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innamā
إِنَّمَا
Only
mathalu
مَثَلُ
(the) example
l-ḥayati
ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ
(of) the life
l-dun'yā
ٱلدُّنْيَا
(of) the world
kamāin
كَمَآءٍ
(is) like (the) water
anzalnāhu
أَنزَلْنَٰهُ
which We sent down
mina
مِنَ
from
l-samāi
ٱلسَّمَآءِ
the sky,
fa-ikh'talaṭa
فَٱخْتَلَطَ
so absorbs
bihi
بِهِۦ
[with] it,
nabātu
نَبَاتُ
(the) plants
l-arḍi
ٱلْأَرْضِ
(of) the earth
mimmā
مِمَّا
from which
yakulu
يَأْكُلُ
eat
l-nāsu
ٱلنَّاسُ
the men
wal-anʿāmu
وَٱلْأَنْعَٰمُ
and the cattle,
ḥattā
حَتَّىٰٓ
until
idhā
إِذَآ
when
akhadhati
أَخَذَتِ
takes
l-arḍu
ٱلْأَرْضُ
the earth
zukh'rufahā
زُخْرُفَهَا
its adornment
wa-izzayyanat
وَٱزَّيَّنَتْ
and is beautified
waẓanna
وَظَنَّ
and think
ahluhā
أَهْلُهَآ
its people
annahum
أَنَّهُمْ
that they
qādirūna
قَٰدِرُونَ
have the power
ʿalayhā
عَلَيْهَآ
over it,
atāhā
أَتَىٰهَآ
comes (to) it
amrunā
أَمْرُنَا
Our command
laylan
لَيْلًا
(by) night
aw
أَوْ
or
nahāran
نَهَارًا
(by) day,
fajaʿalnāhā
فَجَعَلْنَٰهَا
and We make it
ḥaṣīdan
حَصِيدًا
a harvest clean-mown,
ka-an
كَأَن
as if
lam
لَّمْ
not
taghna
تَغْنَ
it had flourished
bil-amsi
بِٱلْأَمْسِۚ
yesterday.
kadhālika
كَذَٰلِكَ
Thus
nufaṣṣilu
نُفَصِّلُ
We explain
l-āyāti
ٱلْءَايَٰتِ
the Signs
liqawmin
لِقَوْمٍ
for a people
yatafakkarūna
يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
who reflect.

Innamaa masalul hayaatid dunyaa kammaaa'in anzalnaahu minas sammaaa'i fakhtalata bihee nabaatul ardi mimmaa yaakulun naasu wal an'aam; hattaaa izaaa akhazatil ardu zukhrufahaa wazziyanat wa zanna ahluhaaa annahum qaadiroona 'alaihaaa ataahaaa amrunaa lailan aw nahaaran faja'alnaahaa haseedan ka allam taghna bil-ams; kazaalika nufassilul aayaati liqawminy yatafakkaroon

Sahih International:

The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb - [those] from which men and livestock eat - until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.

1 A. J. Arberry

The likeness of this present life is as water that We send down out of heaven, and the plants of the earth mingle with it whereof men and cattle eat, till, when the earth has taken on its glitter and has decked itself fair, and its inhabitants think they have power over it, Our command comes upon it by night or day, and We make it stubble, as though yesterday it flourished not. Even so We distinguish the signs for a people who reflect.

2 Abdul Haleem

The life of this world is like this: rain that We send down from the sky is absorbed by the plants of the earth, from which humans and animals eat. But when the earth has taken on its finest appearance, and adorns itself, and its people think they have power over it, then the fate We commanded comes to it, by night or by day, and We reduce it to stubble, as if it had not flourished just the day before. This is the way We explain the revelations for those who reflect.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

The similitude of the life of the world is only as the rain which We send down from heaven, wherewith maingleth the growth of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, until, when the earth putteth on her oranament and is adorned, and the inhabitants thereof imgine that they are potent over it, there cometh unto it Our command by night or by day, then We make it stubble as though it had not flourished yesterday. Thus We detail the signs unto a people who ponder.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

The likeness of the life of the present is as the rain which We send down from the skies; by its mingling arises the produce of the earth- which provides food for men and animals; (It grows) till the earth is clad with its golden ornaments and is decked out (in beauty); the people to whom it belongs think they have all powers of disposal over it; There reaches it Our command by night or by day, and We make it like a harvest clean-mown, as if it had not flourished only the day before! thus do We explain the Signs in detail for those who reflect.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

The example of the life of this world (which has enamoured you into becoming heedless to Our signs) is that of water that We sent down from the heaven which causes the vegetation of the earth, which sustains men and cattle, to grow luxuriantly. But when the earth took on its golden raiment and became well adorned and the owners believed that they had full control over their lands Our command came upon them by night or by day, and We convened it into a stubble, as though it had not blossomed yesterday. Thus do We expound the signs for a people who reflect.

