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Popular and/or Featured Works
Muhammad Asad
obedience [to God’s call] and a word that could win [His] approval: for, since the matter has been resolved [by His revelation], it would be but for their own good to remain true to God
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
to obey and speak rightly. Then when fighting was ordained, it surely would have been better for them if they were true to Allah.
Safi Kaskas
To show Obedience and good words. Then, when the decision to fight has been made, being true to God would have been better for them.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic
طَاعَةٌ وَقَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ فَإِذَا عَزَمَ الْأَمْرُ فَلَوْ صَدَقُوا اللَّهَ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم
Transliteration
TaAAatun waqawlun maAAroofun fa-itha AAazama al-amru falaw sadaqoo Allaha lakana khayran lahum
Transliteration-2
ṭāʿatun waqawlun maʿrūfun fa-idhā ʿazama l-amru falaw ṣadaqū l-laha lakāna khayran lahu
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
(Is) obedience and a word kind. And when (is) determined the matter, then if they had been true (to) Allah, surely, it would have been better for them.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
obedience [to God’s call] and a word that could win [His] approval: for, since the matter has been resolved [by His revelation], it would be but for their own good to remain true to God
M. M. Pickthall
Obedience and a civil word. Then, when the matter is determined, if they are loyal to Allah it will be well for them
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
Were it to obey and say what is just, and when a matter is resolved on, it were best for them if they were true to Allah
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
to obey and speak rightly. Then when fighting was ordained, it surely would have been better for them if they were true to Allah.
Safi Kaskas
To show Obedience and good words. Then, when the decision to fight has been made, being true to God would have been better for them.
Wahiduddin Khan
Obedience and saying what is just would become them more; when the decision is taken, it would be better for them if they acted sincerely towards God
Shakir
Obedience and a gentle word (was proper); but when the affair becomes settled, then if they remain true to Allah it would certainly be better for them
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
But better for them would be obedience and an honorable saying! And when the affair was resolved, then, if they were sincere to God, it would have been better for them.
T.B.Irving
to [offer their] obedience and use decent speech; when some matter is resolved, it would be better for them if they acted sincerely towards God.
Abdul Hye
Obedience (to Allah) and good words (are better for them). When the matter (preparation for fight) is resolved, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.
The Study Quran
would be obedience to God and honorable speech. Then, when the matter is resolved, were they true to God, it would be better for them
Dr. Kamal Omar
obedience and a straight forward statement. And when the decision (for Qital) became firm, then if they had remained truthful to Allah (in their commitment), surely it would have been better for them
Farook Malik
On their tongues is the promise of obedience and good talk, so if they would have proved their promise with Allah when the final command was given, it would have been better for them
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
Obedience and upright speech. Then, when the matter is settled, being true to God would have been better for them
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
Obedience and beneficent saying. Then, when the Command is resolved, then if they were sincere to Allah, indeed it would be more charitable (i.e., better) for them
Muhammad Sarwar
Since they have (pledged) Us obedience and to speak reasonably, it would be more proper for them, when it is decided (that everyone must take part in the battle), to remain true (in their pledge to God)
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
The (reality of their) obedience and (truthfulness of their) speech is fully known (as being mere deception). So, had they been truthful to Allah when the matter had become serious, it would have been much better for them
Shabbir Ahmed
Obedience and a righteous word. For, once a matter has been determined, it would be best for them if they were true to Allah
Dr. Munir Munshey
Only obedience and welcome remarks are accepted, once the order is revealed. Had they stayed loyal to Allah, they would have fared better
Syed Vickar Ahamed
Were they to obey (Allah) and say good word what are just, when a matter (of holy war) is resolved (by Allah’s Will), it would be best for them, if they were true to Allah
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
Obedience and good words. And when the matter [of fighting] was determined, if they had been true to Allah , it would have been better for them
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
Obedience and to speak righteousness until the matter is decided, then if they trust God it would be better for them
Abdel Haleem
would be obedience and fitting words; it would also be better for them to be true to God when the decision to fight has been made
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
Their obedience and speech are known. Then when the affair is determined, if even then they gave credence Unto Allah, it would have been better for them
Ahmed Ali
Obedience and modest speech (would have been more becoming). And when the matter has been determined it is best for them to be true to God
Aisha Bewley
would be obedience and honourable words. Once the matter is resolved upon, being true to Allah would be better for them.
Ali Ünal
(Whereas, what true believers are expected to do in response to any Divine order is) obedience and a proper word. So, if they were true to God when the command has been resolved upon (and it calls them to do what their pledge to God requires them), it would certainly be good for them
Ali Quli Qara'i
Obedience and upright speech . . . . So when the matter has been resolved upon, if they remain true to Allah that will surely be better for them
Hamid S. Aziz
Obedience and just (or civil, appropriate) words would be proper; but when the affair becomes settled, then if they remain true to Allah it would certainly be better for them
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
Obedience and nice word (is more appropriate). And when the matter is decided, if they are true to God it would be better for them
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
Would be to follow and say what is just, and when a matter is settled, it was best for them if they were true to God
Musharraf Hussain
to obey and to say a good thing when the commandment came to pass. If only they were sincere about Allah, that would be far better for them.
Maududi
(They keep affirming their) obedience and saying good words. But when a course of action was clearly determined, it would have been better for them if they had proved true to Allah
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
Obedience and to speak righteousness until the matter is decided, then if they trust God it would be better for them.
Mohammad Shafi
[Far better for them woud be] obedience and a word of gratitude! Now that the matter is settled — [by the revelation concerning war] — it would certainly be for their good to remain true to Alah

