Surah 76. Ad-Dahr, Ayah 1

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هَلْ أَتَىٰ عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ حِينٌ مِنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْئًا مَذْكُورًا


Asad : HAS THERE [not] been an endless span of time1 before man [appeared - a time] when he was not yet a thing to be thought of?2
Malik : Has there not passed over man a period of time when he was nothing- -not even mentioned?
Pickthall : Hath there come upon man (ever) any period of time in which he was a thing unremembered?
Yusuf Ali : Has there not been over Man a long period of Time when he was nothing--(not even) mentioned? 5830 5831
Transliteration : Hal ata AAala alinsani heenun mina alddahri lam yakun shayan mathkooran
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Asad   
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Asad 1 Implying, according to all the classical commentators, "there has indeed been an immensely long [or "endless"] span of time" - the interrogative particle hal having here the positive meaning of qad. However, this meaning can be brought out equally well by interpolating the word "not".
Asad   
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Asad 2 Lit., "a thing mentioned" or "mentionable" - i.e., non-existent even as a hypothetical concept. The purport of this statement is a refutation of the blasphemous "anthropocentric" world-view, which postulates man as he exists - and not any Supreme Being - as the centre and ultimate reality of all life.

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 5830 The undoubted fact is mentioned in the form of a question, to get the assent of man. It is certain that the physical world existed long before man was ever heard of or mentioned, as geological records prove. It is also true that the world existed long before man came on the scene: see ii. 30-31. Man is here taken in a generic sense.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 5831 Dahr is Time as a whole, or for a long period.
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