6 Ahmed Ali

The life of the world is like the rain that waters the crops of the earth which are used as food by men and cattle. But when the earth is embellished and adorned with gold, and its tillers begin to feel that (the crops) are under control, Our command descends suddenly at night or in the day, and We mow them down as though there was nothing there yesterday. This is how We distinctly explain Our signs to those who think.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

The example of the life of this world is similar to the water which We sent down from the sky, so due to it the earth’s vegetation grew in abundance – that which men and cattle eat; to the extent that when the earth has taken on her ornaments and is well beautified, and her owners thought that it is within their control, Our command came to it at night or at day – so We made it harvested as if it had not existed yesterday; this is how We explain the verses for the people who ponder.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

The parable of the life of this world is that of water which We send down from the sky. It mingles with the earth’s vegetation from which humans and cattle eat. When the earth puts on its luster and is adorned, and its inhabitants think they have power over it, Our edict comes to it, by night or day, whereat We turn it into a mown field, as if it did not flourish the day before. Thus do We elaborate the signs for a people who reflect.

9 Ali Ünal

The present, worldly life is like this: We send down water from the sky, and the earth’s vegetation, of which humans and animals eat, mingles with it, until, when the earth has taken on her ornaments and has been embellished, and its inhabitants suppose that they are its masters with a free hand over the earth, Our command comes upon it by night or day unexpectedly, and We cause it to become like a field mown down, as if it had not flourished the previous day. Thus We set out in detail the signs (the signposts of Our way and the relevant commands and guidance included in the Qur’an) for a people who reflect (on them and draw the necessary lesson).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

The life of this world is simply like water. We send it down from the clouds so that the produce of the earth, whereof people and cattle eat, grows with this (water) abundantly until when the earth (by means of it) receives its excellent ornature and has decked itself fairly beautiful and its owners feel sure that they are its masters, unexpectedly We command its destruction either by night or by day, so We render it a field that is mown down as though nothing had existed there the day before. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who reflect.

11 English Literal

But the life the present`s/worldly life`s example (is) as/like water, We descended it from the sky, so the Earth`s/land`s plant mixed/mingled with it, from what the people eat and the camels/livestock, until the earth/land took its decoration/beauty and it became decorated/beautified, and its people thought/assumed that they are capable/overpowering on it, (then) Our order/matter came to/destroyed it at night or (at) daytime, so We made it uprooted as though it did not enrich/be inhabited by the yesterday/previous day, as/like that We detail/explain/clarify the verses/evidences to a nation thinking.

12 Faridul Haque

The example of the life of this world is similar to the water which We sent down from the sky, so due to it the earth’s vegetation grew in abundance - that which men and cattle eat; to the extent that when the earth has taken on her ornaments and is well beautified, and her owners thought that it is within their control, Our command came to it at night or at day - so We made it harvested as if it had not existed yesterday; this is how We explain the verses for the people who ponder.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

But when He has delivered them, behold! They are rebellious in the earth unjustly; - O mankind! Your rebelliousness is only against yourselves. You have but a brief provision in the life of this world, then unto Us is your return, and We will inform you of that which you used to do.

14 Hilali & Khan

Verily the likeness of (this) worldly life is as the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat until when the earth is clad with its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, Our Command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, laws, etc.) in detail for the people who reflect.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

But when He delivers them, lo! they are unjustly rebellious in the earth. O men, your rebellion is against yourselves -- a provision (only) of this world’s life. Then to Us is your return, so We shall inform you of what you did.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

The likeness of this world's life is only as water which We send down from the cloud, then the herbage of the earth of which men and cattle eat grows luxuriantly thereby, until when the earth puts on its golden raiment and it becomes garnished, and its people think that they have power over it, Our command comes to it, by night or by day, so We render it as reaped seed; produce, as though it had not been in existence yesterday; thus do We make clear the communications for a people who reflect.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

The similitude of the life of the world is only as water which We send down from the sky, then the earth's growth of that which men and cattle eat mingleth with it till, when the earth hath taken on her ornaments and is embellished, and her people deem that they are masters of her, Our commandment cometh by night or by day and We make it as reaped corn as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do we expound the revelations for people who reflect.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

The example of the worldly life is like the water sent down from the sky which becomes mixed with the earth's produce that people and cattle consume. When the land becomes fertile and pleasant, people think that they have control over it. At Our command during the night or day, the land becomes as barren as if it had no richness the day before. Thus, do We explain the evidence (of the truth) for the people who reflect.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

This present life is like the water We send down from the sky. The plants of the earth mix with it and from it mankind and cattle eat; then when the earth has become lush and adorned, its inhabitants think they have power over it, Our command comes upon it by night or day, and We cause it to be stubble, just as though it had not flourished the day before. In this way We distinguish Our verses for those who reflect.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Verily, the parable of the life of the world is as the water which We send down from the sky; so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat: until when the earth is clad in its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, Our command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! Thus do We explain the Ayat in detail for the people who reflect.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

The life of the world is like the water which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth, from which men and cattle eat. But when the earth has taken on its finest appearance, and looks beautiful, and its people think they have it under their control, then by day or by night, Our command comes to it and We convert it into a field of stubble, as if nothing had existed there the day before. Thus We make plain Our revelations for those who reflect.

