قَالُوا۟ يَـٰصَـٰلِحُ قَدْ كُنتَ فِينَا مَرْجُوًّا قَبْلَ هَـٰذَآ ۖ أَتَنْهَىٰنَآ أَن نَّعْبُدَ مَا يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا وَإِنَّنَا لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَآ إِلَيْهِ مُرِيبٍ
Asad Quran Translation
They answered: "O Salih! Great hopes did we place in thee ere this!91
Wouldst thou forbid us to worship what our forefathers were wont to worship? Because [of this], behold, we are in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] thy call to us!"92
Lit., "Thou wert among us one in whom hope was placed ere this": an allusion to Hud's outstanding intellect and strength of character, which had probably caused his tribe to see in him their future leader - until he startled them by his passionate demand that they should abandon their traditional beliefs and devote themselves to the worship of the One God.
Lit, "we are indeed in disquieting doubt as to that to
which thou invitest us". It is to be borne in mind that
the pre-Islamic Arabs regarded their gods, as well as the
angels (whom they believed to be "God's daughters"), as
legitimate mediators between man and God, whose existence
as such they did not deny; consequently, they were
greatly disturbed by their prophet's demand that they
should abandon the worship of those allegedly divine or
semi-divine beings. The above answer of the Thamud seems
to imply that they might consider Salih's claim to be a
prophet more favourably if he would but refrain from
insisting that "you have no deity other than Him": a
suggestion that fully explains Salih's retort in the next
Malik Quran Translation
They said: "O Saleh! Till now you were the one in whom we had great expectations! Would you now forbid us the worship of what our forefathers worshipped? Indeed, we strongly doubt that to which you are calling us."
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
They said: "O Salih! thou hast been of us! a center of our hopes hitherto! Dost thou (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers worshipped? But we are really in suspicious (disquieting) doubt as to that to which thou invitest us." 1558
Salih's life with his people has been so righteous (like that of al-Amin in later times) that he might have been chosen leader or king if he had only conformed to their superstitions and supported their sins. But he was born for a higher mission-that of a preacher of truth and righteousness and an ardent opponent of selfish privilege and a champion of the rights of humanity on Allah's free earth by the symbol of the she-camel: see n. 1044 to vii. 73.
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
They argued, “O Ṣâliḥ! We truly had high hopes in you before this.1
How dare you forbid us to worship what our forefathers had worshipped? We are certainly in alarming doubt about what you are inviting us to.”
They believed that Ṣâliḥ had the potential to be their future leader.
Piktal Quran Translation
They said: O Salih! Thou hast been among us hitherto as that wherein our hope was placed. Dost thou ask us not to worship what our fathers worshipped? Lo! we verily are in grave doubt concerning that to which thou callest us.
Qaloo ya salihu qad kunta feena marjuwwan qabla hatha atanhana an naAAbuda ma yaAAbudu abaona wainnana lafee shakkin mimma tadAAoona ilayhi mureebun