قُل لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِن يَنتَهُواْ يُغَفَرْ لَهُم مَّا قَدْ سَلَفَ وَإِنْ يَعُودُواْ فَقَدْ مَضَتْ سُنَّةُ الأَوَّلِينِ
Qul lillatheena kafaroo in yantahoo yughfar lahum ma qad salafa wain yaAAoodoo faqad madat sunnatu alawwaleena
Say (O Muhammad) to those who rejected: “If they desist then what passed will be forgiven, while if they return then the consistent repeated precedent of the past generations had already been established”
The Aya is addressing the prophet Muhammad upon him be peace but any muslim that wants to carry the message. It mentions that when the rejector desists from acting against Allah and his path then all his or her past actions will be forgiven while if they do come back to the animosity then it reminds them that the precedent of what Allah will do to them had already been set and established.
Note: QUL is derived from the root Qaf-W-L and it means saying in any way possible. QUL is an order addressed to a singular. It means: Say.
Lillatheena: to those who
Kafaroo: rejected (Allah and His message)/ discarded
Note: the root is K-F-R and it means cover or bury in the ground, as in put the seed in the ground and cover it. This is then used conceptually for many purposes as in discarding and rejecting as well as burying. KAFARO is an action that is completed. It means: the action of rejection or discarding of the object (not declared, but understood from the context to point to God and/or the message) happened by the subject (third person plural).
yantahoo: they stop/ they desist
Note: The root is N-H-Y and it means stopping or ending or desisting. This then takes different form according to the plane of thought of the sentence. YANTAHOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of ordering or making oneself to cease and desist is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person plural). Here it is a beginning of a conditional statement so it expects an answer.
Yughfar: then will be forgiven/ then will be protectively covered.
Note: the root is GH-F-R or GHAIN-F-R and it means covering for protection. The concrete word is the helmet of the fighter. GHAFOOR is the one that covers to protect. This, in turn means protection from committing the sin and protection from the consequences of sin, which also means forgiving. YUGHFAR is an action that is also a response to the conditional. It means: then will be forgiven or then will be protectively covered.
Note: the root is S-L-F and it means something passed or someone passed. Basically, it means something that already occurred and happened. SALAFA is an action that is derived from the root and that happened. It means: the passing happened by the subject (third person singular pointing to MA=what)
Wain: and if
yaAAoodoo: they return/ they repeat
Note: YaAAOODOO is derived from the root Ain-W-D and it means repeat. It can also mean return since the return is a repetition of previous position. YaAAOODOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed that is derived from the root. It means: the action of repetition or return is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person plural)
Madat: already happened
Note: the root is M-Dhad-Y and it means when the matter is already completed and finished. One concrete use of the word is when used for the sword then it means that the sword had already done the cutting. MADAT is an action that is completed. It means: the action of passing and already happening happened to the subject (SUNNATU= example/ established pattern)
Sunnatu: established pattern/ the repeated example/ consistently repeated precedent
Note: the root is S-N-N and it means in concrete tooth or teeth. This word also takes many other meanings that are related in different words to the concrete. One of the meanings is aging and years, probably because the teeth change little with years and last long even after death. It is also used to mean the action that is repeated identically very much as the teeth chew identically through the years. SUNNATU means the established repeated pattern and occurrence of.
Alawwaleena: the precedent ones/ the previous ones/ the first ones
Note: AWWAL is derived from the root Hamza-W-L and it means ultimate as a concept and takes different shapes and specific meanings according to the situation including first and so on. It often takes the meaning of first because that is the most ultimate. AWWALEEN means first ones or the preceding ones and so on.