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Sura 7
Aya 34
وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌ ۖ فَإِذا جاءَ أَجَلُهُم لا يَستَأخِرونَ ساعَةً ۖ وَلا يَستَقدِمونَ

Yusuf Ali

To every people is a term1 appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation).
  • People: ummah. I do not know whether “generation” would not be more appropriate here. If so, it would refer to the Time-Spirit, for it affects a whole number of people living contemporaneously, and while we deal grammatically with a group, we really have in mind the individuals composing the group. Anyway, the lesson is what is suggested in the following verses. There is only a limited time for an individual or for a group of people (Cf. 10:49). If they do not make good during that time of probation, the chance is lost, and it cannot come again. We cannot retard or advance the march of time by a single hour or minute. (“Hour” in the text expresses an indefinite but short period of time.)