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AYAH al-Anfal 8:38 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِن يَنتَهُوا يُغْفَرْ لَهُم مَّا قَدْ سَلَفَ وَإِن يَعُودُوا فَقَدْ مَضَتْ سُنَّتُ الْأَوَّلِينَ zoom
Transliteration Qul lillatheena kafaroo in yantahoo yughfar lahum ma qad salafa wa-in yaAAoodoo faqad madat sunnatu al-awwaleena zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
  Say to those who disbelieve if they cease will be forgiven for them what [verily] (is) past. But if they return then verily preceded (the) practice (of) the former (people). zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad Tell those who are bent on denying the truth that if they desist, all that is past shall be forgiven them; but if they revert [to their wrongdoing], let them remember what happened to the like of them in times gone by. zoom
M. M. Pickthall Tell those who disbelieve that if they cease (from persecution of believers) that which is past will be forgiven them; but if they return (thereto) then the example of the men of old hath already gone (before them, for a warning). zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). zoom
Shakir Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past shall be forgiven to them; and if they return, then what happened to the ancients has already passed. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan Tell those who are bent on denying the truth that if they desist, their past shall be forgiven, but if they persist in sin, they have an example in the fate of those who went before. zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Say to those who were ungrateful: If they refrain themselves, what is past will be forgiven. And if they repeat then, surely, a custom passed of the ancient ones as a warning. zoom
T.B.Irving Tell those who disbelieve that anything they have done in the past will be forgiven once they stop [doing so], while if they should ever do it over again, the precedent with the earliest men has already been set. zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab Tell the disbelievers that if they desist, their past will be forgiven. But if they persist, then they have an example in those destroyed before them. zoom
Safi Kaskas Tell the unbelievers that if they stop, all their past will be forgiven, but if they persist they have an example in the fate of those who went before. zoom
[Al-Muntakhab] Tell O Muhammad these infidels: if they are willing to renounce infidelity, desist from evil purpose and turn to Allah, they will be forgiven their past iniquities. But should they resume hostilities and persist in their intentional assertion of falsehood, then suffice it to say that Allah's mode of action pursued in the past for each typical instance of punishment shah not alter. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) Say to the rejecters: "If they cease, then what has passed before will be forgiven to them, and if they return to it, then the example of the previous generations has already been given." zoom
Abdel Haleem [Prophet], tell the disbelievers that if they desist their past will be forgiven, but if they persist, they have an example in the fate of those who went before. zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi Say thou unto those who have disbelieved: if they desist, that which is past shall be forgiven them, and if they return, then already gone forth is the dispensation of the ancients. zoom
Ahmed Ali You tell the unbelievers in case they desist whatever has happened will be forgiven them. If they persist, they should remember the fate of those who have gone before them. zoom
Aisha Bewley Say to those who are kafir that if they stop, they will be forgiven what is past; but if they return to it, they have the pattern of previous peoples in the past. zoom
Ali Ünal Tell those persistent in unbelief that if they cease (to disbelieve themselves and prevent others from entering the fold of Islam), what is past will be forgiven them; but if they revert (to their hostilities), then it is manifest by what happened to the people of old times (what their fate must be). zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i Say to the faithless, if they relinquish [faithlessness], what is already past shall be forgiven them. But if they revert [to faithlessness], then the precedent of the ancients has already passed. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz Tell those who disbelieve, that if they desist they will be forgiven what is past; but if they return (to evil ways) then the example of men of former days has already gone before them. zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali Say to the ones who have disbelieved, in case they refrain, whatever has already passed will be forgiven them; and in case they go back, then the enactment (for) the earliest (people) has already gone by. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar Muhammad, tell the unbelievers, if you give up your evil behavior, God will forgive whatever you have done in the past. But if you transgras again, your fate will be the same as that of those (unbelievers) who lived before you." zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Say to those who disbelieve that if they desist (from infidelity), they shall be forgiven for what has passed (of their sins), and if they repeat, then, the precedent of the earlier people is already established (that the infidels are punished). zoom
Shabbir Ahmed (O Prophet) Tell the disbelievers that if they cease hostilities, all their past will be forgiven. But if they return, they will meet the example of the old nations. zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed Say to the disbelievers, if they stop themselves (from disbelief), their past (actions) would be forgiven to them; But if they continue, the punishment of those before them is already (before them as a warning). zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility] - then the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place. zoom
