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wakam
وَكَم
And how many
min
مِّن
of
qaryatin
قَرْيَةٍ
a city
ahlaknāhā
أَهْلَكْنَٰهَا
We destroyed it,
fajāahā
فَجَآءَهَا
and came to it
basunā
بَأْسُنَا
Our punishment
bayātan
بَيَٰتًا
(at) night
aw
أَوْ
or
hum
هُمْ
(while) they
qāilūna
قَآئِلُونَ
were sleeping at noon.

Wa kam min qaryatin ahlaknaahaa fajaaa'ahaa baasunaa bayaatan aw hum qaaa'iloon

Sahih International:

And how many cities have We destroyed, and Our punishment came to them at night or while they were sleeping at noon.

1 A. J. Arberry

How many a city We have destroyed! Our might came upon it at night, or while they took their ease in the noontide,

2 Abdul Haleem

How many towns We have destroyed! Our punishment came to them by night or while they slept in the afternoon:

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And how many a township We have destroyed, upon them Our violence came at night or while they were taking their midday rest.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

How many towns have We destroyed (for their sins)? Our punishment took them on a sudden by night or while they slept for their afternoon rest.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

How many a township We have destroyed! Our scourge fell upon them at night, or when they were taking midday rest.

6 Ahmed Ali

Many a habitation have We laid low before: Our retribution came upon them in the night or in the midst of siesta at noon.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And many a township did We destroy – so Our punishment came to them at night or while they were sleeping at noon.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

How many a town We have destroyed! Our punishment came to it at night, or while they were taking a midday nap.

9 Ali Ünal

How many a township We have destroyed (because they did not pay heed to Our warning). Our scourge fell upon them at night or when they were taking their ease in the noontime.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

So many a (rebellious) township have We caused to be ruined; so Our punishment visited them by night or while they were taking their midday rest;

11 English Literal

And how many from a village/urban city We destroyed it , so Our might/power came to it suddenly at night/overnight, or (while) they are saying/relaxing at midday .

12 Faridul Haque

And many a township did We destroy - so Our punishment came to them at night or while they were sleeping at noon.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Yet how many a town have We destroyed, and Our wrath came upon it by night, or while they slept at noon;

14 Hilali & Khan

And a great number of towns (their population) We destroyed (for their crimes). Our torment came upon them (suddenly) by night or while they were sleeping for their afternoon rest.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord and follow not besides Him any guardians; little do you mind!

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And how many a town that We destroyed, so Our punishment came to it by night or while they slept at midday.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

How many cities have We destroyed! Our wrath struck their people at night or during their midday siesta.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

How many a village have We laid in ruin! In the night Our Might fell upon it, or at midday when they were drowsy.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And a great number of towns We destroyed. Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

How many towns We have destroyed. Our scourge fell upon them by night or at midday when they were resting:

22 Talal Itani

How many a town have We destroyed? Our might came upon them by night, or while they were napping.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

How many (kam is predicative and is the direct object [of the main verb, ahlaknh, `We have destroyed']) a city, meaning its inhabitants, have We destroyed, have We willed its destruction! So Our might, Our chastisement, came upon it at night or while they slept at noon (q'iln; al-qaylla is a rest taken halfway during the day, even if it does not involve sleep), in other words, sometimes it came upon it at night, and sometimes it came during the day.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Nations that were destroyed

Allah said,

وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا

And a great number of towns We destroyed.

for defying Our Messengers and rejecting them. This behavior led them to earn disgrace in this life, which led them to disgrace in the Hereafter.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُواْ مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ

And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at. (6;10)

and,

فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَبِيْرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصْرٍ مَّشِيدٍ

And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle! (22;45)

and,

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا فَتِلْكَ مَسَـكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلً وَكُنَّا نَحْنُ الْوَرِثِينَ

And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood! And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little. And verily, We have been the heirs. (28;58)

Allah's saying,

فَجَاءهَا بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا أَوْ هُمْ قَأيِلُونَ



Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.

means, Allah's command, torment and vengeance came over them at night or while taking a nap in the middle of the day. Both of these times are periods of rest and leisure or heedlessness and amusement.

Allah also said

أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَأيِمُونَ

أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep! Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing! (7;97-98)

and,

أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّيَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ

أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَوُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not! Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them! Or that He may catch them with gradual wastage.

Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (16;45-47)

Allah's saying;

فَمَا كَانَ دَعْوَاهُمْ إِذْ جَاءهُمْ بَأْسُنَا إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