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Muhammad Asad   
God propounds [to you] the parable of [two men-] a man enslaved, unable to do anything of his own accord, and a [free] man upon whom We have bestowed goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Ourselves, so that he can spend thereof [at will, both] secretly and openly. Can these [two] be deemed equal? All praise is due to God [alone]: but most of them do not understand it
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab   
Allah sets forth a parable: a slave who lacks all means, compared to a ˹free˺ man to whom We granted a good provision, of which he donates ˹freely,˺ openly and secretly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah. In fact, most of them do not know.
Safi Kaskas   
God set forth a parable [of two men]: one is a slave, unable to do anything of his own accord, and the other a [free] man to whom We have given ample wealth, so that he can spend at will, both secretly and openly. Can these two be considered equal? All praise is due to God, but most people do not know.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic   
‏ ضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلًا عَبْدًۭا مَّمْلُوكًۭا لَّا يَقْدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَىْءٍۢ وَمَن رَّزَقْنَهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًۭا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّۭا وَجَهْرًا ۖ هَلْ يَسْتَوُۥنَ ۚ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ‎
Transliteration (2021)   
ḍaraba l-lahu mathalan ʿabdan mamlūkan lā yaqdiru ʿalā shayin waman razaqnāhu minnā riz'qan ḥasanan fahuwa yunfiqu min'hu sirran wajahran hal yastawūna l-ḥamdu lillahi bal aktharuhum lā yaʿlamūn
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
  
