Ayah

Word by Word
وَإِذَا
And when
قِيلَ
it is said
لَهُمُ
to them
ٱتَّبِعُواْ
Follow
مَآ
what
أَنزَلَ
has revealed
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
قَالُواْ
they said
بَلۡ
Nay
نَتَّبِعُ
we follow
مَآ
what
أَلۡفَيۡنَا
we found
عَلَيۡهِ
[on it]
ءَابَآءَنَآۚ
our forefathers (following)
أَوَلَوۡ
Even though
كَانَ
[were]
ءَابَآؤُهُمۡ
their forefathers
لَا
(did) not
يَعۡقِلُونَ
understand
شَيۡـٔٗا
anything
وَلَا
and not
يَهۡتَدُونَ
were they guided
وَإِذَا
And when
قِيلَ
it is said
لَهُمُ
to them
ٱتَّبِعُواْ
Follow
مَآ
what
أَنزَلَ
has revealed
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
قَالُواْ
they said
بَلۡ
Nay
نَتَّبِعُ
we follow
مَآ
what
أَلۡفَيۡنَا
we found
عَلَيۡهِ
[on it]
ءَابَآءَنَآۚ
our forefathers (following)
أَوَلَوۡ
Even though
كَانَ
[were]
ءَابَآؤُهُمۡ
their forefathers
لَا
(did) not
يَعۡقِلُونَ
understand
شَيۡـٔٗا
anything
وَلَا
and not
يَهۡتَدُونَ
were they guided

Translation

When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers Were void of wisdom and guidance?

Tafsir

And when it is said to them, the disbelievers, 'Follow what God has revealed', pertaining to affirmation of God's Oneness and the good things that He has made lawful, they say, 'No; but we follow what we found our fathers doing', in the way of idol-worship, deeming unlawful the camel let loose, and [practising] the slitting of the camel's ear (sc. baheera). God says: What? (the hamza [of a-wa-law] is for repudiation), do they follow them, Even if their fathers do not understand anything, concerning religion, and they were not guided?, to the truth.

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