Al-Quran Surah 7. Al-A'raf, Ayah 164

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وَإِذْ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِنْهُمْ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا ۙ اللَّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۖ قَالُوا مَعْذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ


Asad : And whenever some people130 among them asked [those who tried to restrain the Sabbath-breakers], "Why do you preach to people whom God is about to destroy or [at least] to chastise with suffering severe?" - the pious ones131 would answer, "In order to be free from blame before your Sustainer, and that these [transgressors, too,] might become conscious of Him."
Khattab :

When some of ˹the righteous among˺ them questioned ˹their fellow Sabbath-keepers˺, “Why do you ˹bother to˺ warn those ˹Sabbath-breakers˺ who will either be destroyed or severely punished by Allah?” They replied, “Just to be free from your Lord’s blame, and so perhaps they may abstain.”

Malik : Also remind them about the conversation among some of them, when some of them asked: "Why do you admonish a people whom Allah will destroy or sternly punish?" They replied: "To be able to offer an excuse before our Rabb, that we did discharge our duty, and also in the hope that they may refrain from His disobedience."
Pickthall : And when a community among them said: Why preach ye to a folk whom Allah is about to destroy and punish with an awful doom, they said: In order to be free from guilt before your Lord, and that haply they may ward off (evil).
Yusuf Ali : When some of them said: "why do ye preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or visit with a terrible punishment?" Said the preachers: "to discharge our duty to your Lord and perchance they may fear him." 1138
Transliteration : Waith qalat ommatun minhum lima taAAithoona qawman Allahu muhlikuhum aw muAAaththibuhum AAathaban shadeedan qaloo maAAthiratan ila rabbikum walaAAallahum yattaqoona
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Asad   
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Asad 130 Lit., "a community" - obviously people who, while not actively protesting against the impiety of their environment, did not themselves participate in this profanation of the Sabbath.
Asad   
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Asad 131 Lit., "they" - an allusion to the really pious among them, such as are described in verse {159} above.

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 1138 There are always people who wonder, no doubt sincerely, what good it is to preach to the wicked. The answer is given to them here: (1) every man who sees evil must speak out against it; it is his duty and responsibility to Allah; (2) there is always a chance that the warning may have effect and save a precious soul. This passage has a special meaning for the times when our Holy Prophet was preaching in Makkah, apparently without results. But it applies to all times.

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