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AYAT at-Taubah 9:109 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ zoom
Transliteration Afaman assasa bunyanahu AAala taqwa mina Allahi waridwanin khayrun am man assasa bunyanahu AAala shafa jurufin harin fainhara bihi fee nari jahannama waAllahu la yahdee alqawma alththalimeena zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
  Then is (one) who founded his building on righteousness from Allah and (His) pleasure better or (one) who founded his building on edge (of) a cliff (about to) collapse, so it collapsed with him in (the) Fire (of) Hell. And Allah (does) not guide the wrongdoing people. zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad Which. then, is the better: he who has founded his building on God-consciousness and [a desire for] His goodly acceptance-or he who has founded his building on the edge of a water-worn, crumbling river-bank, so that it [is bound to] tumble down with him into the fire of hell? For, God does not grace with His guidance people who [deliberately] do wrong: zoom
M. M. Pickthall Is he who founded his building upon duty to Allah and His good pleasure better; or he who founded his building on the brink of a crumbling, overhanging precipice so that it toppled with him into the fire of hell? Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. zoom
Shakir Is he, therefore, better who lays his foundation on fear of Allah and (His) good pleasure, or he who lays his foundation on the edge of a cracking hollowed bank, so it broke down with him into the fire of hell; and Allah does not guide the unjust people. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) Which then is best? - he that layeth his foundation on piety to Allah and His good pleasure? - or he that layeth his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? and it doth crumble to pieces with him, into the fire of Hell. And Allah guideth not people that do wrong. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) Which then is best? - he that layeth his foundation on piety to God and His good pleasure? - or he that layeth his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? and it doth crumble to pieces with him, into the fire of Hell. And God guideth not people that do wrong. zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Is one who founded his structure on the God-consciousness of God and His contentment better than he who founded his structure on the brink of a crumbling, tottering bank of a river so that it tumbled with him into the fire of hell? And God guides not the folk, the ones who are unjust! zoom
Wahiduddin Khan Who is better, he who founds his building on the fear of God and His good pleasure, or he who builds on the brink of a crumbling precipice, so that his house is ready to fall with him into the Fire of Hell? God does not guide the wrongdoers: zoom
T.B.Irving Is someone who founds his building on heeding and pleasing God better, or someone who founds his building along the edge of a crumbling bluff, so it crumbles along with him into Hell fire? God does not guide such wrongful folk: zoom
[Al-Muntakhab] Is he who has built his structure on a foundation of piety and the gratification of Allah better or the one who has built his structure on a foundation of impiety featured by a building founded on an undermined sandcliff which collapses and crumbles away in the fire of Hell! And Allah does not guide to His path of righteousness the wrongful of actions. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) Is one who lays his foundation on obtaining righteousness from God and His acceptance better, or one who lays his foundation on the edge of a cliff which is about to crumble, so that it crumbled with him into the fires of Hell God does not guide the wicked people. zoom
Abdel Haleem Which is better, the person who founds his building on consciousness of God and desire for His good pleasure, or the person who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice that will tumble down into the Fire of Hell, taking him with it? God does not guide the evildoers: zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi Is he, then, who hath founded his building upon piety towards Allah and His good-will better, or he who hath founded his building on the brink of a crumbling bank, so that it crumbleth with him into the Hell-fire! And Allah guideth not the wrong-doing people. zoom
Ahmed Ali Is the man who lays the foundations of his sanctum on his allegiance to God and the wish to seek His favour, better, or he who lays the foundations of his building on the edge of a bank eroded by water, which will collapse with him into the fire of Hell? But God does not guide the people who are wilfully unjust. zoom
Aisha Bewley Who is better: someone who founds his building on taqwa of Allah and His good pleasure, or someone who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice so that it collapses with him into the Fire of Hell? Allah does not love wrongdoers. zoom