22 Talal Itani

The likeness of the present life is this: water that We send down from the sky is absorbed by the plants of the earth, from which the people and the animals eat. Until, when the earth puts on its fine appearance, and is beautified, and its inhabitants think that they have mastered it, Our command descends upon it by night or by day, and We turn it into stubble, as if it had not flourished the day before. We thus clarify the revelations for people who reflect.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

The likeness, the description, of the life of this world is only as water, rain, which We send down from the heaven, then the plants of the earth mingle with it, [they mingle] because of it, attaching themselves one to another, whereof mankind eat, [plants] such as wheat and barley and so on, and cattle [eat], of pasture, until, when the earth has taken on its ornaments, its splendour of plants, and has adorned itself, with flowers (izzayyanat, `adorned itself', is originally tazayyanat, but the t' has been substituted with the zy and assimilated with it) and its inhabitants think that they are masters of it, fully capable of harvesting its fruits, Our command, Our decree or Our chastisement, comes upon it by night or day, and We make it, that is, its crops, as reaped corn, like that which has been reaped with sickles, as though (ka-an is softened, in other words [read it as] ka-annah) the previous day it had not flourished, [as though] it never were. Thus do We detail, [do] We make clear, the signs for a people who reflect.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Parable of this Life

Allah says;

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاء أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاء فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الَارْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالَانْعَامُ


Verily, the parable of the life of the world is as the water which We send down from the sky; so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat;

Allah the Almighty has set an example of the similitude of the life of this world, its glitter and the swiftness of its passage, likening it to the plant and vegetation that Allah brings out from the earth. This plant grows from the water that comes down from the sky. These plants are food for people, such as fruits and other different types and kinds of foods. Some other kinds are food for cattle such as clover plants (i.e. green fodder for the cattle) and herbage etc.

حَتَّىَ إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الَارْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا

until when the earth is clad in its adornments,

وَازَّيَّنَتْ

and is beautified,

meaning, it became good by what grows on its hills such as blooming flowers of different shapes and colors.

وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا

and its people think...

those who planted it and put it in the ground,

أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَأ

that they have all the powers of disposal over it,

to cultivate it and harvest it. But while they were in that frame of mind, a thunderbolt or a severe, cold storm came to it. It dried its leaves and spoiled its fruits.

Allah said;

أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلً أَوْ نَهَارًا فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيدًا

Our command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest,

it became dry after it was green and flourishing.

كَأَن لَّمْ تَغْنَ بِالَامْسِ

as if it had not flourished yesterday!

as if nothing existed there before.

Qatadah said;

"As if it had not flourished; as if it was never blessed."

Such are things after they perish, they are as if they had never existed.

Similarly, the Hadith,

يُوْتَى بِأَنْعَمِ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا فَيُغْمَسُ فِي النَّارِ غَمْسَةً فَيُقَالُ لَهُ هَلْ رَأَيْتَ خَيْرًا قَطُّ

هَلْ مَرَّ بِكَ نَعِيمٌ قَطُّ




فَيَقُولُ لَا

وَيُوْتَى بِأَشَدِّ النَّاسِ عَذَابًا فِي الدُّنْيَا فَيُغْمَسُ فِي النَّعِيمِ غَمْسَةً ثُمَّ يُقَالُ لَهُ هَلْ رَأَيْتَ بُوْسًا قَطُّ




فَيَقُولُ لَا

A person who led the most prosperous life in this world will be brought up and dipped once in the Fire. He will then be asked;`Have you ever found any good or comfort!'

He will reply;`No.'

And a person who had experienced extreme adversity in this world will be brought up and dipped once in the bliss (of Paradise). Then he will be asked;'Did you ever face any hardship or misery!'

He will reply;`No.'

Allah said about those who were destroyed;

فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دِيَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَكَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَأ

So they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes; as if they had never lived there. (11;67-68)

كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الايَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ



Thus do We explain the Ayat in detail for the people who reflect.

Allah then said;

وَاللّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى دَارِ السَّلَمِ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