two garden (rows) into "gardens" producing bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few (stunted) Lote-trees.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

But they turned away and so We let loose upon them a devastating flood that swept away the dams and replaced their gardens by two others bearing bitter fruits, tamarisks, and a few lote trees.

6 Ahmed Ali

But they turned away. So We let loose on them the inundation of (the dyke of) al-'Arim, replacing their gardens with two other gardens which bore only bitter gourd, and tamarisks and a few sparse lote-trees.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

In response they turned away – We therefore sent upon them a tremendous flood, and in exchange of their two gardens gave them two gardens bearing bitter fruit, and tamarisk, and some berries.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

But they disregarded [the path of Allah], so We unleashed upon them a violent flood and replaced their two gardens with two gardens bearing bitter fruit, tamarisk, and sparse lote trees.

9 Ali Ünal

But they turned away (from thanksgiving to the sins of luxury and heedless self-indulgence). So We sent upon them the flood of (waters released from) the dams, and converted their two (lovely) gardens into a couple of gardens yielding bitter produce, tamarisks, and sparse lote-trees.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

But they turned away. Thereupon We sent against them a devastating flood. And We replaced their two (excellent) gardens by two (other) gardens bearing bitter fruit and (containing) Tamarisk and a few nettle shrubs (here and there).

11 English Literal

So they opposed/objected so We sent on (to) them the dam`s/strong rain`s flowage/flood/torrent, and We exchanged/replaced them with their two treed gardens two treed gardens with of (B) sour and bitter/weak crop and inedible food/fruits, and a thing from little sedre/lote-tree.

12 Faridul Haque

In response they turned away - We therefore sent upon them a tremendous flood, and in exchange of their two gardens gave them two gardens bearing bitter fruit, and tamarisk, and some berries.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Certainly there was a sign for Sheba in their abode; two gardens on the right and the left; (as if to say) "Eat of the provisions of your Lord and give thanks to Him - a good land and an Indulgent Lord!"

14 Hilali & Khan

But they turned away (from the obedience of Allah), so We sent against them Sail Al'Arim (flood released from the dam), and We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit, and tamarisks, and some few lotetrees.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Certainly there was a sign for Saba’ in their abode -- two gardens on the right and the left. East of the sustenance of your Lord and give thanks to Him. A good land and a Forgiving Lord!

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

But they turned aside, so We sent upon them a torrent of which the rush could not be withstood, and in place of their two gardens We gave to them two gardens yielding bitter fruit and (growing) tamarisk and a few lote-trees.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

But they were froward, so We sent on them the flood of 'Iram, and in exchange for their two gardens gave them two gardens bearing bitter fruit, the tamarisk and here and there a lote-tree.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

They ignored (the evidence) and We sent to them a flood, arising from a broken dam. Nothing was left in their gardens but bitter fruits, some tamarisk and a few lotus trees.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

But they turned away. So We sent against them the Flood (at the city) of Arim, and exchanged their gardens with two others bearing bitter fruit andTamarisks, and here and there a few Lotus trees.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

But they turned away, so We sent against them flood released from the dam, and We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit, and Athl, and some few lote trees.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Yet they turned away [from the truth]. So We let loose on them a flood from the dam and replaced their two gardens by two others bearing bitter fruits, tamarisks, and a few lote trees.

22 Talal Itani

But they turned away, so We unleashed against them the flood of the dam; and We substituted their two gardens with two gardens of bitter fruits, thorny shrubs, and meager harvest.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

But they were disregardful, of giving thanks to Him and became disbelievers, so We unleashed upon them the flood of the Dam (al-`arim is the plural of `arima, which is a structure or something similar that holds water back [to be stored] for when it is needed), in other words, [We unleashed upon them] the flood- waters of their valley which had been held back by the mentioned [structure] so that they engulfed their two gardens together with all their property. And We gave them in place of their two gardens two gardens bearing (dhawtay, a dual form of [feminine plural] dhawt; usually [the form dhtay from] the singular [would have been used]) bitter fruit, bitter and vile (ukul may be read as a genitive annexation [ukulin khamtin] in the sense of `that which is eaten [thereof being bitter]; or it may be read without [as ukuli khamtin]; and this [phrase] is supplemented [by the following, wa-athlin wa-shay'in min sidrin qall) and tamarisk and sparse lote trees.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

فَأَعْرَضُوا

But they turned away,

means, from worshipping Allah alone and from giving thanks to Him for the blessings that He had bestowed upon them, and they started to worship the sun instead of Allah, as the hoopoe told Suleiman, peace be upon him;

فَمَكَثَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ فَقَالَ أَحَطتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِيْتُكَ مِن سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ

إِنِّى وَجَدتُّ امْرَأَةً تَمْلِكُهُمْ وَأُوتِيَتْ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَلَهَا عَرْشٌ عَظِيمٌ

وَجَدتُّهَا وَقَوْمَهَا يَسْجُدُونَ لِلشَّمْسِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ فَهُمْ لَا يَهْتَدُونَ

"I have come to you from Saba' (Sheba) with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, she has been given all things, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaytan has made their deeds fair seeming to them, and has barred them from the way, so they have no guidance." (27;22-24)

فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَيْلَ الْعَرِمِ

so We sent against them flood released from the dam,

Some, including Ibn Abbas, Wahb bin Munabbih, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that;

when Allah wanted to punish them by sending the flood upon them, he sent beasts from the earth to the dam, large rats, which made a hole in it.

Wahb bin Munabbih said,

"They found it written in their Scriptures that the dam would be destroyed because of these large rats. So they brought cats for a while, but when the decree came to pass, the rats overran the cats and went into the dam, making a hole in it, and it collapsed."

Qatadah and others said,

"The large rat is the desert rat. They gnawed at the bottom of the dam until it became weak, then the time of the floods came and the waters hit the structure and it collapsed. The waters rushed through the bottom of the valley and destroyed everything in their path -- buildings, trees, etc."

As the water drained from the trees that were on the mountains, to the right and the left, those trees dried up and were destroyed. Those beautiful, fruit-bearing trees were replaced with something altogether different, as Allah says;

وَبَدَّلْنَاهُم بِجَنَّتَيْهِمْ جَنَّتَيْنِ ذَوَاتَى أُكُلٍ خَمْطٍ

and We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit (ukul khamt),

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Qatadah and As-Suddi said,

"It refers to Arak (Zingiber officinale) and bitter bad fruit."

وَأَثْلٍ

and Athl,

Al- Awfi and Ibn Abbas said that this means tamarisk.

Others said that it means a tree that resembles a tamarisk, and it was said that it was the gum acacia or mimosa. And Allah knows best.

وَشَيْءٍ مِّن سِدْرٍ قَلِيلٍ



and some few lote trees.

Because the lote trees were the best of the trees with which the garden was replaced, there were only a few of them.

This is what happened to those two gardens after they had been so fruitful and productive, offering beautiful scenes, deep shade and flowing rivers;they were replaced with thorny trees, tamarisks and lote trees with huge thorns and little fruit. This was because of their disbelief and their sin of associating others with Allah, and because they denied the truth and turned towards falsehood.

Allah said;

ذَلِكَ جَزَيْنَاهُم بِمَا كَفَرُوا وَهَلْ نُجَازِي إِلاَّ الْكَفُورَ