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Sura 17
Aya 16
وَإِذا أَرَدنا أَن نُهلِكَ قَريَةً أَمَرنا مُترَفيها فَفَسَقوا فيها فَحَقَّ عَلَيهَا القَولُ فَدَمَّرناها تَدميرًا

Yusuf Ali

When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life1 and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true2 against them: then (it is) We destroy them utterly.
  • God’s Mercy gives every chance to the wicked to repent. When wickedness gets so rampant that punishment becomes inevitable, even then God’s Mercy and Justice act together. Those who are highly gifted from God-it may be with wealth or position or it may be with talents and opportunities?are expected to understand and obey. They are given a definite order and warning. If they still transgress there is no further room for argument. They cannot plead that they were ignorant. The command of the Lord is proved against them, and its application is called for beyond doubt. Then it is that their punishment is completed.
  • Qawl here has the sense of word, order, law, charge framed against one under a definite law (Cf. 36:7).