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wamina
وَمِنَ
And among
l-nāsi
ٱلنَّاسِ
the mankind
man
مَن
(is he) who
yaʿbudu
يَعْبُدُ
worships
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
ḥarfin
حَرْفٍۖ
an edge.
fa-in
فَإِنْ
And if
aṣābahu
أَصَابَهُۥ
befalls him
khayrun
خَيْرٌ
good,
iṭ'ma-anna
ٱطْمَأَنَّ
he is content
bihi
بِهِۦۖ
with it,
wa-in
وَإِنْ
and if
aṣābathu
أَصَابَتْهُ
befalls him
fit'natun
فِتْنَةٌ
a trial
inqalaba
ٱنقَلَبَ
he turns
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
wajhihi
وَجْهِهِۦ
his face.
khasira
خَسِرَ
He has lost
l-dun'yā
ٱلدُّنْيَا
the world
wal-ākhirata
وَٱلْءَاخِرَةَۚ
and the Hereafter.
dhālika
ذَٰلِكَ
That
huwa
هُوَ
[it]
l-khus'rānu
ٱلْخُسْرَانُ
(is) the loss
l-mubīnu
ٱلْمُبِينُ
clear.

Wa minan naasi mai ya'budul laaha 'alaa harfin fa in asaabahoo khairunit maanna bihee wa in asaabat hu fitnatunin qalaba 'alaa wajhihee khasirad dunyaa wal aakhirah; zaalika huwal khusraanul mubeen

Sahih International:

And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.

1 A. J. Arberry

And among men there is such a one as serves God upon the very edge -- if good befalls him he is at rest in it, but if a trial befalls him he turns completely over; he loses this world and the world to come; that is indeed the manifest loss.

2 Abdul Haleem

There are also some who serve God with unsteady faith: if something good comes their way, they are satisfied, but if they are tested, they revert to their old ways, losing both this world and the next- that is the clearest loss.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And of mankind is he who worshippeth Allah as on edge; if there befalleth him good, he in contented therewith, and if there befalleth him a trial, he turneth round on his face; he loseth the world and the Hereafter: that indeed is a loss manifest!

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

There are among men some who serve Allah, as it were, on the verge; if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces; they lose both this world and the Hereafter; that is loss for all to see!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And among people is he who worships Allah on the borderline; if any good befalls him, he is satisfied; but if a trial afflicts him, he utterly turns away. He will incur the loss of this world and the Hereafter. That indeed is a clear loss.

6 Ahmed Ali

There are some men who worship God only from the margin. If there is some profit they are content; but if calamity befalls them they turn about, thus losing both this world and the next. This is indeed a palpable loss.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And there are some men who worship Allah upon an edge; then if some good occurs to them, they are content; and if some trial comes, they turn way upon their faces; a loss of this world and the Hereafter; and this is the complete loss.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

And among the people are those who worship Allah on the [very] fringe: if good fortune befalls him, he is content with it; but if an ordeal visits him he makes a turnabout, to become a loser in the world and the Hereafter. That is manifest loss.

9 Ali Ünal

Among people are also many a one who worships God on the borderline (of faith) in expectation of only worldly gains. If any good befalls him, he is satisfied with it, but if a trial afflicts him, he turns away utterly, reverting back to unbelief. He (thereby) incurs loss of both this world and the Hereafter. This indeed is the obvious loss.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And among people there is such a one who worships Allâh (as it were) on the very verge (in a wavering state of mind). If any good befalls him he is satisfied with it, but if there befalls a trial he returns to his (former) ways. He has lost both this world as well as the next. That indeed is the obvious loss.

11 English Literal

And from the people who worships God on edge, so if goodness struck/marked him he became assured/secured with it, and if test/betrayal/torture struck/marked him, he returned on his face/front , he lost the present world and the end (other life), that (is) the loss/misguidance and punishment, the clear/evident .

