قَالُوا۟ بَلْ وَجَدْنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا كَذَٰلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ
Asad Quran Translation
They exclaimed: "But we found our fore-fathers doing the same!"38
The particle bal at the beginning of the sentence expresses astonishment. Thus, evading a direct answer to Abraham's criticism of idol-worship, his people merely stress its antiquity, forgetting - as Zamakhshari points out - that "ancient usage and precedence in time are no proof of [a concept's] soundness". Razi, for his part, states that the above verse represents "one of the strongest [Qur'anic] indications of the immorality (fasad) inherent in [the principle of] taqlid'', i.e., the blind, unquestioning adoption of religious concepts or practices on the basis of one's uncritical faith in no more than the "authority" of a scholar or religious leader.
Malik Quran Translation
They replied: "No! But we found our forefathers doing so."
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
They said: "Nay but we found our fathers doing thus (what we do)."
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
They replied, “No! But we found our forefathers doing the same.”
Piktal Quran Translation
They said: Nay, but we found our fathers acting on this use.
Qaloo bal wajadna abaana kathalika yafAAaloona