Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And never did thy Lord destroy the townships) the inhabitants of any township, (till He had raised up in their mother (-town)) their greatest town, i.e. Mecca; it is also said that this means: until He sends to their leaders and chiefs (a messenger reciting unto them Our revelations) explaining the commands and prohibitions. (And never did We destroy the townships) the inhabitants of any township (unless the folk thereof were evil-doers) idolaters.
Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas, trans. Mokrane Guezzou
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