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Muhammad Asad
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth, smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds; but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted: thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another. And as for those who are slain in God’s cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
So when you meet the disbelievers ˹in battle˺, strike ˹their˺ necks until you have thoroughly subdued them, then bind them firmly. Later ˹free them either as˺ an act of grace or by ransom until the war comes to an end. So will it be. Had Allah willed, He ˹Himself˺ could have inflicted punishment on them. But He does ˹this only to˺ test some of you by means of others. And those who are martyred in the cause of Allah, He will never render their deeds void.
Safi Kaskas
So, when you encounter the unbelievers [in battle], strike at their necks. Then, once they are defeated, bind them firmly. Then either release them by grace, or by ransom, until the war is over. God could have defeated them Himself if He had willed, but He wants to test some of you by means of others. As for those who are killed in the cause of God, He will not let their deeds go to waste. [:

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Arabic
فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ذَٰلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ لَانتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُم
Transliteration
Fa-itha laqeetumu allatheena kafaroo fadarba alrriqabi hatta itha athkhantumoohum fashuddoo alwathaqa fa-imma mannan baAAdu wa-imma fidaan hatta tadaAAa alharbu awzaraha thalika walaw yashao Allahu laintasara minhum walakin liyabluwa baAAdakum bibaAAdin waallatheena qutiloo fee sabeeli Allahi falan yudilla aAAmalahum 
Transliteration-2
fa-idhā laqītumu alladhīna kafarū faḍarba l-riqābi ḥattā idhā athkhantumūhum fashuddū l-wathāqa fa-immā mannan baʿdu wa-immā fidāan ḥattā taḍaʿa l-ḥarbu awzārahā dhālika walaw yashāu l-lahu la-intaṣara min'hum walākin liyabluwā baʿḍakum bibaʿḍin wa-alladhīna qutilū fī sabīli l-lahi falan yuḍilla aʿmālahu
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
So when you meet those who disbelieve, then strike the necks until when you have subdued them, then bind firmly the bond, then either a favor afterwards or ransom until lays down the war its burdens. That. And if had willed Allah surely, He could have taken re from them, but to test some of you with others. And those who are killed in (the) way (of) Allah, then never He will cause to be lost their deeds.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth, smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds; but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted: thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another. And as for those who are slain in God’s cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste
M. M. Pickthall
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
So when you meet the disbelievers ˹in battle˺, strike ˹their˺ necks until you have thoroughly subdued them, then bind them firmly. Later ˹free them either as˺ an act of grace or by ransom until the war comes to an end. So will it be. Had Allah willed, He ˹Himself˺ could have inflicted punishment on them. But He does ˹this only to˺ test some of you by means of others. And those who are martyred in the cause of Allah, He will never render their deeds void.
Safi Kaskas
So, when you encounter the unbelievers [in battle], strike at their necks. Then, once they are defeated, bind them firmly. Then either release them by grace, or by ransom, until the war is over. God could have defeated them Himself if He had willed, but He wants to test some of you by means of others. As for those who are killed in the cause of God, He will not let their deeds go to waste. [:
Wahiduddin Khan
When you meet those who deny the truth in battle, strike them in the neck,[39] and once they are defeated, make [them] prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as an act of grace, or let them ransom [themselves] until the war is finally over. Thus you shall do; and if God had pleased, He would certainly have exacted retribution from them, but His purpose is to test some of you by means of others. As for those who are killed in God's cause, He will never let their deeds be in vain
Shakir
So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
So when you met those who were ungrateful, then, strike their thick necks until you gave them a sound thrashing. Then, tie them fast with restraints. And afterwards either have good will towards them or take ransom for them until the war ends, laying down its heavy load. Thus, it is so! But if God willed, He Himself would have, certainly, avenged you. But it is to try some of you with some others. As for those who were slain in the way of God, He will never cause their actions to go astray.