Ali Ünal Is he better, who founded his building (religion and personal world) on piety and reverence for God, and the aim to please God, or he who founded his building on the edge of a water-worn, crumbling river-bank so that it tumbles with him into the Hell-fire? God does not guide wrongdoing people. zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i Is he who founds his building on Godwariness and [the pursuit of Allah’s] pleasure better-off or he who founds his building on the brink of a collapsing bank which collapses with him into the fire of hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing lot. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz Is he who has laid his foundation upon the fear of (duty to) Allah and of His good pleasure better, or he who has laid his foundation upon a crumbling undermined sand cliff, which crumbles away with him into the fire of hell? Allah guides not a people who zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali So, is he who founded his structure upon piety to Allah and all-blessed Satisfaction more charitable, or he who founded his structure upon the brink of a toppling precipice, (and) so it has toppled down with him in the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the unjust people. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar Which is better, the mosque that is founded for pious purposes and for achieving God's pleasure or that which is based on the brink of a crumbling bank and which may crumble into hell at any moment? God does not guide the unjust. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Then tell me, which one is better, whether the one who has founded his building on fear of Allah and on search of His pleasure, or the one who has founded his building on the edge of an abyss that is about to collapse, then it did collapse with him into the fire of Jahannam ? Allah does not give guidance to the unjust people. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed Is he who founded his building on the Secure Way of Allah and His goodly Acceptance better, or he who founded his building on the crumbling cliff of "Shirk" that topples down with him into the fire of Hell? Allah does not intervene to guide a folk who displace right with wrong. zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed Then, who is best? He (the one) who lays the foundation of his building (home) on devotion to Allah and His Good Pleasure? or he who lays the foundation of his building on a weak sand-hill ready to break to pieces? And it (the mosque) does break to pieces with him, into the fire of Hell. And Allah does not guide people who do wrong. zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. zoom
Farook Malik Who is a better person; he who lays the foundation of his building on piety to Allah and His good pleasure, or he who lays the foundation of his building on an undermined bank that will tumble down with him into the fire of Hell? Allah does not guide such wrongdoers. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey So, who will fare better (do you think)? The one who raised his building on piety and the pleasure (and approval) of Allah, or the one who raised his building upon the brink of a crumbling water-worn precipice. It will crumble and topple him right into the fire of hell. Allah does not guide the nation of wrong doers. zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Who is better—the one who founds his edifice (i.e., mosque) on the fear of Allah and (His) pleasure and satisfaction, or the one who lays the foundation of his building on the edge of a crumbling precipice? So, that (building) tumbled down with its architect into the Fire of Hell. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoers. zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar So then that who laid the foundation of his building on obedience to Allah and (His) agreements, attestations and good pleasures — is better, or that who laid the foundation of his building on an undetermined brink, of a precipice, ready to crumble down? So (this brink) crumbled down together with that (building) into the Fire of Hell. And Allah does not guide the nation of the transgressors. zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) Is he who founds his structure upon piety and acceptance from God better, or he who founds his structure on the brink of a cliff that is about to tumble, so it tumbles with him into the Fire of Hell? God does not guide the unjust people. zoom
Bilal Muhammad (2013 Edition) Which then is best? He who lays his foundation on piety to God and His blessings, or he who lays his foundation on an unstable sand-cliff waiting to collapse? And it will crumble to pieces with him into the fire of hell, and God does not guide people while they do wrong.  zoom
Maududi Is he, then, who has erected his structure on the fear of Allah and His good pleasure better, or he who erects his structure on the brink of a crumbling bank, so that it crumbles down with him into the Hell-Fire? Allah does not bestow His Guidance on the wrong-doing folk. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) Is he who founds his building on obtaining righteousness from God and His acceptance better, or he who founds his building on the edge of a cliff which is about to crumble, so that it crumbled with him into the fires of Hell? And God does not guide the wicked people. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian Is the one who has built his place of worship on the basis of the piety and the Lord’s approval better or the one who establishes his building on the brink of a crumbling cliff, that is going to fall down with him in the Fire of Hell. God indeed does not guide the unjust people. zoom
