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Popular and/or Featured Works
Muhammad Asad
Now were it not for a decree that has already gone forth from thy Sustainer, setting a term [for each sinner's repentance], it would inescapably follow [that all who sin must be doomed at once]
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Had it not been for a prior decree from your Lord ˹O Prophet˺ and a term already set, their ˹instant˺ doom would have been inevitable.
Safi Kaskas
And were it not for a prior word from your Lord, setting an appointed term, [their punishment] would necessarily have come immediately.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic
وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ لَكَانَ لِزَامًا وَأَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّ
Transliteration
Walawla kalimatun sabaqat min rabbika lakana lizaman waajalun musamman
Transliteration-2
walawlā kalimatun sabaqat min rabbika lakāna lizāman wa-ajalun musamma
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
And if not (for) a Word (that) preceded from your Lord, surely (would) have been an obligation and a term determined.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
Now were it not for a decree that has already gone forth from thy Sustainer, setting a term [for each sinner's repentance], it would inescapably follow [that all who sin must be doomed at once]
M. M. Pickthall
And but for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Lord, and a term already fixed, the judgment would have been inevitable (in this world)
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, (their punishment) must necessarily have come; but there is a Term appointed (for respite)
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Had it not been for a prior decree from your Lord ˹O Prophet˺ and a term already set, their ˹instant˺ doom would have been inevitable.
Safi Kaskas
And were it not for a prior word from your Lord, setting an appointed term, [their punishment] would necessarily have come immediately.
Wahiduddin Khan
But for a pre-ordained Word from your Lord, and a term [of respite] already fixed, immediate punishment would inevitably have taken place
Shakir
And had there not been a word (that had) already gone forth from your Lord and an appointed term, it would surely have been made to cleave (to them)
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
And if a Word preceded not from thy Lord for a term that was determined, it would be close at hand.
T.B.Irving
If word had not already gone ahead from your Lord, it would have been made compulsory and a deadline set.
Abdul Hye
And had it not been for a word that went forth from your Lord and a term determined, it (judgment) would have been inevitable.
The Study Quran
And were it not for a Word that had already gone forth from thy Lord and a term appointed, it would be inevitable
Dr. Kamal Omar
And if the statement from your Nourisher-Sustainer did not stand issued (regarding the final punishment in the Hereafter) and an appointed term (granted to every one in this world), indeed it (i.e., the punishment) would have overwhelmed (them, instantly)
Farook Malik
Had it not been already decreed by your Lord and a term for respite been appointed, they would have been punished
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
Were it not for a word that issued from your Lord, the inevitable would have happened, but there is an appointed term
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
And had it not been for a Word that had gone before from your Lord and a stated term, indeed (torment) (i.e., torment for disobedience) would have been an imposition
Muhammad Sarwar
Had not the word of your Lord been decreed (otherwise), the unbelievers deserved immediate punishment. The appointed time for their punishment will inevitably come
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
But for a word from your Lord that had passed earlier, and an appointed time that had been fixed, it (the punishment) would have been inevitable (for them)
Shabbir Ahmed
Now if it were not for a decree that has already been issued by your Lord, setting a term, (the Law of Respite), the Ultimate Requital would have come upon them at once
Dr. Munir Munshey
The word of your Lord has been proclaimed! Had it not been, and if it wasn´t essential and for a specific period, (then their doom and demise would be instant)
Syed Vickar Ahamed
And if it was not for a Word that came before from your Lord, (the punishment) must necessarily have come: But there is a time appointed (for respite)
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, punishment would have been an obligation [due immediately], and [if not for] a specified term [decreed]
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
And had it not been for a word already given by your Lord, they would have been held to account immediately
Abdel Haleem
If it were not for a preordained Word from your Lord [Prophet], they would already have been destroyed. Their time has been set
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
And had not a word from thy Lord gone forth, and a term determined, it must necessarily have come
Ahmed Ali
If the decree (of respite) had not been pronounced by your Lord, (the inevitable judgement would have ensued); but a term is fixed (for everything)
Aisha Bewley
And were it not for a prior word from your Lord, and a specified term, it would inevitably have already taken place.
Ali Ünal
Had it not been for a decree already issued by your Lord, and for a term already appointed (by Him), the judgment (against them) would certainly have been given and executed
Ali Quli Qara'i
And were it not for a prior decree of your Lord and a specified time, it was inevitable
Hamid S. Aziz
But for the decree already passed from your Lord, and a term already fixed, the judgment would have come to them now
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
And if it was not for a word that previously issued from your Master and for a finite time, it ( the punishment) would have been necessary
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
Had it not been for a word that went forth before from your Lord, their punishment would have come, but there is a term appointed
Musharraf Hussain
If it wasn’t for the previous verdict from your Lord, the inevitable would have happened. But there is a fixed time for it
Maududi
Were it not for a word already gone from your Lord, the decree (of their destruction) would have come to pass
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
And had it not been for a word already given by your Lord, they would have been held to account immediately.
Mohammad Shafi
And had it not been that the Word had already gone forth from your Lord and an appointed term fixed, the same fate (of destruction in this world) that the earlier generations met with, would certainly be theirs (the generation addressed to in this Verse) too

