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illā
إِلَّا
Except
man
مَنْ
(him) who
khaṭifa
خَطِفَ
snatches
l-khaṭfata
ٱلْخَطْفَةَ
(by) theft
fa-atbaʿahu
فَأَتْبَعَهُۥ
but follows him
shihābun
شِهَابٌ
a burning flame,
thāqibun
ثَاقِبٌ
piercing.

Illaa man khatifal khatfata fa atba'ahoo shihaabun saaqib

Sahih International:

Except one who snatches [some words] by theft, but they are pursued by a burning flame, piercing [in brightness].

1 A. J. Arberry

except such as snatches a fragment, and he is pursued by a piercing flame.

2 Abdul Haleem

if any [of them] stealthily snatches away a fragment, he will be pursued by a piercing flame.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Except him who snatcheth away a word by stealth, and him then pursueth a glowing flame.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And if any is able to snatch a fragment, he is pursued by a piercing flame.

6 Ahmed Ali

Except those who eavesdrop and are pursued by a shooting flame.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Except one who sometimes steals a part, so a blazing flame goes after him.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

except any who snatches a snatch, whereat a piercing flame pursues him.

9 Ali Ünal

Excepting one who snatches something by stealth, and is pursued (and destroyed) by a piercing shooting-star.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Yet if anyone of them snatches away but once (to find out something), he is pursued by a bright shining flame.

11 English Literal

Except who snatched the one snatch, so a light from a fire source/a star lit/ignited/penetrating followed him.

12 Faridul Haque

Except one who sometimes steals a part, so a blazing flame goes after him.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Except him who snatches a fragment by stealth, then there follows him a brightly shining flame.

14 Hilali & Khan

Except such as snatch away something by stealing and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Driven off; and for them is a perpetual chastisement,

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Except him who snatches off but once, then there follows him a brightly shining flame.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Save him who snatcheth a fragment, and there pursueth him a piercing flame.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Some of them who stealthily steal words from the heavens are pursued by a glistening flame.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

except such as snatches a fragment, and he is pursued by a piercing flame.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

But if anyone does succeed in snatching a glimpse [of such knowledge], he shall be pursued by a piercing flame.

22 Talal Itani

Except for him who snatches a fragment—he gets pursued by a piercing projectile.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

except him who snatches a fragment (al-khatfa is the verbal noun, that is to say, `[that] one time'; the exceptive clause refers to the subject [of the verb] yasma`na, in other words, `the only devil that is able to listen is the one that hears a word from the angels and snatches it away quickly') and who is then pursued by a piercing flame (shihb is a meteor) that pierces him, or burns him or robs him of his senses.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

إِلاَّ مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ

Except such as snatch away something by stealing,

means, except for the one among the Shayatin who manages to get something, which is a word he has heard from the heaven. Then he throws it down to the one who is beneath him, who in turn throws it down to the one who is beneath him. Perhaps the flaming fire will strike him before he is able to throw it down, or perhaps he will throw it -- by the decree of Allah -- before the flaming fire strikes him and burns him. So the other devil takes it to the soothsayer, as we have seen previously in the Hadith.

Allah says;

إِلاَّ مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ


Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.

meaning, shining brightly.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,

"The Shayatin had places where they sat in the heavens listening to what was being revealed by Allah. The stars did not move and the Shayatin were not struck. When they heard the revelation, they would come down to earth and to every word they would add nine of their own. When the Messenger of Allah was sent, if a Shaytan wanted to take his seat in the heavens, the flaming fire would come and would not miss him; it would burn him every time. They complained about this to Iblis, may Allah curse him, and he said, `Something must have happened.' He sent his troops out and they found the Messenger of Allah standing in prayer between the two mountains of Nakhlah." -- Waki` said, "This means in the valley of Nakhlah." -- "They went back to Iblis and told him about that, and he said, `This is what has happened."