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Muhammad Asad
or lest you say, "Verily, it was but our forefathers who, in times gone by, began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God; and we were but their late offspring: wilt Thou, then, destroy us for the doings of those inventors of falsehoods?"
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Nor say, ‘It was our forefathers who had associated others ˹with Allah in worship˺ and we, as their descendants, followed in their footsteps. Will you then destroy us for the falsehood they invented?’”
Safi Kaskas
or so that you do not say, "It was our forefathers who began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God and we were only their children. Will You destroy us because of the falsehoods they invented?"

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic
أَوْ تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أَشْرَكَ آبَاؤُنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الْمُبْطِلُون
Transliteration
Aw taqooloo innama ashraka abaona min qablu wakunna thurriyyatan min baAAdihim afatuhlikuna bima faAAala almubtiloona
Transliteration-2
aw taqūlū innamā ashraka ābāunā min qablu wakunnā dhurriyyatan min baʿdihim afatuh'likunā bimā faʿala l-mub'ṭilūn
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
Or you say, "Only associated partners our forefathers from before (us) and we are descendants from after them. So will You destroy us for what did the falsifiers?"

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
or lest you say, "Verily, it was but our forefathers who, in times gone by, began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God; and we were but their late offspring: wilt Thou, then, destroy us for the doings of those inventors of falsehoods?"
M. M. Pickthall
Or lest ye should say: (It is) only (that) our fathers ascribed partners to Allah of old and we were (their) seed after them. Wilt Thou destroy us on account of that which those who follow falsehood did
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
Or lest ye should say: "Our fathers before us may have taken false gods, but we are (their) descendants after them: wilt Thou then destroy us because of the deeds of men who were futile?"
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Nor say, ‘It was our forefathers who had associated others ˹with Allah in worship˺ and we, as their descendants, followed in their footsteps. Will you then destroy us for the falsehood they invented?’”
Safi Kaskas
or so that you do not say, "It was our forefathers who began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God and we were only their children. Will You destroy us because of the falsehoods they invented?"
Wahiduddin Khan
Or lest you say, Our forefathers associated others with God before our time, and we are only the descendants who came after them. So are You going to destroy us for what those inventors of falsehood did
Shakir
Or you should say: Only our fathers associated others (with Allah) before, and we were an offspring after them: Wilt Thou then destroy us for what the vain doers did
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
Or you not say: Our fathers before us ascribed partners with God. We had been offspring after them. Wilt Thou cause us to perish for what the ones who deal in falsehood accomplished?
T.B.Irving
or lest you say: "It was only our forefathers who associated [others with God] previously; offspring following them. Will You wipe us out because of what futile men have done?"
Abdul Hye
Or you should say: “Only our forefathers associated with Allah before us, and we are their offspring after them. Will you destroy us for what the wrongdoers did?”
The Study Quran
or lest you should say, “[It is] only that our fathers ascribed partners unto God beforehand, and we were their progeny after them. Wilt Thou destroy us for that which the falsifiers have done?
Dr. Kamal Omar
Or you may say: “Definitely it was so that our fathers committed shirk aforetime and we became a progeny after them. Will You then destroy us because of what practiced those who indulge in Al-Batil
Farook Malik
or lest you should say: "Our forefathers started the practice of shirk and we just followed, being their descendants. Will you then destroy us on account of following the sin committed by those wrongdoers?"
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
Nor can you Say, 'Our ancestors practiced idolatry before; and we are their descendants who came after them; will you destroy us for what the falsifiers did?'
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
Or that you should not say, "Surely it is only our fathers (who) associated (i.e., associated others with Allah) earlier, and we were (their) offspring even after them. Would You then cause us to perish for what the wrong-doers performed?"
Muhammad Sarwar
or say, "Our fathers worshipped idols before us and we as their descendants followed them. Would you then destroy us because of what the followers of falsehood have done?"
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
or you should say, .It was our forefathers who associated partners with Allah, and we were their progeny after them; would you then destroy us on account of what the erroneous did?
Shabbir Ahmed
Nor will any excuse avail them such as, "It was our forefathers who took false gods and we inherited their belief system. Will you punish us for what falsehood others practiced?" (You will not be questioned what others used to do. No one will bear the load of another (2:134), (39:7))
Dr. Munir Munshey
Or lest you should say, "It was in fact our forefathers who started (practicing) ´shirk´ _ (accepted others as Allah´s partners). We were mainly the descendants who came much later. Will you then punish us for the deeds of the wrongdoers?"
Syed Vickar Ahamed
Or in case you may say: "Our fathers before us may have taken false gods, but we are (their) descendants: Then will You destroy us because of the deeds of men who were useless?"
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
Or [lest] you say, "It was only that our fathers associated [others in worship] with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Then would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done?"
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
Nor can you Say: "It was our fathers who set up partners before and we were simply a progeny who came after them. Would You destroy us for what the innovators did"
Abdel Haleem
or, ‘It was our forefathers who, before us, ascribed partners to God, and we are only the descendants who came after them: will you destroy us because of falsehoods they invented?&rsquo
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
Or lest ye should say: it Was only our fathers who associated afore, and we have been a posterity after them; wilt Thou then destroy us for that which the followers of falsehood did
Ahmed Ali
Or, lest they should say: "It were our fathers who had ascribed compeers to God; we are only their offspring. Will You destroy us for the deeds of those who dealt in vanities?"
Aisha Bewley
Or lest you say, ´Our forefathers associated others with Allah before our time, and we are merely descendants coming after them. So are You going to destroy us for what those purveyors of falsehood did?´
Ali Ünal
Or lest you should say (in trying to excuse yourselves): "Our forefathers used to associate partners with God before us, and we were their offspring just following after them. Will You, then, ruin us for what those did who rejected Your Lordship and invented that false way (of associating partners with You)?"
Ali Quli Qara'i
or lest you should say, ‘Our fathers ascribed partners [to Allah] before [us] and we were descendants after them. Will You then destroy us because of what the falsifiers have done?&rsquo
Hamid S. Aziz
Or say, "Verily, our fathers associated others with Allah before us, and we were but their seed after them. Will you then destroy us for the futile deeds of the doers of futility (or vanities)?"
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
Or you (would not) say: it was only our fathers who associated (partner with God) in the past, and we were descendents after them, do You destroy us for what the followers of falsehood did
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
Or lest you should say, “Our parents before us may have taken false gods, but we are their descendants. Will You then destroy us because of the deeds of people who were irresponsible?
Musharraf Hussain
or say, “It was our forefathers who first associated partners with Allah, and we are merely descendants who came afterwards. Will You kill us because of the actions of the falsifiers?
Maududi
Or say: ´Our forefathers before us who associated others with Allah in His divinity; we were merely their offspring who followed them. And would You destroy us for that which the unrighteous did?´
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
Nor can you say: "It was our fathers who set up partners before and we were simply a progeny who came after them. Would You destroy us for what the innovators did?"
Mohammad Shafi
Or you should say, "It was our fathers, before us, who worshiped others besides Allah, and we were only their offspring following them! Will You then destroy us for what those followers of falsehood did?"

