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ḍaraba
ضَرَبَ
Allah sets forth
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah sets forth
mathalan
مَثَلًا
the example
ʿabdan
عَبْدًا
(of) a slave
mamlūkan
مَّمْلُوكًا
(who is) owned,
لَّا
not
yaqdiru
يَقْدِرُ
he has power
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
shayin
شَىْءٍ
anything
waman
وَمَن
and (one) whom
razaqnāhu
رَّزَقْنَٰهُ
We provided him
minnā
مِنَّا
from Us
riz'qan
رِزْقًا
a provision
ḥasanan
حَسَنًا
good,
fahuwa
فَهُوَ
so he
yunfiqu
يُنفِقُ
spends
min'hu
مِنْهُ
from it,
sirran
سِرًّا
secretly
wajahran
وَجَهْرًاۖ
and publicly.
hal
هَلْ
Can
yastawūna
يَسْتَوُۥنَۚ
they be equal?
l-ḥamdu
ٱلْحَمْدُ
All praise
lillahi
لِلَّهِۚ
(is) for Allah!
bal
بَلْ
Nay,
aktharuhum
أَكْثَرُهُمْ
but most of them
لَا
not
yaʿlamūna
يَعْلَمُونَ
know.

Darabal laahu masalan 'abdam mammlookal laa yaqdiru 'alaa shai'inw wa marrazaqnaahu mminnaa rizqan hasanan fahuwa yunfiqu minhu sirranw wa jahra; hal yasta-woon; alhamdu lillaah; bal aksaruhum laa ya'lamoon

Sahih International:

Allah presents an example: a slave [who is] owned and unable to do a thing and he to whom We have provided from Us good provision, so he spends from it secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? Praise to Allah! But most of them do not know.

1 A. J. Arberry

God has struck a similitude: a servant possessed by his master, having no power over anything, and one whom We have provided of Ourselves with a provision fair, and he expends of it secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise belongs to God! Nay, most of them know not.

2 Abdul Haleem

God presents this illustration: a slave controlled by his master, with no power over anything, and another man We have supplied with good provision, from which he gives alms privately and openly. Can they be considered equal? All praise belongs to God, but most of them do not recognize this.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Allah propoundeth a similitude: there is a bondman enslaved who hath not power over aught; and there is one whom We have provided from Ourselves with goodly provision and he expendeth thereof secretly and openly; can they be equal? All praise Unto Allah; but most of them know not.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men; one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly; are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah. But most of them understand not.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Allah sets forth a parable: There is one who is a slave and is owned by another and has no power over anything; and there is one whom We have granted good provision Ourselves, of which he spends both secretly and openly. Can they be equal? All praise be to Allah. But most of them do not even know (this simple fact).

6 Ahmed Ali

God presents the example of a man who is a hired servant with no power over anything, and another on whom We have bestowed a handsome fortune, who spends from it in private and in public: Can they be equal? Praised be God! But most men do not understand.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Allah has illustrated an example – there is a slave, himself the property of another, not owning anything – and another one upon whom We have bestowed a good livelihood from Us, he therefore spends from it, secretly and publicly; will they be equal? All praise is to Allah; in fact, most of them do not know.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Allah draws a parable: a slave owned [by his master] who has no power over anything, and another one [a free man] whom We have provided a goodly provision and who spends out of it secretly and openly. Are they equal? All praise belongs to Allah. But most of them do not know.

9 Ali Ünal

God strikes a parable (of two men so that you may understand that true freedom lies in the service of God, because it frees from servitude to all else): a man enslaved, unable to do anything of his own will, and a (free) man whom We have provided with a fair provision from Us, and he spends thereof secretly and openly. Are the two equal? All praise and gratitude are due to God (for to Him alone belongs absolute ownership and disposition of the universe); but most of them do not know.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Allâh sets forth (for your knowledge) an excellent description of a slave who is owned (by another), (and) who has no power over anything. On the other hand there is another (a free man) whom We have provided with goodly provision from Ourself and he spends out of it secretly and openly (in Our cause). Can they both be alike? (No, not at all.) All true and perfect praise belongs to Allâh, but the thing is, most of these people do not know.