12 Faridul Haque

And there are some men who worship Allah whilst upon an edge; then if some good occurs to them, they are content; and if some trial comes, they turn way upon their faces; a loss of this world and the Hereafter; and this is the complete loss.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

This is for what your two hands have sent before you, and in this Allah is not an oppressor unto His servants.

14 Hilali & Khan

And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

This is for that which thy two hands have sent before, and Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And among men is he who serves Allah (standing) on the verge, so that if good befalls him he is satisfied therewith, but if a trial afflict him he turns back headlong; he loses this world as well as the hereafter; that is a manifest loss.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And among mankind is he who worshippeth Allah upon a narrow marge so that if good befalleth him he is content therewith, but if a trial befalleth him, he falleth away utterly. He loseth both the world and the Hereafter. That is the sheer loss.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Some people worship God to achieve worldly gains. They are confident when they are prosperous, but when they face hardships they turn away from (worship). They are lost in this life and will be lost in the life to come. Such loss is indeed destructive.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

There are among the people such who worship Allah and (yet stand) on the very edge. When goodness comes to him, he is content, but if a trial befalls him he falls upon his face, he loses this world and the Everlasting Life; that is indeed a clear loss.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge: if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a Fitnah strikes him, he turns back on his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

There are some who worship God half-heartedly, then, if some good befalls them, they are content with it, but if an ordeal befalls them, they revert to their former ways. They lose in this world as well in the Hereafter. That is a clear loss.

22 Talal Itani

And among the people is he who worships God on edge. When something good comes his way, he is content with it. But when an ordeal strikes him, he makes a turnaround. He loses this world and the next. That is the obvious loss.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And among mankind there are those who worship God on a knife-edge; that is, with uncertainty in his worship -- such [a person] has been likened the [knife-] edge of a mountain in his precariousness -- if good [fortune] befalls him, [so that he enjoys] health and security with respect to his own self and his property, he is reassured by it; but if an ordeal befalls him, a trial or ill-health with regard to himself or his property, he makes a turnabout, that is, he reverts to disbelief, losing both this world, when what he had hoped for in it has eluded him, and the Hereafter, by [his] disbelief. That is the manifest loss.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The meaning of worshipping Allah as it were upon the edge

Allah says;

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ

And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge;if good befalls him, he is content therewith;

Mujahid, Qatadah and others said;
عَلَى حَرْفٍ
(upon the edge),

means, in doubt.

Others said that;

it meant on the edge, such as on the edge or side of a mountain, i.e., (this person) enters Islam on the edge, and if he finds what he likes he will continue, otherwise he will leave.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said;
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ
(And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge).

"People would come to Al-Madinah (to declare their Islam) and if their wives gave birth to sons and their mares gave birth to foals, they would say, `This is a good religion,' but if their wives and their mares did not give birth, they would say, `This is a bad religion."'

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"One of them would come to Al-Madinah, which was a land that was infected with a contagious disease. If he remained healthy there, and his mare foaled and his wife gave birth to a boy, he would be content, and would say, `I have not experienced anything but good since I started to follow this religion."

وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ

but if a Fitnah strikes him,
Fitnah here means affliction, i.e., if the disease of Al-Madinah befalls him, and his wife gives birth to a babe girl and charity is delayed in coming to him, the Shaytan comes to him and says;"By Allah, since you started to follow this religion of yours, you have experienced nothing but bad things," and this is the Fitnah.

This was also mentioned by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Jurayj and others among the Salaf when explaining this Ayah.

Mujahid said, concerning the Ayah;

انقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ

he turns back on his face.

"(This means), he becomes an apostate and a disbeliever."

خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالاْخِرَةَ

He loses both this world and the Hereafter.

means, he does not gain anything in this world. As for the Hereafter, he has disbelieved in Allah the Almighty, so he will be utterly doomed and humiliated.

So Allah says;

ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ



That is the evident loss.

i.e., the greatest loss and the losing deal.