وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَمَسَخْنَٰهُمْ عَلَىٰ مَكَانَتِهِمْ فَمَا ٱسْتَطَٰعُوا۟ مُضِيًّا وَلَا يَرْجِعُونَ
Asad Quran Translation
And had it been Our will [that they should not be free to choose between right and wrong], We could surely have given them a different nature35
[and created them as beings rooted] in their places, so that they would not be able to move forward, and could not turn back.36
Lit., "transformed [or "transmuted"] them".
I.e., if it had been God's will that men should have no freedom of will or moral choice, He would have endowed them from the very beginning with a spiritually and morally stationary nature, entirely rooted in their instincts ("in their places"), devoid of all urge to advance, and incapable either of positive development or of retreat from a wrong course.
Malik Quran Translation
And had it been Our Will, We could have nailed them to the ground, then neither could they move forward nor retrace their steps.
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
And if it had been Our Will We could have transformed them (to remain) in their places: then should they have been unable to move about nor could they have returned (after error). 4013
If Allah's Plan had been to grant no limited freedom of choice or will to men, He could have created them quite different, or could have transformed them into stationary creatures, either in physical form as in the case of trees, or in moral or spiritual qualities, where there was no possibility either of progress or deterioration. Man would then have been unable to reach the heights of grandeur which are now open to him, or, if he goes wrong, to return through the door of repentance and mercy, and still pursue his path of ascent. But it was Allah's Plan to give man all these privileges, and man must shoulder all the responsibilities that go with them.
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
And had We willed, We could have transfigured them on the spot,1
so they could neither progress forward nor turn back.
Meaning, We have the ability to turn them into stone or any other inanimate object.
Piktal Quran Translation
And had We willed, We verily could have fixed them in their place, making them powerless to go forward or turn back.
Walaw nashao lamasakhnahum AAala makanatihim fama istataAAoo mudiyyan wala yarjiAAoona