Ayah

Word by Word
حَتَّىٰٓ
Until
إِذَا
when
بَلَغَ
he reached
مَغۡرِبَ
(the) setting place
ٱلشَّمۡسِ
(of) the sun
وَجَدَهَا
he found it
تَغۡرُبُ
setting
فِي
in
عَيۡنٍ
a spring
حَمِئَةٖ
(of) dark mud
وَوَجَدَ
and he found
عِندَهَا
near it
قَوۡمٗاۖ
a community
قُلۡنَا
We said
يَٰذَا
O Dhul-qarnain
ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ
O Dhul-qarnain
إِمَّآ
Either
أَن
[that]
تُعَذِّبَ
you punish
وَإِمَّآ
or
أَن
[that]
تَتَّخِذَ
you take
فِيهِمۡ
[in] them
حُسۡنٗا
(with) goodness
حَتَّىٰٓ
Until
إِذَا
when
بَلَغَ
he reached
مَغۡرِبَ
(the) setting place
ٱلشَّمۡسِ
(of) the sun
وَجَدَهَا
he found it
تَغۡرُبُ
setting
فِي
in
عَيۡنٍ
a spring
حَمِئَةٖ
(of) dark mud
وَوَجَدَ
and he found
عِندَهَا
near it
قَوۡمٗاۖ
a community
قُلۡنَا
We said
يَٰذَا
O Dhul-qarnain
ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ
O Dhul-qarnain
إِمَّآ
Either
أَن
[that]
تُعَذِّبَ
you punish
وَإِمَّآ
or
أَن
[that]
تَتَّخِذَ
you take
فِيهِمۡ
[in] them
حُسۡنٗا
(with) goodness

Translation

Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."

Tafsir

until, when he reached the setting of the sun, the place where it sets, he found it setting in a muddy spring ('ayn hami'a: [a spring] containing ham'a, which is black clay): its setting in a spring is [described as seen] from the perspective of the eye, for otherwise it is far larger [in size] than this world; and he found by it, that is, [by] the spring, a folk, of disbelievers. We said, 'O Dhoo'l-Qarnayn - by [means of] inspiration - either chastise, the folk, by slaying [them], or treat them kindly', by [merely] taking them captive.

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