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iʿ'lamū
ٱعْلَمُوٓا۟
Know
annamā
أَنَّمَا
that
l-ḥayatu
ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ
the life
l-dun'yā
ٱلدُّنْيَا
(of) the world
laʿibun
لَعِبٌ
(is) play
walahwun
وَلَهْوٌ
and amusement
wazīnatun
وَزِينَةٌ
and adornment
watafākhurun
وَتَفَاخُرٌۢ
and boasting
baynakum
بَيْنَكُمْ
among you
watakāthurun
وَتَكَاثُرٌ
and competition in increase
فِى
of
l-amwāli
ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ
the wealth
wal-awlādi
وَٱلْأَوْلَٰدِۖ
and the children,
kamathali
كَمَثَلِ
like (the) example
ghaythin
غَيْثٍ
(of) a rain,
aʿjaba
أَعْجَبَ
pleases
l-kufāra
ٱلْكُفَّارَ
the tillers
nabātuhu
نَبَاتُهُۥ
its growth;
thumma
ثُمَّ
then
yahīju
يَهِيجُ
it dries
fatarāhu
فَتَرَىٰهُ
and you see it
muṣ'farran
مُصْفَرًّا
turning yellow;
thumma
ثُمَّ
then
yakūnu
يَكُونُ
becomes
ḥuṭāman
حُطَٰمًاۖ
debris.
wafī
وَفِى
And in
l-ākhirati
ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ
the Hereafter
ʿadhābun
عَذَابٌ
(is) a punishment
shadīdun
شَدِيدٌ
severe
wamaghfiratun
وَمَغْفِرَةٌ
and forgiveness
mina
مِّنَ
from
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
Allah
wariḍ'wānun
وَرِضْوَٰنٌۚ
and Pleasure.
wamā
وَمَا
But not
l-ḥayatu
ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ
the life
l-dun'yā
ٱلدُّنْيَآ
(of) the world
illā
إِلَّا
except
matāʿu
مَتَٰعُ
(the) enjoyment
l-ghurūri
ٱلْغُرُورِ
(of) delusion.

I'lamooo annamal hayaa tud dunyaa la'ibunw wa lahwunw wa zeenatunw wa takaasurun bainakum wa takaasurn fil amwaali wal awlaad, kamasali ghaisin a'jabal kuffaara nabaatuhoo summa yaheeju fataraahu musfaaran summa yakoonu hutaamaa; wa fil aakhirati 'azaabun shadeedunw wa magh firatum minal laahi wa ridwaan; wa mal haiyaa tuddun yaaa illaa mataa'ul ghuroor

Sahih International:

Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.

1 A. J. Arberry

Know that the present life is but a sport and a diversion, an adornment and a cause for boasting among you, and a rivalry in wealth and children. It is as a rain whose vegetation pleases the unbelievers; then it withers, and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becomes broken orts. And in the world to come there is a terrible chastisement, and forgiveness from God and good pleasure; and the present life is but the joy of delusion.

2 Abdul Haleem

Bear in mind that the present life is just a game, a diversion, an attraction, a cause of boasting among you, of rivalry in wealth and children. It is like plants that spring up after the rain: their growth at first delights the sowers, but then you see them wither away, turn yellow, and become stubble. There is terrible punishment in the next life as well as forgiveness and approval from God; the life of this world is only an illusory pleasure.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Know that the life of the world is but a play and a pastime, and an adornment and a self-glorification among you and vying in respect of riches and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rains whereof the growth pleaseth the husbandmen, then it withereth and thou seest it becoming yellow, then it becometh chaff. And in the Hereafter there is both a grievous torment and forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure, and the life of the world is but a vain bauble.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude; How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight (the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a Penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the devotees of Allah). And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception?

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Know well that the life of this world is merely sport and diversion and adornment and an object of your boasting with one another, and a rivalry in the multiplication of riches and children. Its likeness is that of rain: when it produces vegetation it delights the tillers. But then it withers and you see it turn yellow, and then it crumbles away. In the Hereafter there is (either) grievous chastisement (or) forgiveness from Allah and (His) good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but delusion.

