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AYAH al-Hadid 57:20 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ zoom
Transliteration IAAlamoo annama alhayatu alddunya laAAibun walahwun wazeenatun watafakhurun baynakum watakathurun fee al-amwali waal-awladi kamathali ghaythin aAAjaba alkuffara nabatuhu thumma yaheeju fatarahu musfarran thumma yakoonu hutaman wafee al-akhirati AAathabun shadeedun wamaghfiratun mina Allahi waridwanun wama alhayatu alddunya illa mataAAu alghuroori zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
  Know that the life (of) the world (is) play and amusement and adornment and boasting among you and competition in increase of the wealth and the children, like (the) example (of) a rain, pleases the tillers its growth; then it dries and you see it turning yellow; then becomes debris. And in the Hereafter (is) a punishment severe and forgiveness from Allah and Pleasure. But not (is) the life (of) the world except (the) enjoyment (of) delusion. zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad KNOW [O men] that the life of this world is but a play and a passing delight, and a beautiful show, and [the cause of] your boastful vying with one another, and [of your] greed for more and more riches and children. Its parable is that of [life-giving] rain: the herbage which it causes to grow delights the tillers of the soil; but then it withers, and thou canst see it turn yellow; and in the end it crumbles into dust. But [the abiding truth of man’s condition will become fully apparent] in the life to come: [either] suffering severe, or God’s forgiveness and His goodly acceptance: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion. zoom
M. M. Pickthall Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight (the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a Penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the devotees of Allah). And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception? zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight (t he hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a Penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And Forgiveness from God and (His) Good Pleasure (for the devotees o f God). And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception? zoom
Shakir Know that this world's life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow, pleases the husbandmen, then it withers away so that you will see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure; and this world's life is naught but means of deception. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan Never forget that the life of this world is only a game and a passing delight, a show, and mutual boasting and trying to outrival each other in riches and children. It is like the growth of vegetation after the rain, which delights the planter, but which then withers away, turns yellow and becomes worthless stubble. In the life to come there will be a terrible punishment, or God's forgiveness and approval: the life of this world is nothing but means of deception. zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Know that this present life is only a pastime, a diversion and an adornment and a mutual boasting among you and a rivalry in respect to wealth and children as the likeness of plenteous rain water. The plants impressed ones who are ungrateful. Again, it withers; then, thou hast seen it yellowing. Again, it becomes chaff while in the world to come there is severe punishment and forgiveness from God and contentment. And this present life is nothing but a delusion of enjoyment. zoom
T.B.Irving Know that worldly life is merely a sport and a pastime [involving] worldly show and competition among yourselves, as well as rivalry in wealth and children. It may be compared to showers where the plantlike amazes the incredulous: then it withers away and you see it turning yellow; soon it will be just stubble. In the Hereafter there will be both severe torment and forgiveness as well as approval on the part of God. Worldly life means only the enjoyment of illusion. zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab Know that this worldly life is no more than play, amusement, luxury, mutual boasting, and competition in wealth and children. This is like rain that causes plants to grow, to the delight of the planters. But later the plants dry up and you see them wither, then they are reduced to chaff. And in the Hereafter there will be either severe punishment or forgiveness and pleasure of Allah, whereas the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment. zoom
Safi Kaskas Know that the life of this world is just a game; recreation, glitter, boasting to one another and rivalry in wealth and children. It is like a rain that helps plants grow, pleasing the growers, but then it dries up and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes stubble. There is severe punishment in the Hereafter, as well as forgiveness from God and [His] approval. The life of this world is only an illusion. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) Know that this worldly life is no more than play and amusement, and boasting among you, and an increase in wealth and children. It is like plants that are supplied by an abundant rain, which appear pleasing to the disbelievers. But then they dry-up and turn yellow, and become useless hay. And in the Hereafter there is severe retribution, and forgiveness from God and approval. This worldly life is no more than a deceiving enjoyment. zoom
Abdel Haleem Bear in mind that the present life is just a game, a diversion, an attraction, a cause of boasting among you, of rivalry in wealth and children. It is like plants that spring up after the rain: their growth at first delights the sowers, but then you see them wither away, turn yellow, and become stubble. There is terrible punishment in the next life as well as forgiveness and approval from God; the life of this world is only an illusory pleasure. zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi Know that the life of the world is but a play and a pastime, and an adornment and a self-glorification among you and vying in respect of riches and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rains whereof the growth pleaseth the husbandmen, then it withereth and thou seest it becoming yellow, then it becometh chaff. And in the Hereafter there is both a grievous torment and forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure, and the life of the world is but a vain bauble. zoom
