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AYAH al-Isra` 17:57 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا zoom
Transliteration Ola-ika allatheena yadAAoona yabtaghoona ila rabbihimu alwaseelata ayyuhum aqrabu wayarjoona rahmatahu wayakhafoona AAathabahu inna AAathaba rabbika kana mahthooran zoom
Transliteration-2 ulāika alladhīna yadʿūna yabtaghūna ilā rabbihimu l-wasīlata ayyuhum aqrabu wayarjūna raḥmatahu wayakhāfūna ʿadhābahu inna ʿadhāba rabbika kāna maḥdhūran zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
 Those whom they call, seek to their Lord the means of access, which of them (is) nearest, and they hope (for) His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, (the) punishment (of) your Lord is (ever) feared. zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad Those [saintly beings] whom they invoke are themselves striving to obtain their Sustainer's favour - [even] those among them who are closest [to Him] - hoping for His grace and dreading His chastisement: for, verily, thy Sustainer's chastisement is something to beware of! zoom
M. M. Pickthall Those unto whom they cry seek the way of approach to their Lord, which of them shall be the nearest; they hope for His mercy and they fear His doom. Lo! the doom of thy Lord is to be shunned. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of. zoom
Shakir Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord-- whoever of them is nearest-- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement; surely the chastisement of your Lord is a thing to be cautious of. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan Those whom they invoke are themselves seeking a way of approach to their Lord, vying with each other to be near Him. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Surely, the punishment of your Lord is to be feared: zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Those are those to whom they call to, they are looking for an approach to their Lord—whoever is nearer—and they hope for His mercy and they fear His punishment. Truly, the punishment of thy Lord had been one to beware. zoom
T.B.Irving Even those whom they appeal to, crave access to their Lord, vying to nearest. They hope for His mercy and fear His torment. Your Lo torment is something to beware of.´ zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab ˹Even˺ the closest ˹to Allah˺ of those invoked would be seeking a way to their Lord, hoping for His mercy, and fearing His punishment. Indeed, your Lord’s torment is fearsome. zoom
Safi Kaskas Those to whom they pray are themselves seeking a way to approach their Lord- striving to be nearest, hoping for His mercy, and fearing His punishment for your Lord's punishment is certainly something to be concerned about. zoom
Abdul Hye  Those to whom they pray, desire the means of access to their Lord, which of them should be the nearest, and they hope for His Mercy and fear Hiss punishment. Surely, the punishment of your Lord is (something to be) afraid of. zoom
The Study Quran It is they who make supplication, seeking a means of approach to their Lord. Which of them is nearer? And they hope for His Mercy and fear His Punishment. Truly the Punishment of thy Lord is something of which to be wary. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) The ones you call on, they are themselves seeking a path to their Lord which is nearer, and they desire His mercy, and they fear His retribution. The retribution of your Lord is to be feared! zoom
Abdel Haleem Those [angels] they pray to are themselves seeking a way to their Lord, even those who are closest to Him. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is much to be feared: zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi Those whom they call upon themselves seek access to their Lord, striving which of them shall be the nearest; and they hope for His mercy and fear His torment; verily the torment of thy Lord is ever to be guarded against. zoom
Ahmed Ali Those they invoke themselves seek the way to their Lord, (striving) which one of them shall be nearest (to Him); and hope for His grace, and dread His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is to be feared! zoom
Aisha Bewley Those they call on are themselves seeking the means by which they might approach their Lord — even those who are the closest to Him — and are hoping for His mercy and fearing his punishment. The punishment of your Lord is truly something to be feared. zoom
Ali Ünal Those whom they invoke themselves seek a means to approach their Lord, each trying to be nearer to Him, hoping for His mercy and fearing His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is surely to be feared and avoided. zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i They [themselves] are the ones who supplicate, seeking a recourse to their Lord, whoever is nearer [to Him], expecting His mercy and fearing His punishment.’ Indeed your Lord’s punishment is a thing to beware of. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz Those on whom they call, themselves seek for a means of approaching to their Lord, to see which of them is nearest: and they hope for His mercy and they fear His doom; verily, the doom of your Lord is to be shunned. zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali Those they invoke are (themselves) seeking the means for (close) proximity to their Lord, whichever of them will be nearer; and they hope for His mercy and fear His torment. Surely your Lord?s torment is a thing to be wary of. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar Those whom they worship seek to find intercessors for themselves with God. (They try to find out which of the intercessors) are closer to God. They have hope for His mercy and fear of His punishment; the punishment of your Lord is awesome. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Those whom they invoke, do themselves seek the means of access to their Lord as to which of them becomes the closest, and they hope for His Mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is really something to be feared. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed Even the believing sages whom they call upon, are themselves striving to obtain their Lord's favor and closeness. They hope for His Grace, and fear His Requital. Verily, your Lord's Requital is something to beware of! zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed Those whom they call upon want a way to reach their Lord— Even those who are nearest: Hope for His Mercy, and fear His Anger: Because the Anger of your Lord is something to regard. zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, [striving as to] which of them would be nearest, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is ever feared. zoom
Farook Malik Those to whom they pray, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord - trying as to who can be more near - they hope for His Mercy and fear His punishment, for the punishment of your Lord is terrible indeed. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey They themselves pray to Him and vie each other to seek the means to get closer to Him. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord deserves to be feared. zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar Those whom people call upon (as deities, partners in Allah’s Dominion or as intercessors) seek and desire Al-Wasilah (means of access) to their Nourisher-Sustainer as to who of them becomes nearer (to Him) and they hope for His mercy and they fear His punishment. Verily, the punishment coming from your Nourisher-Sustainer is something against which preventive steps must be taken. zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) Those they call upon are themselves seeking means of access to their Lord, vying to be nearer, and hoping for His mercy, and fearing His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is to be dreaded. zoom