T.B.Irving
Whenever you encounter the ones who disbelieve [during war], seize them by their necks until once you have subdued them, then tie them up as prisoners, either in order to release them later on or also to ask for ransom, until war lays down her burdens. Thus shall you do-; yet if God so wished, He might defend Himself from them-in order that some of you may be tested by means of one another. The ones who have been killed in God´s way will never find their actions have been in vain;
Abdul Hye
So, when you meet (fight with) those who disbelieve, strike at their necks till you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (and take them as captives). After the war lays down its burden, then either show generosity (free them without ransom), or ransom (to benefit Islam). But if Allah had willed, He could certainly have won over them. But (He adapted this way) in order to test some of you with others. Those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.
The Study Quran
When you meet those who disbelieve, strike at their necks; then, when you have overwhelmed them, tighten the bonds. Then free them graciously or hold them for ransom, till war lays down its burdens. Thus [shall it be]. And if God willed, He would take vengeance upon them, but that He may test some of you by means of others, And as for those who are slain in the way of God, He will not make their deeds go astray
Dr. Kamal Omar
When you became interlocked (in an armed encounter) with those who disbelieved, then smiting the necks (becomes obligatory) until the stage when you have fully subdued them. Then firmly establish the process of arrest. Then if whatever generosity (is to be done, it would be done) later on; and if whatever ransom (is to be eccepted it also would process later on. Generosity or ransom do not apply) untill the war lays down its burdens (i.e., it has completely exhausted its fury). That (is the Law). And if Allah desires, He will surely implement retribution on them; but (He prefers a bitter fight) so that He may test some of you through some (others). And those who are slain in the Way of Allah — so He will never let their deeds be lost (or go in vain)
Farook Malik
Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield smite their necks and, when you have thoroughly subdued them, then take prisoners of war and bind them firmly. After the war lays down her burdens, then you have the choice whether you show them favor or accept ransom. Thus are you commanded. If Allah wanted, He Himself could have punished them; but He adopted this way so that He may test some of you by means of others. As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
When you encounter those who disbelieve, strike at their necks. Then, when you have routed them, bind them firmly. Then, either release them by grace, or by ransom, until war lays down its burdens. Had God willed, He could have defeated them Himself, but He thus tests some of you by means of others. As for those who are killed in the way of God, He will not let their deeds go to waste
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
So when you meet the ones who have disbelieved, then it is striking of the necks until, when you have subjugated (Wrongly understood by Arberry and others to mean "slaughter") them, then uphold the bonds; (i.e., take them captives) then (it is) either being bounteous (i.e., "showing" bounty by setting them free) hereafter (to them), or (exacting) ransom, until the war lays down its encumbrances. So it shall be; and if Allah had (so) decided, He would have vindicated Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others (Literally: by means of some "others"). And the ones who have been killed in the way of Allah, then He will never send their deeds into error
Muhammad Sarwar
If you encounter the disbelievers in a battle, strike-off their heads. Take them as captives when they are defeated. Then you may set them free as a favor to them, with or without a ransom, when the battle is over. This is the Law. Had God wanted, He could have granted them (unbelievers) victory, but He wants to test you through each other. The deeds of those who are killed for the cause of God will never be without virtuous results
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
So, when you encounter those who disbelieve, then (aim at) smiting the necks, until when you have broken their strength thoroughly, then tie fast the bond, (by making them captives). Then choose (to release them) either (as) a favour (shown to them,), or (after receiving) ransom, until the war throws down its load of arms. That (is Our command.) If Allah willed, He would have (Himself) subjected them to retribution, but (Allah ordered you to fight,) so that He may test some of you through some others. And those who are killed in Allah‘s way, He will never let their deeds go to waste
Shabbir Ahmed
Now if you meet the disbelievers in battle, strike at their command centers. When you have subdued them, bind in a firm bond, and thereafter an act of kindness or ransom till the battle lays down its weapons. (Free the captives as an act of kindness or ransom, such as in exchange for your men in their captivity. There is no third option). And if Allah willed, He could indeed punish them Himself, but that He may let you humans test one by means of another (as to which nation remains vigilant). And, as for those who are slain in the Cause of Allah, He will never let their actions be lost
Dr. Munir Munshey
So, when you clash with the disbelievers (in battle) slay them! If you over power them, take them prisoners and secure them well. Later when the weapons are laid down, either release them on ransom, or graciously on their own (as a favor). Allah could have exacted revenge, had He wanted; But He wants to test some of you by certain others among you. Allah will never waste the deeds of those who are slain in the way of Allah
