|How the Evildoers were destroyed|
﴿وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَـلِمَةً﴾
(How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed,) meaning, they were very many. This is like the Ayah:
﴿وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن بَعْدِ نُوحٍ﴾
(And how many generations have We destroyed after Nuh!) ﴿17:17﴾
﴿فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا﴾
(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins) ﴿22:45﴾.
﴿وَأَنشَأْنَا بَعْدَهَا قَوْماً ءَاخَرِينَ﴾
(and raised up after them another people!) means, another nation which came after them.
﴿فَلَمَّآ أَحَسُّواْ بَأْسَنَآ﴾
(Then, when they sensed Our torment,) when they realized that the torment would undoubtedly come upon them, just as their Prophet had warned them,
﴿إِذَا هُمْ مِّنْهَا يَرْكُضُونَ﴾
(behold, they (tried to) flee from it.) they tried to run away.
﴿لاَ تَرْكُضُواْ وَارْجِعُواْ إِلَى مَآ أُتْرِفْتُمْ فِيهِ وَمَسَـكِنِكُمْ﴾
(Flee not, but return to that wherein you lived a luxurious life, and to your homes,) This is a way of ridiculing them. It will be said to them by way of ridicule: "Do not run away from the coming torment; go back to the delights and luxuries and fine homes in which you were living.'' Qatadah said, "Mocking them.''
(in order that you may be questioned) about whether you gave thanks for what you had.
﴿قَالُواْ يوَيْلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ ﴾
(They cried: "Woe to us! Certainly we have been wrong- doers.'') They will confess their sins when it will be of no benefit to them.
﴿فَمَا زَالَت تِلْكَ دَعْوَاهُمْ حَتَّى جَعَلْنَـهُمْ حَصِيداً خَـمِدِينَ ﴾
(And that cry of theirs ceased not, till We made them as a field that is reaped, extinct.) meaning, "they will keep on saying that, admitting their wrong- doing, until We harvest them as it were, and their movements and voices come to a stop.''
﴿وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَآءَ وَالاٌّرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لاَعِبِينَ - لَوْ أَرَدْنَآ أَن نَّتَّخِذَ لَهْواً لاَّتَّخَذْنَـهُ مِن لَّدُنَّآ إِن كُنَّا فَـعِلِينَ - بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَـطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ - وَلَهُ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَلاَ يَسْتَحْسِرُونَ - يُسَبِّحُونَ الْلَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لاَ يَفْتُرُونَ ﴾
(16. We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for play.) (17. Had We intended to take a pastime, We could surely have taken it from Us, if We were going to do (that).) (18. Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears. And woe to you for that which you ascribe.) (19. To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. And those who are near Him are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary.) (20. They glorify His praises night and day, they never slacken.)
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