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
And had not a word of your Lord gone forth and a term determined then necessarily, the torment would have stuck to them.
Rashad Khalifa
If it were not for your Lord's predetermined plan, they would have been judged immediately.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
Except for a Word that preceded from your Lord, and a stated term, it had been fastened
Maulana Muhammad Ali
And had not a word gone forth from thy Lord, and a term been fixed, it would surely have overtaken them
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
And was it not for a word/sermon preceded from your Lord, (it) would have been necessity/obligation and (a) named/identified term/time
Bijan Moeinian
If it was not in account of a pre-determined plan of your Lord (to give man some time and try him in his freedom of choice,) they would have immediately been sentenced
Faridul Haque
And had not a command of your Lord been passed, then the punishment would have gripped them - and had a term not been appointed
Sher Ali
And had not been for a word already gone forth from thy Lord, and a term already fixed, their punishment would have been abiding
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
And had it not been settled already by your Lord, and the time (of the Day of Resurrection) not fixed (for their torment, befalling them) the calamity (right now) would have been inevitable
Amatul Rahman Omar
But for a word (of promise) already made by your Lord and the term (already) fixed (for them), the inevitable would surely have befallen them by now
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, and a term determined, (their punishment) must necessarily have come (in this world)

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
And but for a word that preceded from thy Lord, and a stated term, it had been fastened
George Sale
And unless a decree had previously gone forth from thy Lord for their respite, verily their destruction had necessarily followed: But there is a certain time determined by God for their punishment
Edward Henry Palmer
And had it not been for thy Lord's word already passed (the punishment) would have been inevitable and (at) an appointed time
John Medows Rodwell
And had not a decree of respite from thy Lord first gone forth, their chastisement had at once ensued. Yet the time is fixed
N J Dawood (2014)
But for a Word from your Lord, long since decreed, their destruction in this life would have been certain

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
If it had not been for a word that went forth from your Lord, their punishment would have already come. There is an appointed time.
Sayyid Qutb
Now, were it not for a decree from your Lord already gone forth, setting a term, their destruction would have been inescapable.
Ahmed Hulusi
If it were not for a decree and a set life span already determined by your Rabb, the suffering (immediate death) would have been inescapable!
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli
And had there not been a decree that went forth before from your Lord and an appointed term, (their punishment) would necessarily have come
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
Had it not been for Allah's word proclaimed beforehand -to put punishment in respite- it would have been timely to plant their Hereafter in the now, but We grant them respite up to a predetermined point of time
Mir Aneesuddin
And had a statement not gone forth from your Fosterer and a term appointed, the (punishment) would have become inevitable (on them).

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, (their punishment) must necessarily have come; but there is a Term appointed (for respite)
OLD Literal Word for Word
And if not (for) a Word (that) preceded from your Lord, surely (would) have been an obligation and a term determined