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We changed
(in) place
(of) the bad
the good,
they increased
and said,
(had) touched
our forefathers
the adversity
and the ease."
So We seized them
while they
(did) not

Summa baddalnaa makaa nas saiyi'atil hasanata hattaa 'afaw wa qaaloo qad massa aabaa'anad darraaa'u wassarraaa'u fa akhaznaahum baghtatanw wa hum laa yash'uroon

Sahih International:

Then We exchanged in place of the bad [condition], good, until they increased [and prospered] and said, "Our fathers [also] were touched with hardship and ease." So We seized them suddenly while they did not perceive.

1 A. J. Arberry

then We gave them in the place of evil good, till they multiplied, and said, 'Hardship and happiness visited our fathers.' So We seized them suddenly, unawares.

2 Abdul Haleem

and then We changed their hardship into prosperity, until they multiplied. But then they said, ‘Hardship and affluence also befell our forefathers,’ and so We took them suddenly, unawares.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Thereafter We substituted ease in place of adversity until they abounded and said: even Thus tribulation and prosperity touched our fathers. Then We laid hold of them of a sudden, while they perceived not.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Then We changed their suffering into prosperity, until they grew and multiplied, and began to say; "Our fathers (too) were touched by suffering and affluence"... Behold! We called them to account of a sudden, while they realised not (their peril).

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Then We changed adversity into ease until they throve and said: 'Our forefathers had also seen both adversity and prosperity.' So We suddenly seized them without their even perceiving it.

6 Ahmed Ali

But when We changed hardship to ease, and they rose and prospered, (they forgot Our favours) and said: "Our ancestors had also known suffering and joy." So We caught them unawares.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Then We changed the misfortune into prosperity to the extent that they became numerous and said, “Indeed grief and comfort did reach our ancestors” – so We seized them suddenly in their neglect.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Then We changed the ill [conditions] to good until they multiplied [in numbers] and said, ‘Adversity and ease befell our fathers [too].’ Then We seized them suddenly while they were unaware.

9 Ali Ünal

Then (after this phase of trial and training) We changed the affliction into good (ease of life) until they increased (in numbers and wealth, and indulged in comforts) and said (without taking any lesson from it): "Sometimes distress and sometimes happiness visited our forefathers (whereas we are living an easy life". So We seized them all of a sudden without their being aware (of what was coming).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Then We brought comfort (for them) in place of (their) distress until they grew in affluence, (number and excess) and said, `Surely, tribulations and prosperity visited our fathers (also, so it is a normal course of events).´ So We seized them unawares while they perceived not (the peril they were in).

11 English Literal

Then We exchanged/substituted (in) place/position (of) the sin/crime the good/goodness, until they cure/forgave/pardoned, and they said: "The calamity/disastrous distress and the prosperity had touched our fathers." So We took/punished them suddenly/unexpectedly, and (while) they are not feeling/knowing/sensing.

12 Faridul Haque

Then We changed the misfortune into prosperity to the extent that they became numerous and said, "Indeed grief and comfort did reach our ancestors" - so We seized them suddenly in their neglect.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And then did We exchanged good for evil (suffering for prosperity), until they grew (in strength and prosperity) and said, "Our fathers, too, were touched by both suffering and joy." Then We overtook them suddenly ere they realized their peril.

14 Hilali & Khan

Then We changed the evil for the good, until they increased in number and in wealth, and said: "Our fathers were touched with evil (loss of health and calamities) and with good (prosperity, etc.)." So We seized them of a sudden while they were unaware.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And We did not send a prophet to a town but We seized its people with distress and affliction that they might humble themselves.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Then We gave them good in the place of evil until they became many and said: Distress and happiness did indeed befall our fathers. Then We took them by surprise while they did not perceive.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Then changed We the evil plight for good till they grew affluent and said: Tribulation and distress did touch our fathers. Then We seized them unawares, when they perceived not.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

We then replaced their misfortune with well-being until they were relieved and began saying, "Our fathers had also experienced good and bad days." Suddenly, We struck them (with torment) while they were all unaware (of what was happening).