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
Or lest you should say, Polytheism was committed by our forefathers before, and we were their offspring! Will you then destroy us for what was done by wrongdoers?
Rashad Khalifa
Nor can you say, "It was our parents who practiced idolatry, and we simply followed in their footsteps. Will You punish us because of what others have innovated?"
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
or you say: 'Our forefathers were idolaters before, and we were the descendants after them, will You destroy us for the deeds of the vaindoers?
Maulana Muhammad Ali
Or (lest) you should say: Only our fathers ascribed partners (to Allah) before (us), and we were (their) descendants after them. Wilt Thou destroy us for what liars did
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
Or you say: "But our fathers shared/made partners (with God) from before, and we were descendants from after them, do you perish us/destroy us because (of) what the wasters/cancellors made/did ?"
Bijan Moeinian
Man cannot say then: "Why do you hold us responsible for what our grandfathers started and we simply followed in their footsteps?"
Faridul Haque
Or you may say, "It is our ancestors who first ascribed partners (to Allah) and we were (their) children after them; so will You destroy us on account of the deeds of the followers of falsehood?"
Sher Ali
Or lest you should say, `It was only our fathers who associated co-partners with ALLAH in the past and we were merely a generation after them. Wilt Thou then destroy us for what those, who lied, did
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
Or (lest) you start saying: ‘It was but our ancestors who associated partners with Allah before, and we were but (their) descendants after them (i.e., they are the real sinners, not we). So, will You destroy us on account of that (sin) which the infidels perpetrated?
Amatul Rahman Omar
Or (lest) you should say, `It were only our forefathers who associated partners (with God) in the past and we only happened to be their children who came after them (to follow in their footsteps). Will You then destroy us for the vain doings of the perpetrators of falsehood?
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
Or lest you should say: "It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?" (Tafsir At-Tabaree)

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
or lest you say, 'Our fathers were idolaters aforetime, and we were seed after them. What, wilt Thou then destroy us for the deeds of the vain-doers?
George Sale
Or lest you should say, 'It was only our fathers who associated co-partners with God in the past and we were merely a generation after them. Wilt Thou then destroy us for what those, who lied, did
Edward Henry Palmer
or say, 'Verily, our fathers associated others with God before us, and we were but their seed after them: wilt Thou then destroy us for what vaindoers did?'
John Medows Rodwell
Or lest ye should say, "Our fathers, indeed, aforetime joined other gods with our God, and we are their seed after them: wilt thou destroy us for the doings of vain men?"
N J Dawood (2014)
or you should say: ‘Our forefathers were, indeed, idolaters; but will You destroy us, their descendants, on account of what the followers of falsehood did?&lsquo

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
You will not be able to say, “Our fathers before us accepted false gods. We are descendants after them. Will you destroy us because of the deeds of those who followed inventions?”
Sayyid Qutb
or lest you say, “It was our forefathers who, in times gone by, associated partners with God, and we were only their late offspring. Will You destroy us on account of what those inventors of falsehood did?”
Ahmed Hulusi
And so that you don’t say, “Our fathers lived only as dualists, and we are their descendants (the continuation of their genetic coding) so will You destroy us because of our fathers’ denial of the Truth?” (i.e. This is an invalid excuse as everyone is created upon the natural disposition of Islam, but their understanding of religion derives from the environmental conditionings they receive).
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli
Or lest you should say: ' Verily our fathers were idolaters from before and we were descendants after them (following them) . Will You then destroy us for what the vain-doers did ? '
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
Or you might say: "Our fathers had incorporated with Allah other deities, and as their descendents, they have had much influence on our thoughts; will You O Allah subject us to the torment to pay a debt owed to You by the damned!"
Mir Aneesuddin
Or you should say, "Our forefathers associated partners (with Allah) before (us) and we were only their descendants (following their traditions) after them, will You destroy us for what the followers of falsehood did?"

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
Or lest ye should say: "Our fathers before us may have taken false gods, but we are (their) descendants after them: wilt Thou then destroy us because of the deeds of men who were futile?"
OLD Literal Word for Word
Or you say, "Only our forefathers associated par before (us) and we are descendants after them. So will You destroy us for what did the falsifiers?