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
That they would have obeyed and spoken good words. Then when the order has been finalized, if they were true to Allah, it would have been better for them.
Rashad Khalifa
Obedience and righteous utterances are expected of them. If only they showed confidence in GOD, when mobilization was called for, it would have been better for them.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
Yet obedience and honorable words (would be better for them). Then, when the matter is decided, if they were true to Allah it would be better for them
Maulana Muhammad Ali
Obedience and a gentle word (was proper). Then when the affair is settled, it is better for them if they remain true to Allah
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
Obedience and a generous word/opinion and belief , so if the matter/affair (was) determined/decided , so if they were truthful (to) God (it) would have been better for them
Bijan Moeinian
Obedient and righteous by word! If they knew how beneficial it would have been for them to fight when God asked them to do so
Faridul Haque
To obey and speak good; so when the manifest command came - it would have been better for them if they had remained faithful to Allah
Sher Ali
Their attitude should have been one of obedience and of calling people to good. And when the matter was determined upon, it was good for them if they were true to ALLAH
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
(Best for them would be) obedience and good words. So when the command of fighting (for self-protection and self-defence) was definite (and firm), then if they had been true to Allah (in obedience and dedication), that would have been better for them
Amatul Rahman Omar
(More fitting and proper for them was) to obey and to say what is just and good. And when the matter (of fighting) is (once) resolved upon (and war breaks out) it is better for them if they remain true to Allah (and fulfill the covenant they made with Him)
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
Obedience (to Allah) and good words (were better for them). And when the matter (preparation for Jihad) is resolved on, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
obedience, and words honourable. Then, when the matter is resolved, if they were true to God, it would be better for them
George Sale
But obedience would be more eligible for them, and to speak that which is convenient. And when the command is firmly established, if they give credit unto God, it will be better for them
Edward Henry Palmer
Preferable for them were obedience and a reasonable speech! But when the matter is determined on, then if they believed God it were better for them
John Medows Rodwell
And if, when the command for war is issued, they are true to God, it will be assuredly best for them
N J Dawood (2014)
Yet obedience and courteous speech would become them better. Indeed, should fighting be ordained, it would be better for them to be true to God

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
…to obey and speak properly. When a matter is resolved [because of a revelation], it would have been better for them to have been true to Allah.
Ahmed Hulusi
(Their duty here is) obedience and a good word! And when the matter is settled, if they had been loyal to Allah, surely it would have been better for them.
Mir Aneesuddin
(What is required is) obedience and a recognised (good) word. Then when the affair is determined, then if they be truthful to Allah, that would be better for them.
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
Willing obedience coupled with words expressing desire for action should have been their response and when Allah's command comes about, then if their actions to their words accord, it would be more advantageous to them

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
Were it to obey and say what is just, and when a matter is resolved on, it were best for them if they were true to God
OLD Literal Word for Word
(Is) obedience and a word kind. And when (is) determined the matter, then if they had been true (to) Allah, surely, it would have been better for them