11 English Literal

God gave an example , an owned slave/human , he is not capable/able on (of) a thing, and whom what We provided for him from Us a good/beautiful provision , so he spends from it secretly and publicly , do they become equal/alike? The praise/gratitude (is) to God, but most of them do not know.

12 Faridul Haque

Allah has illustrated an example - there is a slave, himself the property of another, not owning anything - and another one upon whom We have bestowed a good livelihood from Us, he therefore spends from it, secretly and publicly; will they be equal? All praise is to Allah; in fact, most of them do not know.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Allah coins a similitude (or parable); (On the one hand) a slave owned by another, having control over nothing, and (on the other hand) one on whom We have bestowed a goodly favours from Us, and who spends there from freely secretly and openly - shall they be held equal? Praise be to Allah, but most of them understand not.

14 Hilali & Khan

Allah puts forward the example (of two men a believer and a disbeliever); a slave (disbeliever) under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and (the other), a man (believer) on whom We have bestowed a good provision from Us, and He spends thereof secretly and openly. Can they be equal? (By no means, not). All the praises and thanks be to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

So coin not similitudes for Allah. Surely Allah knows and you know not.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Allah sets forth a parable: (consider) a slave, the property of another, (who) has no power over anything, and one whom We have granted from Ourselves a goodly sustenance so he spends from it secretly and openly; are the two alike? (All) praise is due to Allah! Nay, most of them do not know.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Allah coineth a similitude: (on the one hand) a (mere) chattel slave, who hath control of nothing, and (on the other hand) one on whom we have bestowed a fair provision from Us, and he spendeth thereof secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah! But most of them know not.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

God tells a parable about a helpless servant and one to whom He has given honorable provisions and who has spent for the cause of God privately and in public. Can these two people be considered equal? It is only God who deserves all praise, but most people do not know.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Allah strikes a parable. A servant owned by his master, having no power over anything, and one to whom We have given from Us a fine provision who spends it secretly and openly, are they equal? Praise be to Allah! No, most of them do not know!

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Allah gives the example of a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and a man on whom We have bestowed good provisions from Us, and he spends from that secretly and openly. Can they be equal (By no means). All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

God makes a comparison between an owned slave possessing no power over anything, and someone to whom We have given plentiful provision, who gives out from it privately and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to God! But most people do not know it.

22 Talal Itani

God cites the example of a bonded slave, who has no power over anything; and someone to whom We have given plentiful provision, from which he gives secretly and openly. Are they equal in comparison? All praise belongs to God, but most of them do not know.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

God strikes a similitude (mathalan, this is substituted by [the following, `abdan mamlkan]) a slave who is a chattel (mamlkan, an adjective to distinguish him [this type of slave] from a free man, who is the servant of God [alone]) having no power over anything, since he has no mastery, and one on whom (man, is an indefinite [noun], adjectivally qualified, in other words, a free man) We have bestowed a fair provision from Us, such that he spends thereof secretly and openly, that is, disposing of it as he wishes; the first similitude is for the idols, while the second is His, exalted be He. Are they equal?, the powerless slaves and the dispensing free men? No. Praise belongs to God, alone. But most of them, that is, the people of Mecca, do not know, the chastisement they will come to, and so they associate others with God.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Example of the Believer and the Disbeliever, or the Idol and the True God

Allah tells;

ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلً عَبْدًا مَّمْلُوكًا لاَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَيْءٍ وَمَن رَّزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّا وَجَهْرًا هَلْ يَسْتَوُونَ

16;75 Allah gives the example of a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and a man on whom We have bestowed good provisions from Us, and he spends from that secretly and openly. Can they be equal (By no means).

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said;

"This is the example which Allah gives of the disbeliever and the believer."

This was also the view of Qatadah and Ibn Jarir.

The servant who has no power over anything is like the disbeliever, and the one who is given good provisions and spends of them secretly and openly is like the believer.

Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said;

"This is an example given of the idol and the True God - can they be the same!" Once the difference between them is so clear and so obvious, no one can be unaware of it except the one who is foolish.

Allah says;

الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ



All the praises and thanks are to Allah.

Nay! (But) most of them know not.