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Then We changed evil for good, until they multiplied and said: 'Our fathers were indeed touched by misfortune and adversity' So We seized them suddenly while they were unaware.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Then We changed the evil for the good, until they `Afaw (increased), and said: "Our fathers were touched with evil and with good." So We seized them all of a sudden while they were unaware.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

and then We changed their hardship into ease until they grew affluent and said, "Our fathers had also experienced adversity and prosperity," then We seized them suddenly, unawares.

22 Talal Itani

Then We substituted prosperity in place of hardship. Until they increased in number, and said, “Adversity and prosperity has touched our ancestors.” Then We seized them suddenly, while they were unaware.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Then We gave them in place of evil, the chastisement, good, wealth and health, until they multiplied, and said, out of ingratitude towards this grace; `Hardship and happiness befell our fathers before', just as it has befallen us, and this is nothing but the habit of time, and not the consequence of God, so remain firm in what you follow. God, exalted be He, says; So We seized them, with the chastisement, suddenly, while they perceived not, beforehand the time of its coming.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

ثُمَّ بَدَّلْنَا مَكَانَ السَّيِّيَةِ الْحَسَنَةَ

Then We changed the evil for the good,

Therefore, Allah changed the hardship into prosperity, disease and sickness into health and well-being, and poverty into richness in provision, so that they might be thankful to Allah for this, but they did none of that.

Allah's statement,

حَتَّى عَفَواْ

until they `Afaw,

refers to increase in numbers, wealth and offspring.

Allah said next,

وَّقَالُواْ قَدْ مَسَّ ابَاءنَا الضَّرَّاء وَالسَّرَّاء
and they said;"Our fathers were touched with evil and with good."

He tested them with this (afflictions) and that (ease and abundance) so that they may humble themselves and repent to Him. However, they failed both tests, for neither this nor that compelled them to change their ways.

They said, "We suffered Ba'sa' and Darra', but prosperity came afterwards, just as like our forefathers in earlier times." "Therefore," they said, "it is a cycle where we sometimes suffer a hardship and at other times, we enjoy a bounty."

However, they did not comprehend Allah's wisdom, nor the fact that He is testing them in both cases. To the contrary, the believers are grateful to Allah in good times and practice patience in hard times.

In the Sahih, there is a Hadith that says;

عَجَبًا لِلْمُوْمِنِ لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لَهُ قَضَاءً إِلاَّ كَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ

وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ

وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَه

The matter of the believer is amazing, for nothing that Allah decrees for him, but it is better for him.

If a Darra' (harm) strikes him, he is patient, and this is better for him,

if he is given Sarra' (prosperity), he thanks (Allah) for it and this is better for him.

The believer, therefore, is aware of the test behind the afflictions whether it may be prosperity or adversity that Allah sends to him, as well as the blessings.

Similarly, in another Hadith,

لَاايَزَالُ الْبَلَاءُ بِالْمُوْمِنِ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ نَقِيًّا مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ

The believer will continue to be tested by afflictions until he ends up pure from sin.

وَالْمُنَافِق مِثْله كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ لَاا يَدْرِي فِيمَ رَبَطَهُ أَهْلُهُ وَلَاا فِيمَ أَرْسَلُوه

And the parable of the hypocrite is that of a donkey, it does not know why its owners tied it or released it.

Allah said next,

فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

So We seized them all of a sudden while they were unaware.

meaning, We struck them with punishment all of a sudden, while they were unaware.

A Hadith describes sudden death,

مَوْتُ الْفَجْأَةِ رَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُوْمِنِ وَأَخْذَةُ أَسَفٍ لِلْكَافِر

Sudden death is a mercy for the believer, but a sorrowful punishment for the disbeliever.