فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنفَعُهُمْ إِيمَـٰنُهُمْ لَمَّا رَأَوْا۟ بَأْسَنَا ۖ سُنَّتَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّتِى قَدْ خَلَتْ فِى عِبَادِهِۦ ۖ وَخَسِرَ هُنَالِكَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ
Asad Quran Translation
But their attaining to faith after they had beheld Our punishment could not possibly benefit them68
such being the way of God that has always obtained for His creatures-: and so, then and there, lost were they who had denied the truth.69
I.e., firstly, because this belated faith could not unmake a reality which had already come into being, and, secondly, because it could not contribute to their spiritual growth inasmuch as it was not an outcome of free choice but had been, rather, forced on them by the shock of an irreversible calamity.
The "way of God" (sunnat Allah) is the Qur'anic term for the totality of natural laws instituted by the Creator: in this case, the law that faith has no spiritual value unless it arises out of a genuine, inner enlightenment.
Malik Quran Translation
But after seeing Our scourge, their professing the faith (Islam) was of no use to them; such was the practice of Allah in dealing with His servants in the past, and thus the disbelievers were lost.
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
But their professing the Faith when they (actually) saw Our Punishment was not going to profit them. (Such has been) Allah's way of dealing with His servants (from the most ancient times). And even thus did the rejecters of Allah perish (utterly)! 4461
Again and again were they given chances, and again and again did they reject them. When it was too late, and in fact when it had no meaning, they offered to profess Faith. That was of no use. Allah does not accept unmeaning things of that kind. He wants to train and purify our will. For their disobedience and rebellion they perished utterly.
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
But their faith was of no benefit to them when they saw Our torment. This has ˹always˺ been Allah’s way ˹of dealing˺ with His ˹wicked˺ servants. Then and there the disbelievers were in ˹total˺ loss.
Piktal Quran Translation
But their faith could not avail them when they saw Our doom. This is Allah's law which hath ever taken course for his Bondsmen. And then the disbelievers will be ruined.
Falam yaku yanfaAAuhum eemanuhum lamma raaw basana sunnata Allahi allatee qad khalat fee AAibadihi wakhasira hunalika alkafiroona