وَكَم مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهَا فَجَآءَهَا بَأۡسُنَا بَيَٰتًا أَوۡ هُمۡ قَآئِلُونَ
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.<br/>
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.