فَقَالَ ٱلْمَلَؤُا۟ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِن قَوْمِهِۦ مَا هَـٰذَآ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتَفَضَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَنزَلَ مَلَـٰٓئِكَةً مَّا سَمِعْنَا بِهَـٰذَا فِىٓ ءَابَآئِنَا ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ
Asad Quran Translation
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, replied: "This [man] is nothing but a mortal like yourselves who wants to make himself superior to you! For, if God had willed [to convey a message unto us], He would surely have sent down angels; [moreover,] we have never heard [any-thing like] this from our forebears of old!11
Lit., "in connection with (fi) our early forebears" - a Qur'anic allusion to the fact that people often reject a new ethical proposition on no better grounds than that it conflicts with their "inherited" habits of thought and ways of life. Indirectly, this allusion implies a condemnation of all blind taqlid, i.e., an unthinking acceptance of religious doctrines or assertions which are not unequivocally supported by divine revelation, the explicit teachings of a prophet, or the evidence of unprejudiced reason.
Malik Quran Translation
The chiefs of the unbelievers among his people said, "Nuh is but a human like you, he desires to assert his superiority over you. If Allah wanted to send Rasools, He could have sent down angels, we have never heard such a thing as he says from our forefathers."
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
The chiefs of the Unbelievers among his people said: "He is no more than a man like yourselves: his wish is to assert his superiority over you: if Allah had wished (to send messengers) He could have sent down angels: never did we hear such a thing (as he says) among our ancestors of old." 2885
They attribute altogether wrong motives to him (such as would have actuated them themselves), in saying that he was trying to establish his own personal superiority over them by his preaching. Then they accuse him of falsehood in claiming to bring a message of Allah. "If", they say, "Allah had wished to send us messengers, He would have sent angels, not a man like ourselves and from among ourselves. Our ancestors did not worship One God: why should we?"
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
But the disbelieving chiefs of his people said ˹to the masses˺, “This is only a human like you, who wants to be superior to you. Had Allah willed, He could have easily sent down angels ˹instead˺. We have never heard of this in ˹the history of˺ our forefathers.
Piktal Quran Translation
But the chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved, said: This is only a mortal like you who would make himself superior to you. Had Allah willed, He surely could have sent down angels. We heard not of this in the case of our fathers of old.
Faqala almalao allatheena kafaroo min qawmihi ma hatha illa basharun mithlukum yureedu an yatafaddala AAalaykum walaw shaa Allahu laanzala malaikatan ma samiAAna bihatha fee abaina alawwaleena