Syed Vickar Ahamed
Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers [in a holy battle], strike (hard) at their necks; Till you have fully defeated (and finally felled) them. Place a bond firmly (on them): Thereafter (is the time for) either kindness or negotiation (with ransom): Until, the war lays down its burdens, (and it ends). Like this (are you commanded); But if it had been Allah’s Will, He (Himself) could certainly have ordered punishment for them; But (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some (to fight) with others. But those who are killed in the way of Allah— He will never let their deeds be lost
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah - never will He waste their deeds
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
So, if you encounter those who have rejected, then strike their formations until you overcome them, then bind them securely. You may either set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. And had God willed, He alone could have beaten them, but He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of God, He will never let their deeds be put to waste
Abdel Haleem
When you meet the disbelievers in battle, strike them in the neck, and once they are defeated, bind any captives firmly––later you can release them by grace or by ransom––until the toils of war have ended. That [is the way]. God could have defeated them Himself if He had willed, but His purpose is to test some of you by means of others. He will not let the deeds of those who are killed for His cause come to nothing
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
Now when ye meet those who disbelieve, smite their necks until when ye have slain them greatly, then make fast the bonds; then, thereafter let them off either freely or by ransom, until the war layeth down the burthens thereof. That ye shall do. And had Allah willed, He would have vindicated Himself against them, but He ordained fighting in order that He may prove you one by the other. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He shall not send their works astray
Ahmed Ali
So, when you clash with the unbelievers, smite their necks until you overpower them, then hold them in bondage. Then either free them graciously or after taking a ransom, until war shall have come to end. If God had pleased He could have punished them (Himself), but He wills to test some of you through some others. He will not allow the deeds of those who are killed in the cause of God to go waste
Aisha Bewley
Therefore when you meet those who are kafir strike their necks. Then when you have decimated them, tie their bonds tightly and set them free or ransom them, until the war is finally over. That is how it is to be. If Allah willed, He could avenge Himself on them. But it is so that He can test some of you by means of others. As for those who fight in the Way of Allah, He will not let their actions go astray.
Ali Ünal
So, when you meet those who disbelieve in war, smite at their necks (without giving them opportunity to defeat you). At length, when you have sufficiently suppressed them, (without continuing fighting) bind a firm bond of captivity on them. Then set them free either as a favor without demanding anything in return, or for ransom (which may consist of a reciprocal exchange of prisoners of war), so that warfare may abandon weapons and come to an end. That (is God’s command). Had God so willed, He would certainly exact retribution from them (Himself), but (He orders you to fight) in order to try you by means of one another. As for those who are killed in God’s cause, He will never render their deeds vain
Ali Quli Qara'i
When you meet the faithless in battle, strike their necks. When you have thoroughly decimated them, bind the captives firmly. Thereafter either oblige them [by setting them free] or take ransom till the war lays down its burdens. That [is Allah’s ordinance], and had Allah wished He could have taken vengeance on them, but that He may test some of you by means of others. As for those who were slain in the way of Allah, He will not let their works go awry
Hamid S. Aziz
So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite their necks until when you have overcome them, make them prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favour or let them ransom themselves until the war terminates. That is the command. A
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
And when you encounter those who disbelieved (during war), then strike their necks until you have thoroughly overcome them, then fasten the ties firmly, then later (set them free) either by a favor or by a ransom until the war puts down its burdens (and comes to an end). So it is (God's will), and if God wants, He would take revenge from them, but (He doesn't) so that He tests some of you by the others. Those who are killed in God’s way, He never makes their works ineffective (and useless)
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers in war, strike at their necks, then when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly. Afterwards is the time for either generosity or ransom, but not until the war lays down its burdens, but if it had been God's will, He could certainly have taken retribution from them Himself. But He wills to challenge you with others, but those who are slain in the way of God, He will never let their deeds be lost
Musharraf Hussain
When you encounter the disbelievers in battle beat their necks until they are thoroughly weakened, then tie them up with ropes as captives. Afterwards, you can release them gracefully or take a ransom from them, but they must have surrendered their weapons. That is an order. Had Allah wanted, He could have taken revenge Himself from them, but he wishes to test some of you with others. Allah will never let the deeds of those killed go to waste.
