Ayah

Word by Word
وَكَم
And how many
مِّن
of
قَرۡيَةٍ
a city
أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهَا
We destroyed it
فَجَآءَهَا
and came to it
بَأۡسُنَا
Our punishment
بَيَٰتًا
(at) night
أَوۡ
or
هُمۡ
(while) they
قَآئِلُونَ
were sleeping at noon
وَكَم
And how many
مِّن
of
قَرۡيَةٍ
a city
أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهَا
We destroyed it
فَجَآءَهَا
and came to it
بَأۡسُنَا
Our punishment
بَيَٰتًا
(at) night
أَوۡ
or
هُمۡ
(while) they
قَآئِلُونَ
were sleeping at noon

Translation

How many towns have We destroyed (for their sins)? Our punishment took them on a sudden by night or while they slept for their afternoon rest.

Tafsir

How many (kam is predicative and is the direct object [of the main verb, ahlaknaahaa, 'We have destroyed']) a city, meaning its inhabitants, have We destroyed, have We willed its destruction! So Our might, Our chastisement, came upon it at night or while they slept at noon (qaa'iloon: al-qayloola is a rest taken halfway during the day, even if it does not involve sleep), in other words, sometimes it came upon it at night, and sometimes it came during the day.

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