6 Ahmed Ali

Know that the life of this world is only a frolic and mummery, an ornamentation, boasting and bragging among yourselves, and lust for multiplying wealth and children. It is like rain so pleasing to the cultivator for his vegetation which sprouts and swells, and then begins to wither, and you see it turn to yellow and reduced to chaff. There is severe punishment in the Hereafter, but also forgiveness from God, and acceptance. As for the life of this world, it is no more than merchandise of vanity.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Know that the life of this world is nothing but play and pastime, and adornment, and boasting amongst yourselves, and the desire to surpass each other in wealth and children; like the rain the produce of which pleased the farmer, then dried so you see it yellow, and then turned into dry trampled hay; and in the Hereafter is a severe punishment, and the forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure; and the life of this world is nothing but counterfeit wealth.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Know that the life of this world is mere diversion and play, glamour and mutual vainglory among you and rivalry for wealth and children—like rain, whose growth impresses the farmer. Then it withers and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes chaff. Whereas in the Hereafter there is forgiveness from Allah and His approval and a severe punishment. The life of this world is nothing but the wares of delusion.

9 Ali Ünal

Know that the present, worldly life is but a play, vain talk and ostentation, and mutual boasting among you, and competing in wealth and children – it is like when rain comes down and the vegetation grown by it pleases the farmers, (but) then it dries up and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes straw; and in the Hereafter there is a severe punishment, but also (there is) forgiveness from God and His good pleasure (which are everlasting); whereas the present, worldly life is but a transient enjoyment of delusion.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Know that the life of this world is but a sport, wanton, an empty show, (a source of) boasting among yourselves and an emulous quest for more riches and children. It is like the rain, the vegetation produced whereby pleases the cultivators. Then it (- the vegetation) blooms and flourishes so that you can see it turn yellow (on ripening). Then (there comes a time when) it becomes (worthless) chaff. But the Hereafter promises both, a severe punishment (for the wicked) and (for the righteous there is) protection from Allâh and (His) pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but a (temporary) enjoyment of delusive things.

11 English Literal

Know that the life the present/worldly life (is) playing/amusement and a play thing/amusement , and decoration/ornament , and competing in pride/arrogance/glory between you, and multiplication in the properties/possessions and the children, as/like rain (that) its plants pleased the disbelievers, then (it) dries and yellows , so you see it yellow/yellowish, then (it) becomes broken/debris/fragments , and in the end (other life is) a strong (severe) torture, and a forgiveness from God, and acceptance/approval ; and the life the present/worldly life is not except the deceits`/temptation`s long life/enjoyment .

12 Faridul Haque

Know that the life of this world is nothing but play and pastime, and adornment, and boasting amongst yourselves, and the desire to surpass each other in wealth and children; like the rain the produce of which pleased the farmer, then dried so you see it yellow, and then turned into dry trampled hay; and in the Hereafter is a severe punishment, and the forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure; and the life of this world is nothing but counterfeit wealth.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Know that the life of this world is only sport and play and idle talk and boasting among yourselves, and a rivalry in the multiplication of wealth and children; like the vegetation after rain, whereof the growth pleases the husbandmen; but then it withers away so that you will see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and crumbles away; but in the Hereafter is a severe chastisement and also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure; and the life of this world is naught but means of deception.

14 Hilali & Khan

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And those who believe in Allah and His messengers, they are the truthful and the faithful ones with their Lord. They have their reward and their light. And those who disbelieve and reject Our messages, they are the inmates of hell.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Know that this world's life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow, pleases the husbandmen, then it withers away so that you will see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure; and this world's life is naught but means of deception.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Know that the worldly life is only a game, a temporary attraction, a means of boastfulness among yourselves and a place for multiplying your wealth and children. It is like the rain which produces plants that are attractive to the unbelievers. These plants flourish, turn yellow, and then become crushed bits of straw. In the life hereafter there will be severe torment or forgiveness and mercy from God. The worldly life is only an illusion.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Know that the life of this world is but play and an amusement, and adornment, and a cause for boasting among you, a rivalry for greater riches and children. It is like rain whose vegetation pleases the unbelievers, but then it withers and turns yellow, becoming broken stubble. In the Everlasting Life is a terrible punishment, forgiveness, and great pleasure from Allah. The life of this world is nothing except the joy of delusion.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (It is) like a rain (Ghayth), thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment, and (there is) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure. And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Never forget that the life of this world is only a game and a passing delight, a show, and mutual boasting and trying to outrival each other in riches and children. It is like the growth of vegetation after the rain, which delights the planter, but which then withers away, turns yellow and becomes worthless stubble. In the life to come there will be a terrible punishment, or God's forgiveness and approval: the life of this world is nothing but means of deception.