Faridul Haque So is one who established his foundation upon the fear of Allah and upon His pleasure better, or the one who laid his foundation upon the brink of a falling precipice, so it fell along with him into the fire of hell? And Allah does not guide the unjust. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah Is he who founds his building on the fear of Allah and His pleasure, better or he who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling edge so that it will tumble with him into the Fire of Gehenna? Allah does not guide the harmdoers. zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali Is he, then, who lays his foundation on duty to Allah and (His) good pleasure better, or he who lays his foundation on the edge of a cracking hollowed bank, so it broke down with him into the Fire of hell? And Allah guides not the unjust people. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira Is who founded (established) his building/structure on fear and obedience from God and acceptance/approval better ? Or who founded (established) his building/structure on (the) edge/brink (of) a cracking/falling/weakly undercut bank/shore , so it collapsed/fell down with him in Hell's fire? And God does not guide the nation the unjust/oppressive. zoom
Sher Ali Is he, then, who founded his building on the fear of ALLAH and HIS pleasure better or he who has founded his building on the brink of a tottering water-worn bank which tumbled down with him into the fire of Hell? And ALLAH guides not the wrongdoing people. zoom
Rashad Khalifa Is one who establishes his building on the basis of reverencing GOD and to gain His approval better, or one who establishes his building on the brink of a crumbling cliff, that falls down with him into the fire of Hell? GOD does not guide the transgressing people. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Then is he who laid foundation upon the fear of Allah and His pleasure better or he who laid his foundation on the brink of a falling pit, then he fell with it in the fire of the Hell? And Allah does not give way to the people unjust. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar Is he, who founded his edifice on taking Allah as a shield and (on) His good pleasure, better or he who founded his edifice on the brink of a hollowed and crumbling water-worn bank so that it toppled along with him into the Fire of Gehenna? And Allah guides not the wrong doing people (to the ways of success). zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali Is it then he, who laid the foundation of his building on piety to Allah and His Good Pleasure, better, or he who laid the foundation of his building on an undetermined brink of a precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbled to pieces with him into the Fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the Zalimoon (cruel, violent, proud, polytheist and wrong-doer). zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry Why, is he better who founded his building upon the fear of God and His good pleasure, or he who founded his building upon the brink of a crumbling bank that has tumbled with him into the fire of Gehenna? And God guides not the people of the evildoers. zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Is he who has laid his foundation upon the fear of God and of His good-will better, or he who has laid his foundation upon a crumbling wall of sand, which crumbles away with him into the fire of hell?- but God guides not a people who do wrong. zoom
George Sale Whether therefore is he better, who hath founded his building on the fear of God and his good will; or he who hath founded his building on the brink of a bank of earth which is washed away by waters, so that it falleth with him into the fire of hell? God directeth not the ungodly people. zoom
John Medows Rodwell Which of the two is best? He who hath founded his building on the fear of God and the desire to please Him, or he who hath founded his building on the brink of an undermined bank washed away by torrents, so that it rusheth with him into the fire of Hell? But God guideth not the doers of wrong. zoom
N J Dawood (draft) Who is a better man, he who founds his house on the fear of God and His good pleasure, or he who builds on the brink of a crumbling precipice, so that his house will fall with him into the fire of Hell? God does not guide the wrongdoers. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb Who is better: a man who founds his building [motivated by a sense of] being God-fearing and seeking His goodly acceptance, or one who founds his building on the edge of a crumbling precipice, so that it tumbles with him in the fire of hell? God does not guide the wrongdoers. zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli Is he, therefore, better who has laid his foundation on fear of Allah and (His) good pleasure, or he who has laid his foundation on the brink of a crumbling hollowed bank that tumbles with him into the Fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the unjust people. zoom
Mir Aneesuddin Then, is he who founded his building for guarding (himself) from (the punishment of) Allah and (for winning) His pleasure better or he who founded his building on the edge of a cracking hollowed bank, so that it crumbles down with him into the fire of hell? And Allah does not guide the unjust people. zoom
Mohammad Shafi Who is better then: the one who lays his foundation on fear of Allah and His good pleasure, or the one who lays his foundation on the brink of a crumbling hollowed bank, and which crumbles down with him into the fire of Hell ? And Allah does not guide the people who deliberately do wrong, unjust things. zoom

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CORPUS QURAN
WORD-BY-WORD
 
    WORD-BY-WORD Arabic of this verse
  http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=9&verse=109
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