sets forth Allah the example (of) a slave (who is) owned, not he has power on anything and (one) whom We provided him from Us a provision good, so he spends from it, secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? All praise (is) for Allah! Nay, but most of them (do) not know.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad   
God propounds [to you] the parable of [two men-] a man enslaved, unable to do anything of his own accord, and a [free] man upon whom We have bestowed goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Ourselves, so that he can spend thereof [at will, both] secretly and openly. Can these [two] be deemed equal? All praise is due to God [alone]: but most of them do not understand it
M. M. 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
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)   
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
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab   
Allah sets forth a parable: a slave who lacks all means, compared to a ˹free˺ man to whom We granted a good provision, of which he donates ˹freely,˺ openly and secretly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah. In fact, most of them do not know.
Safi Kaskas   
God set forth a parable [of two men]: one is a slave, unable to do anything of his own accord, and the other a [free] man to whom We have given ample wealth, so that he can spend at will, both secretly and openly. Can these two be considered equal? All praise is due to God, but most people do not know.
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
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
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar   
God propounded a parable of a chattel servant who has no power over anything and one to whom We provided from Us a fairer provision. And he spends from it secretly and openly publishing it. Are they on the same level? The Praise belongs to God. Nay! Most of them know not!
T.B.Irving   
God has made a comparison between a slave owned [by someone else] who cannot accomplish a thing, and someone whom We have provided for handsomely. He spends some of it privately and publicly. Are they equal? Praise be to God! Rather most of them do not know.
Abdul Hye   
Allah puts forward the example (of 2 men): a captive (disbeliever) under the possession of another, he has no power over anything, and (the other), a man (believer) on whom We have provided a good provision from Us, and he spends from it secretly and openly. Can they be equal? All the praises are to Allah. Nay! But most of them don’t know.
The Study Quran   
God sets forth a parable: a servant enslaved, with power over naught, and he unto whom We have provided a goodly provision from Us, who then spends of it secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to God! Nay, but most of them know not
Dr. Kamal Omar   
Allah brought forward (of two opposite categories): an abd under ownership (of some body), he has no power of any sort and (another) one whom We have bestowed a good provision from Us, so he spends thereof secretly and openly. Are (such) people equal? Specified Praise is restricted to Allah (Alone). Nay! The majority of them do not know
M. Farook Malik   
Allah gives you another example of two men: one of them is a slave, the property of the other, and has no power over anything; and the other man is one on whom We have bestowed Our bounty, from which he freely spends secretly and openly. Ask them: "Are those two men equal?" Praise be to Allah - most of them do not understand this simple thing
Talal A. Itani (new translation)   
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
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali   
Allah has struck a similitude: a slave possessed (by his patron), unable to determine anything, and one whom We have provided of Ourselves with a fair provision, (and) so he expends of it secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah! No indeed, most of them do not know
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
Muhammad Taqi Usmani   
Allah gives an example: There is a slave owned (by someone), who has no power over anything, and there is a person whom We have given good provision from Us, and he spends out of it secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah. But, most of them do not know
Shabbir Ahmed   
Allah gives you an example of two men; one of them is enslaved, unable to do anything of his own accord. And the other is a free man whom We have blessed with Our bounties, and he can spend of it on others secretly and openly. Can these two be deemed equal? Praise be to Allah! (So, praise Him by way of obedience). But the majority of humans do not understand that verbal thanks do not equal practical gratitude
Dr. Munir Munshey   
Allah quotes the example of a bonded slave who does not own a thing. To another, We have granted enough riches, and he spends his wealth, openly and in secret. Can the two be equal? (Of course not)! All praise is for Allah! But most people do not know
Syed Vickar Ahamed   
Allah brings forward the case (of two men: One) a slave under the control of another; He (the slave) has no power at all; And (the other) a man upon whom We have granted many good favors from Ourselves, and he spends from them (freely), privately and publicly: Then are the two equal? All the Praises (and thanks) be to Allah. But most of them do not understand
Umm Muhammad (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
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)   
God puts forth the example of a slave who is owned and cannot achieve anything, against one whom We have provided a good provision which he spends of it secretly and openly. Are they the same God be praised, but most of them do not know
Abdel 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
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
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
Aisha Bewley   
Allah does make a metaphor: an owned slave possessing no power over anything, and someone We have given plentiful provision who gives out from it secretly and openly. Are they the same? Praise be to Allah! They are not! But most people do not know it.
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
Ali Quli Qara'i   
Allah draws a parable: a chattel who has no power over anything, and one 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
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 th
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad   
God gave an example of an owned servant who has no power over anything, and someone whom We provided him with good provision from Us and he spends from it secretly and openly, are they equal? All praise belongs to God, but most of them do not know
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)   
God sets forth the parable of a servant under the control of another, He has no power of any sort, and a person on whom We have bestowed excellent favors from Ourselves, and he gives of it, privately and publicly. Are the two equal? Praise God, but most of them do not understand
Musharraf Hussain   
Allah gives you an example: a slave who is the helpless property of his master, and on the other hand a man blessed with gifts from which he gives in charity secretly and openly. Are they equal? All praise is for Allah, but most don’t recognise.
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)
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)   
God puts forth the example of a slave who is owned and cannot achieve anything, against one whom We have provided a good provision which he spends of it secretly and openly. Are they the same? Praise be to God, but most of them do not know.
Mohammad Shafi   
Allah gives an example: a slave — property of another person — who has no power over anything, and, on the other hand, a free man whom We have given a good provision from Ourselves and he spends from it secretly and openly. Are the two alike? To Allah is due all praise! But, most of them know not

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)   
Allah explained an example, that there is a slave, a property of the other, having himself no power, and there is one whom We have provided from Ourselves with good provision, then he spends out of it secretly and openly whether they will be equal? All praise belongs to Allah. But most of them know not.
Rashad Khalifa   
GOD cites the example of a slave who is owned, and is totally powerless, compared to one whom we blessed with good provisions, from which he gives to charity secretly and publicly. Are they equal? Praise be to GOD, most of them do not know.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah   
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
Maulana Muhammad Ali   
Allah sets forth a parable: There is a slave, the property of another, controlling naught, and there is one to whom we have granted from ourselves goodly provisions, so he spends from it secretly and openly. Are the two alike? Praise be to Allah! Nay, most of them know not
Muhammad Ahmed & Samira   
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
Bijan Moeinian   
Consider a slave who is owned (like man who is owned by God) and has no power. Then compare him with the one who (is being showered with so many blessings of Mine and) generously contributes to the charity (publicly or secretly.) Are these two equal? (If the answer is: “No”, then the Generous Lord is not equal to the helpless beings which are being raised to heaven by some.) Praise to the Lord, what a shame that most people simply do not get it
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
Sher Ali   
ALLAH sets forth for you the parable of a slave who is owned, having no power over anything; and a free man whom WE have provided with a fair provision from US and he spends thereof secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to ALLAH. But most of them know not
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri   
Allah has explained an example (that) there is a slave, possessed by (some master), having no control over anything (himself), and (the other) is the one to whom We have given the best provision, so he gives out to others out of it secretly and openly: can the two be held equal? All praise belongs to Allah alone. But most of them do not know (even the basic reality)
Amatul Rahman Omar   
Allah 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 Allah, but the thing is, most of these people do not know
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali   
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