Farook Malik O Prophet, tell the unbelievers that if they desist from unbelief, their past shall be forgiven; but if they persist in sin, let them reflect upon the fate of their forefathers. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey Tell (all) those who have disbelieved, that (even now) if they give up (their skepticism), He will forgive their past deeds. However, if they persist then (remember): a precedent (for punishing the unbelievers) has existed since the earliest generation. zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Say to those who disbelieve: ‘If they desist (from their blasphemous acts), then the (sins) which have passed will be forgiven. But if they repeat the same, then the pattern of (multiple punishments given to) the forerunners has passed. (They will also be dealt with the same way.)’ zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (disbelieving, repent and accept the contents of Al-Kitab) whatever has definitely passed away (as bad deeds) will be forgiven to them. And if they repeat, then surely, has appeared in the past (Allah’s) pattern of behaviour with the predecessors. zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) Say to those who disbelieve: if they desist, their past will be forgiven. But if they persist—the practice of the ancients has passed away. zoom
Bilal Muhammad (2013 Edition) Say to those who disbelieve, that if they desist, their past will be forgiven, but if they persist, the punishment of those before them should serve as a warning to them.  zoom
Maududi [O Prophet!] Tell the unbelievers that if they desist from evil, their past shall be forgiven and if they revert to their past ways, then it is well known what happened with the people of the past. zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad Tell those who disbelieved that if they stop, what has passed is forgiven for them, and if they return (to it), then way of (dealing with) the earlier ones has preceded zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) Say to the rejecters: "If they cease, then what has passed before will be forgiven to them, and if they return to it, then the example of the previous generations has already been given." zoom
Mohammad Shafi Tell those who suppress the Truth that if they desist, that which is past shall be forgiven to them. And if they persist, what happened to the ancients is already on record. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian Let the disbelievers know that, if they stop it, all their past will be forgiven. If they continue [their old tricks,] they will be subjected to what the guilty nations before them were subjected to. zoom
Faridul Haque Say to the disbelievers that if they desist, what has passed will be forgiven to them; and if they do the same, the tradition of former people has already passed. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah Tell the unbelievers that if they abandon their ways He will forgive them what is past; but, if they return, that was indeed the way of their forefathers who have passed away. zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past will be forgiven them; and if they return, then the example of those of old has already gone. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira Say to those who disbelieved: "If they terminate/stop, (it) will be forgiven for them what had preceded/passed , and if they return, so the first's/beginners'' law/manner had passed/expired ." zoom
Sher Ali Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past will be forgiven them; and if they return to their misdeeds, then verily the example of the former peoples has already gone before them. zoom
Rashad Khalifa Tell those who disbelieved: if they stop, all their past will be forgiven. But if they return, they will incur the same fate as their previous counterparts. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Say you to the infidels, if they now desist, that which is past will be forgiven. But if they repeat the same then the precedence of the former people has already gone. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar Say to these who disbelieve that if they desist (now from persecuting the Muslims) they will be protected against the past (misdeeds), but if they revert (to their old ways of mischief), then the example of their predecessors has already gone before (and they will meet the same doom). zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning). zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry Say to the unbelievers, if they give over He will forgive them what is past; but if they return, the wont of the ancients is already gone! zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Say to those who misbelieve, if they desist they will be forgiven what is past; but if they return,- the course of those of former days has passed away. zoom
George Sale Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past will be forgiven them; and if they return to their misdeeds, then verily the example of the former peoples has already gone before them. zoom
John Medows Rodwell SAY to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before them the doom of the ancients! zoom
N J Dawood (draft) Tell the unbelievers that if they mend their ways their past shall be forgiven; but if they persist in sin, let them reflect upon the fate of bygone nations. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb Say to the unbelievers that if they desist, all that is past shall be forgiven them; but if they persist [in their erring ways], let them remember what happened to the like of them in former times. zoom
Ahmed Hulusi And fight them until oppression is lifted from the believers and the Religion (the knowledge of the reality and the system and order of Allah) becomes clearly apparent and acknowledged (but if they forcefully prevent you from this then fight them based on the Truth ‘There is no compulsion in the matters of religion.’). If they abandon (oppression and prevention), certainly Allah is Basir over what they do. zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli Tell those who disbelieve, if they desist (from corruptions) what has past will be forgiven for them, but if they return (thereto) , then what happened to the ancients has already passed. zoom
Mir Aneesuddin Say to those who do not believe, if they desist then that which has passed will be protectively forgiven to them but if they repeat, then what happened to the ancient has already passed (as history and should serve as a warning). zoom

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CORPUS QURAN
WORD-BY-WORD
 
    WORD-BY-WORD Arabic of this verse
  http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=8&verse=38
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