Maududi
When you meet the unbelievers (in battle), smite their necks until you have crushed them, then bind your captives firmly; thereafter (you are entitled to) set them free, either by an act of grace, or against ransom, until the war ends. That is for you to do. If Allah had so willed, He would have Himself exacted retribution from them. (But He did not do so) that He may test some of you by means of others. As for those who are slain in the way of Allah, He shall never let their works go to waste
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
Therefore, if you encounter those who have rejected, then strike the necks; until you bind them, then secure the cords. You may then either set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. That, and if God had willed, He alone could have beaten them, but He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of God, He will never let their deeds be put to waste
Mohammad Shafi
Then when you confront in war those who suppress the Truth, smite their necks until you subdue them, and then take them securely into custody [as prisoners of war]. Thereafter [you may set them free,] either as an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war is lifted. But thus it is — and had Allah so willed, He could indeed punish them Himself — so as to test you [all] by means of one another. And those that are killed in Allah's Path — He will never let their deeds go waste

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
Therefore when you encounter the infidels, then there is smiting of the necks, till when you have fully slaughtered, then tie fast, and afterwards leave them, either by grace or for ransom, till the war lay down its burdens. This is so. And had Allah willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them, but that He may try among you one against the other. And those who have been killed in the way of Allah, Allah shall never render their works vain.
Rashad Khalifa
If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers smite their necks, then, when you have killed many of them, tie the bonds. Then, either free them by grace orransom until war shall lay down its loads, in this way, it shall be. Had Allah willed, He would have been victorious over them; except that He might test you, the oneby the means of others. As for those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will not let their works to go astray
Maulana Muhammad Ali
So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (shall be so). And if Allah please, He would certainly exact retribution from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will never allow their deeds to perish
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
So if you met/found those who disbelieved, so hitting the necks until when you weakened them , so strengthen the rope/tie/chain (confinement), so either/or blessing (releasing war prisoners) after (the war ends), and either ransom/compensation until the battle/war/fight drops its weights/burdens (ends), that and if God wants/wills He would have gotten victory from them, and but to test some of you with some (to test each other), and those who were killed in God's way/path , so He will never/not misguide their deeds
Bijan Moeinian
If you are engaged in a war with disbelievers, fight with them bravely and strike their necks. When the war is over, you may chose to free the captives or ask for a ransom for their freedom. Know that if God wanted, he would have made you victorious without any fight. The Lord simply wants to test you by one another to prove to you how sincere you are in your belief. Be sure that God will never forget the sacrifice of those who offered their lives as a proof of their belief to their Creator
Faridul Haque
So when you confront the disbelievers, strike at their necks; until when you have slain them in plenty, tie them up firmly; then after that, you may either release them as a favour or take ransom, until the war lays down its ordeal; this is it; and had Allah willed He Himself could have taken revenge from them, but this is to test some of you with others; and Allah will surely never waste the deeds of those who were killed in His way
Sher Ali
And when you meet in regular battle those who disbelieve, smite their necks; and, when you have overcome them, by causing great slaughter among them, bind fast the fetters - then afterwards either release them as a favour or by taking ransom - until the war lays down its burdens. That is the ordinance. And if ALLAH had so pleased, HE could have punished them Himself, but HE has willed that HE may try some of you by others. And those who are killed in the way of ALLAH - HE will never render their works vain
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
So when you are to fight (for the elimination of militancy and terrorism) against the (warring) disbelievers (in the battlefield), strike their necks (whilst fighting because they slaughtered harmless human lives and destroyed peace by their terrorist activities) till, when you have killed a good many of them (in the battle), then tie (the remaining prisoners) tightly. Thereafter, either set (them) free (without ransom) as a favour or (free them) for ransom (i.e., cost of freedom) till the warring (hostile army) lays down its weapons (i.e., announces the truce). That is (the command). And if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself on them (without war). But (He did not do so) in order to try some of you by means of others. And as for those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not at all make their actions fruitless
Amatul Rahman Omar
