قَالَ ٱلْمَلَأُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْتَكْبَرُوا۟ مِن قَوْمِهِۦ لِلَّذِينَ ٱسْتُضْعِفُوا۟ لِمَنْ ءَامَنَ مِنْهُمْ أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صَـٰلِحًا مُّرْسَلٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ ۚ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا بِمَآ أُرْسِلَ بِهِۦ مُؤْمِنُونَ
Asad Quran Translation
The great ones among his people, who gloried in their arrogance towards all who were weak, said unto the believers among them: "Do you [really] know that Salih has been sent by his Sustainer?" They answered "Verily, we believe in the message which he bears."60
The contents of his message (lit., "that with which he has been sent") appeared to them justification enough to accept it on its merits, without the need of any esoteric "proof" of Salih's mission. In a subtle way, this statement of faith has a meaning which goes far beyond the story of the Thamud. It is an invitation to the sceptic who is unable to believe in the divine origin of a religious message, to judge it on its intrinsic merits and not to make his acceptance dependent on extraneous, and objectively impossible, proofs of its origin: for only through the contents of a message can its truth and validity be established.
Malik Quran Translation
The arrogant leaders from his nation asked the oppressed among them who have believed: "Do you really believe that Saleh is a Rasool from his Rabb?" They replied: "We do indeed believe in the revelation which he has been sent."
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
The leaders of the arrogant party among his people said to those who were reckoned powerless those among them who believe: "know ye indeed that Saleh is an apostle from his Lord?" They said: "We do indeed believe in the revelation which hath been sent through him." 1045 1046
As usually happens in such cases, the Believers were the lowly and the humble, and the oppressors were the arrogant, who in selfishly keeping back nature's gifts (which are Allah's gifts) from the people, were deaf to the dictates of justice and kindness. Salih took the side of the unprivileged, and was therefore himself attacked.
Notice the relation between the question and the answer. The godless chiefs wanted to discredit Salih, and put a personal question, as much as to say, "Is he not a liar?" The Believers took back the issue to the higher plane, as much as to say. "We know he is a man of Allah, but look at the justice for which he is making a stand: to resist it is to resist Allah". The answer of the godless was to reject Allah in words, and in action to commit a further act of cruelty and injustice in ham-stringing and killing the she-camel, at the same time hurling defiance at Salih and his God.
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
The arrogant chiefs of his people asked the lowly who believed among them, “Are you certain that Ṣâliḥ has been sent by his Lord?” They replied, “We certainly believe in what he has been sent with.”
Piktal Quran Translation
The chieftains of his people, who were scornful, said unto those whom they despised, unto such of them as believed: Know ye that Salih is one sent from his Lord? They said : Lo! In that wherewith he hath been sent we are believers.
Qala almalao allatheena istakbaroo min qawmihi lillatheena istudAAifoo liman amana minhum ataAAlamoona anna salihan mursalun min rabbihi qaloo inna bima orsila bihi muminoona