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kam
كَمْ
How many
ahlaknā
أَهْلَكْنَا
We destroyed
min
مِن
before them
qablihim
قَبْلِهِم
before them
min
مِّن
before them
qarnin
قَرْنٍ
a generation,
fanādaw
فَنَادَوا۟
then they called out
walāta
وَّلَاتَ
when there (was) no longer
ḥīna
حِينَ
time
manāṣin
مَنَاصٍ
(for) escape.

Kam ahlaknaa min qablihim min qarnin fanaadaw wa laata heena manaas

Sahih International:

How many a generation have We destroyed before them, and they [then] called out; but it was not a time for escape.

1 A. J. Arberry

How many a generation We destroyed before them, and they called, but time was none to escape.

2 Abdul Haleem

How many generations We have destroyed before them! They all cried out, once it was too late, for escape.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

How many a generation have We destroyed afore them, and they cried when there was not time of fleeing.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

How many generations before them did We destroy? In the end they cried (for mercy)- when there was no longer time for being saved!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

How many a nation did We destroy before them! (When they approached their doom) they cried out (for deliverance), but the time for deliverance was already past.

6 Ahmed Ali

How many generations have We destroyed before them who cried (for mercy) when it was too late for escape.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Many a generation We did destroy before them – thereupon they cried out whereas it is not the time to escape!

8 Ali Quli Qarai

How many a generation We have destroyed before them! They cried out [for help], but gone was the time for escape.

9 Ali Ünal

We destroyed before them many generations (who likewise willfully persisted in unbelief and opposition). (In the end) they called out for help but only when it was too late for the punishment (they had earned) to be canceled.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

(Do they not see that) We have destroyed so many generations before them? (They did not care to listen to the warning at first) then (later) they cried (for help) but the time for escape had passed.

11 English Literal

How many from (a) people of one era/generation We destroyed from before them? So they called: "And it is not the time, time for escape (expression) ."

12 Faridul Haque

Many a generation We did destroy before them – thereupon they cried out whereas it is not the time to escape!

13 Hamid S. Aziz

How many generations did We destroy before them, then they cried when there was no longer time to escape.

14 Hilali & Khan

How many a generation We have destroyed before them, and they cried out when there was no longer time for escape!

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Nay, those who disbelieve are in self-exaltation and opposition.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

How many did We destroy before them of the generations, then they cried while the time of escaping had passed away.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

How many a generation We destroyed before them, and they cried out when it was no longer the time for escape!

18 Muhammad Sarwar

How many ancient generations did We destroy? (On facing Our torment) they cried out for help, but it was too late for them to escape.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

How many generations have We destroyed before them. They called: 'The time is neither of escape, nor safety'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

How many a generation have We destroyed before them! And they cried out when there was no longer time for escape.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

How many generations We have destroyed before them! And they cried out when it was too late to escape.

22 Talal Itani

How many generations have We destroyed before them? They cried out when it was too late to escape.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

How many -- in other words, many -- a generation, a community of past communities, We have destroyed before them, and they cried out, when the chastisement was sent down on them, when it was no longer the time for escape, that is to say, the time was not one for fleeing (the [suffixed] t' [of wa-lta] is extra; the sentence is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the subject of [the verb] ndaw, `they cried out') in other words, they called for help but the situation was such that there could be no escape or deliverance; but still the Meccan disbelievers have not taken heed from their example.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّن قَرْنٍ

How many a generation have We destroyed before them!

meaning, disbelieving nations.

فَنَادَوْا

And they cried out,

means, when the punishment came to them, they called for help and cried out to Allah, but that did not save them at all.

This is like the Ayat;

فَلَمَّأ أَحَسُّواْ بَأْسَنَأ إِذَا هُمْ مِّنْهَا يَرْكُضُونَ

لَا تَرْكُضُواْ وَارْجِعُواْ إِلَى مَأ أُتْرِفْتُمْ فِيهِ وَمَسَـكِنِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْأَلُونَ

Then, when they perceived (saw) Our torment, behold, they (tried to) flee from it. Flee not, but return to that wherein you lived a luxurious life, and to your homes, in order that you may be questioned. (21;12-13)

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that At-Tamimi said,

"I asked Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, about the Ayah;
فَنَادَوْا وَلَاتَ حِينَ مَنَاصٍ
(And they cried out when there was no longer time for escape),

He said that it was not the time for them to call or flee or escape.

Muhammad bin Ka`b said, concerning the Ayah;
فَنَادَوْا وَلَاتَ حِينَ مَنَاصٍ
(And they cried out when there was no longer time for escape).

"They called for Tawhid when their lives were over, and they resorted to repentance when their lives were over."

Qatadah said,

"When they saw the punishment, they wanted to repent when there was no longer time to call out."

Mujahid said;
فَنَادَوْا وَلَاتَ حِينَ مَنَاصٍ
(And they cried out when there was no longer time for escape).

"It was not the time to flee or escape."

Allah says;

وَلَاتَ حِينَ مَنَاصٍ



when there was no longer time for escape.

meaning, there was no time to escape or run away; and Allah knows best