So (believers! now that you know the will of your Lord), when you meet in (regular) battle those who disbelieve strike off their heads. After you have bound them fast in fetters (as prisoners of war), then, afterwards, (release them, a must), either by way of grace or by (accepting) ransom. (That is the law,) until war lays down its weapons (and it is over). Such is (the ordinance of Allah). Indeed if Allah pleased He could have punished them (in other ways). But (the ways of warfare have been resorted to) so that He may reveal your worth at the hands of one another. As of those who are slain in the cause of Allah He will never let their works go in vain
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allahs Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus (you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection), but if it had been Allahs Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if God had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of God, He will not send their works astray
George Sale
When ye encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them; and bind them in bonds: And either give them a free dismission afterwards, or exact a ransom; until the war shall have laid down its arms. This shall ye do: Verily if God pleased, He could take vengeance on them, without your assistance; but He commandeth you to fight his battles, that He may prove the one of you by the other. And as to those who fight in defence of God's true religion, God will not suffer their works to perish
Edward Henry Palmer
And when ye meet those who misbelieve - then striking off heads until ye have massacred them, and bind fast the bonds! Then either a free grant (of liberty) or a ransom until the war shall have laid down its burdens. That!- but if God please He would conquer them - but (it is) that He may try some of you by the others. And those who are slain in God's cause, their works shall not go wrong
John Medows Rodwell
When ye encounter the infidels, strike off their heads till ye have made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters. And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings, till the war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do. Were such the pleasure of God, he could himself take vengeance upon them: but He would rather prove the one of you by the other. And whoso fight for the cause of God, their works he will not suffer to miscarry
N J Dawood (2014)
When you meet the unbelievers strike off their heads and, when you have wrecked widespread slaughter among them, bind your captives firmly. Then either grant them their freedom or take a ransom from them, until War shall lay down her burdens. Thus shall you do. Had God willed, He could Himself have punished them; but thus shall it be that He may test you, the one by the other. As for those who are slain in the cause of God, He will not bring their deeds to nothing

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
[When war is necessary for self-defense,] when you engage the unbelievers, smite them on their necks. Finally, when the enemies are subdued, firmly hold them to a bond [a fair POW agreement] until time for generous release or ransom after the burden of war has ended. Thus you are commanded. If Allah had so willed, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them Himself, but [He allows war] in order to test you [for willingness to sacrifice] and others [in the event they might believe]. The deeds of those slain in the cause of Allah will never be for loss.
Ahmed Hulusi
When you encounter those who deny the knowledge of the reality (in battle), strike their necks! And when you have overpowered them, secure their bonds (take them as captives). Thereafter, either free them out of favor or ransom them. Until the war is over. Thus it is! Had Allah willed He would surely have made them live (suffer) the consequence of their offences. But he tried some of you with some of them (through war)... As for those who are killed in the way of Allah, their works will never be lost!
Mir Aneesuddin
So when you meet (in the battle) those who do not believe, strike off their necks until when you dominate them, then strengthen the bounds (of imprisonment); then afterwards, either show favour or ransom (them), till the war (ends and) lays down its burdens (do like) that. And if Allah wills, He can defend (you) from them, but (He involves you in such situations) that He may test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the way of Allah, their deeds will never be lost.
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
So conditioned, when you people encounter those deniers of Allah, in combat, strike their necks to inflict death, and subdue the living at their peril, keep them in confinement and restrict their movements until hostilities have ceased and your enemies have laid down their arms. There and then you either set the captives free for nothing at all in return or for a ransom or for the freedom of Muslim captives. Had Allah willed, He would have punished them in His own manner. But He means to rear you and educate you so that your actions evince both wisdom and integrity, Allah then will establish your genuineness and quality as is asserted or claimed when reason has to deal with force and when you deal with each other in peace and in wars and to prove that the purpose of Allah is objectively the heart of your purpose. And remember that those of you who resisted blood, to acquire the glorious privilege of a martyr never will Allah imprint their works with irreverence profanity or damnation

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burd ens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been God's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of God,- He will never let their deeds be lost
OLD Literal Word for Word
So when you meet those who disbelieve, then strike the necks until when you have subdued then bind firmly the bond, then either a favor afterwards or ransom until lays down the war its burdens. That. And if Allah had willed surely, He could have taken re from them, but to test some of you with others. And those who are killed in (the) way of Allah, then never He will cause to be lost their deeds