Ayah

كَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِهِم مِّن قَرۡنٍ فَنَادَواْ وَّلَاتَ حِينَ مَنَاصٍ

Translation

How many generations before them did We destroy? In the end they cried (for mercy)- when there was no longer time for being saved!<br/>

Tafsir

How many - in other words, many - a generation, a community of past communities, We have destroyed before them, and they cried out, when the chastisement was sent down on them, when it was no longer the time for escape, that is to say, the time was not one for fleeing (the [suffixed] taa' [of wa-laata] is extra; the sentence is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the subject of [the verb] naadaw, 'they cried out') in other words, they called for help but the situation was such that there could be no escape or deliverance; but still the Meccan disbelievers have not taken heed from their example.

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