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wakadhālika
وَكَذَٰلِكَ
And thus
jaʿalnā
جَعَلْنَا
We placed
فِى
in
kulli
كُلِّ
every
qaryatin
قَرْيَةٍ
city
akābira
أَكَٰبِرَ
greatest
muj'rimīhā
مُجْرِمِيهَا
(of) its criminals,
liyamkurū
لِيَمْكُرُوا۟
so that they plot
fīhā
فِيهَاۖ
therein.
wamā
وَمَا
And not
yamkurūna
يَمْكُرُونَ
they plot
illā
إِلَّا
except
bi-anfusihim
بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
against themselves
wamā
وَمَا
And not
yashʿurūna
يَشْعُرُونَ
they perceive.

Wa kazaalika ja'alnaa fee kulli qaryatin akaabira mujrimeehaa liyamkuroo feehaa wa maa yamkuroona illaa bi anfusihim wa maa yash'uroon

Sahih International:

And thus We have placed within every city the greatest of its criminals to conspire therein. But they conspire not except against themselves, and they perceive [it] not.

1 A. J. Arberry

And even so We appointed in every city great ones among its sinners, to devise there; but they devised only against themselves, and they were not aware.

2 Abdul Haleem

And so We have put chief evildoers in every city to perpetrate their schemes there- but they scheme only against themselves, without realizing it.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And even so we set up in every town the great ones as its sinners, that they may plot therein. And they plot not but against themselves, and they perceive not.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men, to plot (and burrow) therein; but they only plot against their own souls, and they perceive it not.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Thus We have appointed the leaders of the wicked ones in every land to weave their plots; but in truth they plot only to their own harm, without even realizing it.

6 Ahmed Ali

And thus have We placed in every city the greatest of the sinners to contrive and deceive; yet they contrive against no one but themselves even though they do not know.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And similarly, We have made in every town leaders among its criminals that they may conspire in it; and they do not conspire except against themselves and they do not have perception.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Thus have We installed in every town its major criminals that they may plot therein. Yet they do not plot except against their own souls, but they are not aware.

9 Ali Ünal

And in that way have We set up in every township as leaders its most prominent criminals so that they scheme (against the believers). But they scheme only against their own selves – and they do not perceive it.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Similarly have We made the leaders in every town the guilty ones, (because their doings seem fair to them) with the result that they intrigue therein; but little do they understand that, (as a matter of fact,) they intrigue only against themselves.

11 English Literal

And like that We made/put in every village/urban city its greatest/bigger criminals/sinners to cheat/deceive in it, and they do not cheat/deceive except with themselves, and they do not feel/know .

12 Faridul Haque

And similarly, We have made in every town leaders among its criminals that they may conspire in it; and they do not conspire except against themselves and they do not have perception.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And thus have We placed great ones (leaders) in every town, its wicked ones, that they may plot therein. But they do but plot against themselves, though they perceive not.

14 Hilali & Khan

And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein. But they plot not except against their ownselves, and they perceive (it) not.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Is he who was dead, then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in darkness whence he cannot come forth? Thus their doings are made fair-seeming to the disbelievers.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And thus have We made in every town the great ones to be its guilty ones, that they may plan therein; and they do not plan but against their own souls, and they do not perceive.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And thus have We made in every city great ones of its wicked ones, that they should plot therein. They do but plot against themselves, though they perceive not.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

In every town We have placed some sinful leaders who always make evil plans. These plans will only work against their own souls but they do not realize this.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

And as such we have placed in every village its archtransgressors to scheme there. But they scheme only against themselves, though they do not sense it.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein. But they plot not except against themselves, and they perceive (it) not.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Thus We have placed leaders of the wicked in every town to plot therein. Yet it is only against themselves that they scheme, though they may not perceive it.

22 Talal Itani

And thus We set up in every city its leading wicked sinners, to conspire in it, but they conspire only against themselves, and they do not realize it.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And thus, in the same way that We have made the wicked folk of Mecca its leaders, We have made in every city its sinners great ones, that they may plot therein, to impede the faith; but they plot only against themselves, because the evil consequences thereof will befall them, though they do not perceive, this.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Evil Plots of the Leaders of the Criminals and their Subsequent Demise

Allah says;

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا فِي كُلِّ قَرْيَةٍ أَكَابِرَ مُجَرِمِيهَا لِيَمْكُرُواْ فِيهَا

And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein.

Allah says;Just as We appointed chiefs and leaders for the criminals who call to disbelief, hinder from the path of Allah, and oppose and defy you in your town, O Muhammad. Such was also the case with the Messengers before you, who were tested with the same. But the good end was always theirs.' Allah said in other Ayat,

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوّاً مِّنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ

Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals. (25;31)

Allah said,

وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَأ أَن نُّهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِيهَا

And when We decide to destroy a town, We send a definite order to those among them who lead a life of luxury, and they transgress therein. (17;16)

meaning, We command them to obey Us, but they defy the command and as a consequence, We destroy them.

It was also said that, "We send a definite order",

in the last Ayah means, "We decree for them," as Allah stated here
لِيَمْكُرُواْ فِيهَا
(to plot therein).

Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas explained the Ayah
أَكَابِرَ مُجَرِمِيهَا لِيَمْكُرُواْ فِيهَا
(...great ones of its wicked people to plot therein),

"We give the leadership to these wicked ones and they commit evil in it. When they do this, We destroy them with Our torment."

Mujahid and Qatadah said that;

in the Ayah,
أَكَابِرَ مُجَرِمِيهَا
(great ones) refers to leaders.

I say that this is also the meaning of Allah's statements,

وَمَأ أَرْسَلْنَا فِى قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلاَّ قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَأ إِنَّا بِمَأ أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَـفِرُونَ

وَقَالُواْ نَحْنُ أَكْثَـرُ أَمْوَلاً وَأَوْلَـداً وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them, said;"We believe not in what you have been sent with." And they say;"We have too much wealth and too many children and we are not going to suffer punishment." (34;34-35)

And,

وَكَذَلِكَ مَأ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ فِى قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلاَّ قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَأ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَأ ءَابَأءَنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ

And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town but the luxurious ones among them said;"We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps." (43;23)

`Plot' in the Ayah (6;123) refers to beautified speech and various actions with which the evil ones call to misguidance.

Allah said about the people of Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him,

وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً كُبَّاراً

And they have plotted a mighty plot. (71;22)

Allah said,

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَن نُّوْمِنَ بِهَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ وَلَا بِالَّذِى بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الظَّـلِمُونَ مَوْقُوفُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يَرْجِعُ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ الْقَوْلَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ لَوْلَا أَنتُمْ لَكُنَّا مُوْمِنِينَ

قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ أَنَحْنُ صَدَدنَـكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَى بَعْدَ إِذْ جَأءَكُمْ بَلْ كُنتُمْ مُّجْرِمِينَ

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَأ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً

But if you could see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant;"Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers."

And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak;"Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you! Nay, but you were criminals."

Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant;"Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals for Him!" (34;31-33)

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn Abi Umar said that Sufyan said,

"Every `plot' mentioned in the Qur'an refers to actions."

Allah's statement,

وَمَا يَمْكُرُونَ إِلاَّ بِأَنفُسِهِمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ



But they plot not except against themselves, and they perceive (it) not.

means, the harm of their wicked plots, as well as misguiding those whom they lead astray, will only strike them.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ

And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own. (29;13)

and,

وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ أَلَا سَأءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ

And also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. Evil indeed is that which they shall bear! (16;25)

Allah said