Ayah

Word by Word
وَمَا
And not
كَانَ
was
ٱلنَّاسُ
the mankind
إِلَّآ
but
أُمَّةٗ
a community
وَٰحِدَةٗ
one
فَٱخۡتَلَفُواْۚ
then they differed
وَلَوۡلَا
And had (it) not been
كَلِمَةٞ
a word
سَبَقَتۡ
(that) preceded
مِن
from
رَّبِّكَ
your Lord
لَقُضِيَ
surely, it (would) have been judged
بَيۡنَهُمۡ
between them
فِيمَا
concerning what
فِيهِ
[therein]
يَخۡتَلِفُونَ
they differ
وَمَا
And not
كَانَ
was
ٱلنَّاسُ
the mankind
إِلَّآ
but
أُمَّةٗ
a community
وَٰحِدَةٗ
one
فَٱخۡتَلَفُواْۚ
then they differed
وَلَوۡلَا
And had (it) not been
كَلِمَةٞ
a word
سَبَقَتۡ
(that) preceded
مِن
from
رَّبِّكَ
your Lord
لَقُضِيَ
surely, it (would) have been judged
بَيۡنَهُمۡ
between them
فِيمَا
concerning what
فِيهِ
[therein]
يَخۡتَلِفُونَ
they differ

Translation

Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). Had it not been for a word that went forth before from thy Lord, their differences would have been settled between them.

Tafsir

Mankind was but one community, following one religion, that is submission [to the One God], from the time of Adam to the time of Noah; but it is also said [that this was the case] from the time of Abraham to that of 'Amr ibn Luhayy; then they differed, some of them remaining firmly [upon belief in One God], while others disbelieved. And had it not been for a word that had already preceded from your Lord, [to the effect] that requital would be deferred until the Day of Resurrection, it would have been decided between them, that is, [between] mankind, in this life, regarding that over which they differed, in religion, by the disbelievers being punished.

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