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AYAH al-Anbiya` 21:39 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic لَوْ يَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا حِينَ لَا يَكُفُّونَ عَن وُجُوهِهِمُ النَّارَ وَلَا عَن ظُهُورِهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ zoom
Transliteration Law yaAAlamu allatheena kafaroo heena la yakuffoona AAan wujoohihimu alnnara wala AAan thuhoorihim wala hum yunsaroona zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
  If knew those who disbelieved (the) time (when) not they will avert from their faces the Fire and not from their backs and not they will be helped! zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad If they but knew - they who are bent on denying the truth - [that there will come] a time when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, and will not find any succour! zoom
M. M. Pickthall If those who disbelieved but knew the time when they will not be able to drive off the fire from their faces and from their backs, and they will not be helped! zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) If only the Unbelievers knew (the time) when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor yet from their backs, and (when) no help can reach them! zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) If only the Unbelievers knew (the time) when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor yet from their backs, and (when) no help can reach them! zoom
Shakir Had those who disbelieve but known (of the time) when they shall not be able to ward off the fire from their faces nor from their backs, nor shall they be helped. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan If only those who deny the truth knew the time when they would not be able to ward off the fire neither from their faces nor from their backs. They will not be helped! zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar If those who were ungrateful but know at the time when they will not limit the fire from their faces, nor from their backs and they will not be helped! zoom
T.B.Irving If those who disbelieve only knew about the time when they will not fend the Fire off from their faces nor from their backs, nor will they be supported. zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab If only the disbelievers knew that a time will come when they will not be able to keep the Fire off their faces or backs, nor will they be helped. zoom
Safi Kaskas If the unbelievers only knew the time when they will not be able to divert the Fire from their faces or from their backs, and they will find no help. zoom
Abdul Hye  (They would not ask) if the disbelievers knew the time when they will neither be able to protect their faces from the fire nor their backs, and they will not be helped. zoom
The Study Quran If those who disbelieved but knew of the time when they shall not be able to hold back the Fire from their faces or from their backs, nor be helped! zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) If only those who reject knew, that they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, nor will they be helped. zoom
Abdel Haleem If the disbelievers only knew, the time will arrive when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces or their backs, and they will get no help. zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi If only those who disbelieve have known of the time when they shall not be able to ward off from their faces the Fire nor from their backs, nor shall they be succoured! zoom
Ahmed Ali If only the unbelievers could apprehend the moment when they would neither be able to ward off the fire from their faces and their backs, nor help reach them! zoom
Aisha Bewley If those who are kafir only knew of the time when they will not be able to keep the Fire away from their faces or their backs! And they will receive no help! zoom
Ali Ünal If only those who persistently disbelieve knew the time when they will be unable to ward off the Fire from their faces, and from their backs, and they will never be helped against it! zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i If only the faithless knew of the time when they will not be able to keep the Fire off their faces and their backs, nor will they be helped! zoom
Hamid S. Aziz If those who disbelieve but knew the time when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces and from their backs, and they will not be helped! zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali If the ones who have disbelieved knew while (Or: the time when) they will not restrain the Fire from their faces nor from their backs, nor will they be vindicated. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar Would that the unbelievers knew that no one would protect their faces and backs against the fire, nor they would be helped. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Only if the disbelievers were to know the time when they will not (be able to) keep off the fire from their faces or from their backs, nor will they be helped. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed If those who are bent upon denial, but knew that they will not be able to repel the fire from their faces and from their backs, and they will not be helped! zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed If the disbelievers only knew (the time) when they will not be able to keep away the Fire from their faces, nor from their back and (when) no help can reach them! zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) If those who disbelieved but knew the time when they will not avert the Fire from their faces or from their backs and they will not be aided... zoom
Farook Malik They would not have asked this question if only the unbelievers knew the Day when they will be able to protect neither their faces from the fire of hell nor their backs, nor will they be helped! zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey If the unbelievers could only imagine the moment when they will struggle in vain to ward off the fire from their faces and their backs! They shall have no help. zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar If those who have disbelieved know when they will not ward off the Fire from their faces, and nor from their backs, and neither they will be given any assistance zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) If those who disbelieve only knew, when they cannot keep the fire off their faces and off their backs, and they will not be helped. zoom
Maududi If only the unbelievers knew of the Hour when they shall not be able to keep off the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs; nor shall they be helped. zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad If those who disbelieved knew of the time that they will not be able to keep the fire away from their faces and from their backs and they will not be helped (then they would not say such things). zoom
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018) If only the unbelievers knew of the time when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, nor will they be helped. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) If only those who reject knew, that they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, nor will they be helped. zoom
Mohammad Shafi Had those who suppress the Truth but known that a time would come when they shall not be able to ward off the fire from their faces or from their backs! And then they shall get no help. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian If the disbelievers could see the Day that they are trying to turn the Fire off from their faces and from their backs while nobody comes to their help. zoom
Faridul Haque If only the disbelievers realised the time when they will not be able to stop the fire from their faces and from their backs - and nor are they to be helped. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah If the unbelievers only knew when they will be unable to shield either their faces or their backs from the Fire; when they will not be helped! zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali If those who disbelieve but knew the time when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, and they will not be helped! zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira If those who disbelieved know when they do not prevent/stop the fire from their faces/fronts, and nor from their backs, and nor they, they be given victory/aid. zoom
Sher Ali If only the disbelievers knew the time when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, and they will not be helped. zoom
Rashad Khalifa If only those who disbelieve could envision themselves when they try to ward off the fire - off their faces and their backs! No one will help them then. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Anyhow the infidels knew the time when they will not be able to keep off fire from their mouths not from their backs, neither they shall be helped. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar How good it would be if those who disbelieve could know the time when they will not be able to ward off (the flames of) the fire from their faces nor from their backs and they shall not be helped! zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri If the disbelievers knew the time when they will not be able to keep off the Fire (of Hell) from their faces and their backs, nor will they be helped (then they would not call out to hasten the torment). zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali If only those who disbelieved knew (the time) when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs; and they will not be helped. zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry If the unbelievers but knew when that they shall not ward off the Fire from their faces nor from their backs, neither shall they be helped! zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Did those who misbelieve but know when the fire shall not be warded off from their faces nor from their backs, and they shall not be helped! zoom
George Sale If they who believe not, knew that the time will surely come, then they shall not be able to drive back the fire of hell from their faces, nor from their backs, neither shall they be helped, they would not hasten it. zoom
John Medows Rodwell Did the infidels but know the time when they shall not be able to keep the fire of hell from their faces or from their backs, neither shall they be helped! zoom
N J Dawood (2014) If only the unbelievers knew the day when they shall strive in vain to shield their faces and their backs from the fire of Hell; the day when none shall succour them! zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb If only the unbelievers knew [that there will come] a time when they will not be able to shield their faces and their backs from the fire; a time when they will find no support. zoom
Ahmed Hulusi If only those who deny the knowledge of the reality knew the time when they would not be able to ward off the fire neither from their faces (their internal world) nor from their backs (their external world); if only they knew the time when they will not be helped! zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli If those who disbelieve but know the time when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces and from their backs, nor shall they be helped, (they would not hasten about the Resurrection). zoom
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim If only these infidels who deny Allah knew that there shall come a time when they shall not be able to avert the blazing fire from their faces nor from their backs nor shall they be afforded help! zoom
Mir Aneesuddin And they say, "When will this promise (come to pass) if you are truthful?" zoom

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