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Sura 15
Aya 4
وَما أَهلَكنا مِن قَريَةٍ إِلّا وَلَها كِتابٌ مَعلومٌ

Muhammad Asad

And never have We destroyed any community[for its wrongdoing] unless a divine writ had [previously] been made known to it;1
  • Lit., "unless it [the community] had a known divine writ (kitab ma'lum)"- i.e., unless the people in question had been shown through a divine writ the meaning of right and wrong, and had deliberately rejected this divine guidance: cf. the statement, in 26:208, that "never have We destroyed any community unless it had had its warners", or in 6:131, that God "would never destroy a community for its wrongdoing so long as its people are still unaware [of the meaning of right and wrong]".