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John 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
George Sale   
God propoundeth as a parable a possessed slave, who hath power over nothing, and him on whom we have bestowed a good provision from us, and who giveth alms thereout both secretly and openly: Shall these two be esteemed equal? God forbid! But the greater part of them know it not
Edward Henry Palmer   
God has struck out a parable; an owned slave, able to do nothing; and one whom we have provided with a good provision, and who expends therefrom in alms secretly and openly:- shall they be held equal?- Praise be to God, most of them do not know
John Medows Rodwell   
God maketh comparison between a slave the property of his lord, who hath no power over anything, and a free man whom we have ourselves supplies, and who giveth alms therefrom both in secret and openly. Shall they be held equal? No: praise be to God! But most men know it not
N J Dawood (2014)   
God makes this comparison: one a helpless slave, the property of his master; and one on whom We have bestowed a bounteous provision from which he gives in private and in public. Are the two equal? God be praised! But most of them have no knowledge

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto   
Allah presents the parable of a possessed slave who has no power of any kind and another man whom We have well blessed and who invests privately and publicly. Are they equal [in monetary worth, prestige, and authority]? Praise to Allah! Most people, however, do not understand.
Irving & Mohamed Hegab   
Allah (God) has made a comparison between a slave owned [by someone else] who cannot accomplish a thing, and someone whom We have provided for handsomely. He spends some of it privately and publicly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah (God)! Rather most of them do not know.
Sayyid Qutb   
God makes this comparison' between a man enslaved, unable to do anything of his own accord, and a [free] man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours, and he gives of it both in private and in public. Can these two be equal? All praise is to God alone, but most people have no knowledge.
Ahmed Hulusi   
Allah gives the example: A slave who has no power over anything and someone to whom We have provided life sustenance and who gives to others from it both secretly and publicly... Can they be equal? Hamd (the evaluation of the corporeal worlds created with His Names, as He wills) belongs to Allah! But no, the majority of them do not know.
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli   
Allah sets forth a parable of a bonded slave, having no power over anything, and one whom We have provided with good means of sustenance from Us, then he spends from it secretly and openly. Are they equal Praise belongs to Allah! But most of them do not know.
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur‘an al-Karim   
Allah cites an instance of two men in illustration of a general truth. One is a slave, the property of his master, who is divested of freedom and personal rights, the other is the master in whom Our grace abounds; he is free to spend in divine service and/or in other services secretly and publicly. Can they produce or achieve something equal or possess a like degree in any aspect of life! Never. Therefore, how can Allah the Creator of all be equaled with any being! Praise be to Him and extolled are His glorious attributes, but most of them do not realize this fact
Mir Aneesuddin   
Allah sets forth a similitude: a slave under someone’s control, having no power on anything; and (another person) whom We have provided from Ourselves a good provision so that he spends from it secretly and openly; are they equal? Praise is due only for Allah. No! the majority of them does not know.

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)   
God 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 public ly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to God. But most of them understand not
OLD Literal Word for Word   
Allah sets forth the example (of) a slave (who is) owned, not he has power on anything and (one) whom We provided him from a provision good, so he spends from it, secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? All praise (is) for Allah! Nay, but most of them (do) not know
OLD Transliteration   
Daraba Allahu mathalan AAabdan mamlookan la yaqdiru AAala shay-in waman razaqnahu minna rizqan hasanan fahuwa yunfiqu minhu sirran wajahran hal yastawoona alhamdu lillahi bal aktharuhum la yaAAlamoona