Maududi Those whom they call upon are themselves seeking the means of access to their Lord, each trying to be nearer to Him. They crave for His Mercy and dread His chastisement. Surely your Lord´s punishment is to be feared. zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad Those whom they call on, they look for the mean to their Master, anyone of them who are closer (to God) and they hope for His mercy and they fear His punishment. Indeed your Master's punishment is to be avoided. zoom
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018) Those who they call on desire ways to access their Lord, even those who are nearest. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment, for the punishment of your Lord is that which you should remain aware. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) The ones you call on, they are themselves seeking a path to their Lord which is nearer, and they desire His mercy, and they fear His retribution. The retribution of your Lord is to be feared! zoom
Mohammad Shafi They themselves — whom they call upon — seek the means of getting closest, among themselves, to their Lord. And they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is a thing to be afraid of. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian In fact, those whom people call upon for help (such as Jesus, Mary, saints, etc.), strive to get closer and closer to the Lord by all possible means. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is indeed a terrible thing. zoom
Faridul Haque The devoted bondmen whom these disbelievers worship, themselves seek the means of proximity from their Lord, that who among them is the closest (to his Lord), and hope for His mercy and fear His punishment; indeed the punishment of your Lord is to be feared. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah Those, they call upon are themselves seeking a means to come to their Lord, competing with each other to be nearer; they hope for His Mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is the subject of caution. zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord -- whoever of them is nearest -- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement. Surely the chastisement of thy Lord is a thing to be cautious of. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira Those are those who call, they desire the means/way of approach to their Lord, which of them (is) nearer/closer, and they hope/expect His mercy, and they fear His torture, that your Lord's torture was/is cautioned/warned/feared of. zoom
Sher Ali Those, whom they call on, themselves seek nearness to their Lord - even those of them who are nearest - and hope for HIS mercy, and fear HIS punishment. Surely the punishment of thy Lord is a thing to be feared. zoom
Rashad Khalifa Even the idols that they implore are seeking the ways and means towards their Lord. They pray for His mercy, and fear His retribution. Surely, the retribution of your Lord is dreadful. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Those chosen bondmen whom these infidels worship, they themselves seek access towards their Lord that who is nearer to Him in them, they hope for His mercy and fear His torment. No doubt. The torment of your Lord is a thing to be feared. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar Those whom they call upon (apart from Him, thinking them to be a means of gaining nearness to God,) themselves seek nearness to their Lord and solicit His favour (even) those of them who are nearest (to God are still competing to be closer to Him) and hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. As a matter of fact the punishment of your Lord is a thing to beware of. zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Those that they worship (i.e., they prepare sculptures and images of angels, jinn, the Prophet ‘Isa [Jesus], ‘Uzayr [Ezra] and others and worship them) look for mediation to their Lord (themselves) as to who amongst them is most intimate (in the presence of Allah). And they (themselves) hope for His mercy and fear His torment. (Now say yourselves how they can be gods. They are prostrating themselves before the True God.) Indeed, the torment of your Lord is a thing to fear. zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali Those whom they call upon (like Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), Uzair (Ezra), angel, etc.) desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah), as to which of them should be the nearest and they (Iesa (Jesus), Uzair (Ezra), angels, etc.) hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is something to be afraid of! zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry Those they call upon are themselves seeking the means to come to their Lord, which of them shall be nearer; they hope for His mercy, and fear His chastisement. Surely thy Lord's chastisement is a thing to beware of. zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Those on whom they call, seek themselves for a means of approaching their Lord, (to see) which of them is nearest: and they hope for His mercy and they fear His torment; verily, the torment of thy Lord is a thing to beware of. zoom
George Sale Those whom ye invoke, do themselves desire to be admitted to a near conjunction with their Lord; striving which of them shall approach nearest unto Him: They also hope for his mercy, and dread his punishment; for the punishment of thy Lord is terrible. zoom
John Medows Rodwell Those whom ye call on, themselves desire union with their Lord, striving which of them shall be nearest to him: they also hope for his mercy and fear his chastisement. Verily the chastisement of thy Lord is to be dreaded. zoom
N J Dawood (2014) Those to whom they pray, themselves seek to approach their Lord, vying with each other to be near Him. They crave His mercy and fear His punishment; for your Lord‘s punishment is to be feared indeed. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb Those whom they invoke strive to obtain their Lord's favour, vying with each other to be near Him. They hope for His grace and dread His punishment. Indeed your Lord's punishment is something to beware of. zoom
Ahmed Hulusi They, whom they invoke, seek a means of closeness to their Rabb, they hope for His grace and fear His suffering! Indeed, the suffering of your Rabb is that which should be feared! zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli Those whom they call upon, themselves search for means of approaching their Lord which of them is nearer, and they hope for His mercy, and fear His punishment. Verily, the punishment of your Lord is to be dreaded of. zoom
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim Those to whom they make a devout supplication -Saints, jinn or angels- are themselves devout servants of Allah seeking the union of their nature with the Divine, and striving which of them shall be the nearest to Allah and the more efficient in serving His purpose! They entertain expectation of His mercy and they dread His retributive punishment. Indeed, the punishment Allah, your Creator, inflicts on the offender makes one heedful, for the thought of it arouses an emotional feeling tinged with latent and deep mysterious fear. zoom
Mir Aneesuddin Those whom they pray to, they themselves seek the means of access to their Fosterer (competing to see) which of them is nearer, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Fosterer is certainly something to be cautious of. zoom

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