22 Talal Itani

Know that the worldly life is only play, and distraction, and glitter, and boasting among you, and rivalry in wealth and children. It is like a rainfall that produces plants, and delights the disbelievers. But then it withers, and you see it yellowing, and then it becomes debris. While in the Hereafter there is severe agony, and forgiveness from God, and acceptance. The life of this world is nothing but enjoyment of vanity.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Know that the life of this world is merely play and diversion and glitter, the frequent adornment [of oneself], and mutual vainglory in respect of wealth and children, that is, preoccupation with such things -- but as for acts of obedience and incentives thereto, these are the concerns of the Hereafter; as the likeness of, that is to say, it, in the manner in which you admire it and in the manner in which it will disappear, is as the likeness of, rain whose vegetation, which results from this [rain], the disbelievers, the sowers, admire; [but] then it withers, it becomes dried-up, and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes chaff, scatters vanishing with the winds. And in the Hereafter there is a severe chastisement, for those who prefer this world to it, and forgiveness from God and beatitude, for those who have not preferred this world to it; and the life of this world, that is to say, the comfort [enjoyed] in it, is but the comfort of delusion.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

This Life of this World is Fleeting Enjoyment

Allah the Exalted degrades the significance of this life and belittles it by saying,

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ

وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الاَْمْوَالِ وَالاَْوْلَادِ

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children.

meaning, this is the significance of this life to its people, just as He said in another Ayah,

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَتِ مِنَ النِّسَأءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَـطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالَانْعَـمِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَلِكَ مَتَـعُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَأَبِ

Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world's life; but Allah has the excellent return with Him. (3;14)

Allah the Exalted also sets a parable for this life, declaring that its joys are fading and its delights are perishable, saying that life is,

كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ

Like a rain (Ghayth),

which is the rain that comes down to mankind, after they had felt despair.

Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,

وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ

And He it is Who sends down the Ghayth (rain) after they have despaired. (42;28)

Allah's statement,

أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ

thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller;

meaning that farmers admire the vegetation that grows in the aftermath of rain. And just as farmers admire vegetation, the disbelievers admire this life; they are the most eager to acquire the traits of life, and life is most dear to them,

ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ

فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا

afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw.

meaning, that vegetation soon turns yellow in color, after being fresh and green. After that, the green fades away and becomes scattered pieces of dust.

This is the parable of this worldly life, it starts young, then matures and then turns old and feeble.

This is also the parable of mankind in this life; they are young and strong in the beginning. In this stage of life, they look youthful and handsome. Slowly, they begin growing older, their mannerism changes and their strength weakens. They then grow old and feeble; moving becomes difficult for them, while doing easy things becomes beyond their ability.

Allah the Exalted said,

اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعْفاً وَشَيْبَةً يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَأءُ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْقَدِيرُ

Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful. (30;54)

This parable indicates the near demise of this life and the imminent end of it, while in contrast, the Hereafter is surely coming. Those who hear this parable should, therefore, be aware of the significance of the Hereafter and feel eagerness in the goodness that it contains,

وَفِي الاْخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ

وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَتَاعُ الْغُرُور




But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment, and (there is) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure. And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.

meaning, surely, the Hereafter that will certainly come contains two things either severe punishment or forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure.

Allah the Exalted said,
وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَتَاعُ الْغُرُور
(And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment). meaning,

this life is only a form of enjoyment that deceives those who incline to it. Surely, those who recline to this life will admire it and feel that it is dear to them, so much so, that they might think that this is the only life, no life or dwelling after it. Yet, in reality, this life is insignificant as compared to the Hereafter.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَلْجَنَّةُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَى أَحَدِكُمْ مِنْ شِرَاكِ نَعْلِهِ وَالنَّارُ مِثْلُ ذلِك

Paradise is nearer to any of you than the strap on his shoe, and so is the (Hell) Fire.

Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith through the narration of Ath-Thawri.

This Hadith indicates the close proximity of both good and evil in relation to mankind. If this is the case, then this is the reason Allah the Exalted encouraged mankind to rush to perform acts of righteousness and obedience and to avoid the prohibitions. By doing so, their sins and errors will be forgiven and they will acquire rewards and an exalted status.

Allah the Exalted said