Ahmed Ali Know that the life of this world is only a frolic and mummery, an ornamentation, boasting and bragging among yourselves, and lust for multiplying wealth and children. It is like rain so pleasing to the cultivator for his vegetation which sprouts and swells, and then begins to wither, and you see it turn to yellow and reduced to chaff. There is severe punishment in the Hereafter, but also forgiveness from God, and acceptance. As for the life of this world, it is no more than merchandise of vanity. zoom
Aisha Bewley Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Next World there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. zoom
Ali Ünal Know that the present, worldly life is but a play, vain talk and ostentation, and mutual boasting among you, and competing in wealth and children – it is like when rain comes down and the vegetation grown by it pleases the farmers, (but) then it dries up and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes straw; and in the Hereafter there is a severe punishment, but also (there is) forgiveness from God and His good pleasure (which are everlasting); whereas the present, worldly life is but a transient enjoyment of delusion. zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i Know that the life of this world is just play and diversion, and glitter, and mutual vainglory among you and covetousness for wealth and children —like the rain whose vegetation impresses the farmer; then it withers and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes chaff, while in the Hereafter there is a severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure; and the life of this world is nothing but the wares of delusion. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz Know that the life of this world is only sport and play and idle talk and boasting among yourselves, and a rivalry in the multiplication of wealth and children; like the vegetation after rain, whereof the growth pleases the husbandmen; but then it withers zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali Know that the present life (Literally: the lowly life i.e., the life of this world) is only playing and diversion, and an adornment, and a cause for mutual boasting among you, and mutual multiplying in riches and children. It is as the likeness of succoring (rain) whose growth (looks) wonderful to the steadfast disbelievers. Thereafter it heaves, then you see it (turning) yellow; thereafter it becomes crushed to pieces. And in the Hereafter there is strict torment and forgiveness from Allah and all-blessed Satisfaction; and in no way is the present life anything except the enjoyment of delusion. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar Know that the worldly life is only a game, a temporary attraction, a means of boastfulness among yourselves and a place for multiplying your wealth and children. It is like the rain which produces plants that are attractive to the unbelievers. These plants flourish, turn yellow, and then become crushed bits of straw. In the life hereafter there will be severe torment or forgiveness and mercy from God. The worldly life is only an illusion. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Know well that the worldly life is but a play and an amusement, and a show of beauty, and exchange of boastful claims between you, and a competition of increase in riches and children. (All this is) like a rain, the growth of which attracts the farmers, then it withers, and you see it turning yellow, then it becomes straw. And in the Hereafter there is a severe punishment (for the disbelievers), and forgiveness from Allah and (Allah‘s) pleasure (for the believers and the righteous). The worldly life is nothing but a material of delusion. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed Know that (in comparison to Eternity) the life of this world is only play and a fleeting delight and decor and your mutual bragging, and pursuit of riches and children. Its example is that of rain - The plantation which it causes to grow, pleases the farmers. But then, it may wither and you can see it turn into yellow hay. And in the end it crumbles into dust! But in the Hereafter it is either grievous suffering or forgiveness from Allah and Approval. Again, the life of this world is nothing but a fleeting enjoyment of illusion. (Therefore, invest in the life to come for lasting rewards). zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed You (who believe!) know that the life of this world is but a play and amusement, self-praising and boasting (within yourselves), and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similarity— Like a rain and the growth which it brings forth, give happiness (to the hearts of) the tillers; (But) soon it withers; You will see it grow yellow; Then it becomes dry and it crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a penalty severe (for those who follow wrong), and a Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure, (for those who love and worship Him). And what is the life of the world, but goods and possessions (objects) of deception! zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion. zoom
Farook Malik You should know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, a show and boasting among yourselves, a quest for greater riches and more children. Its similitude is that of vegetation that flourish after rain: the growth of which delights the tillers, then it withers and you see it turn yellow, soon it becomes dry and crumbles away. In the hereafter there will be either severe punishment or forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but an illusion. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey You should know that the life of this world is (nothing but) fun and games _ merely play and pastime. (It consists of) the bragging and boasting among you about the adornments and embellishments (of your existence), and the abundance of your wealth and children. It is just like the shower of rain, which causes lush green (fields) that please the tillers. (But) later on, it dries up and you see it turn pale and become chaff. In the life-to-come, there is severe punishment (for the unbelievers), and forgiveness from Allah and His acceptance (for the believers). The life of this world is (nothing but) an illusive deception _ a brief enjoyment! zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar Do realise that what is Al-Hayat-ud-Dunya (the life devoted to this immediate world alone) becomes play and amusement, and pomp, and mutual boasting amongst you, and multiplication and enrichment in wealth and offspring. (This life is) like (the) rain: its vegetation brought the sowing-tillers to wonder; afterwards it dries up, so you see it turned yellowish, then it becomes straw. While in the Hereafter is severe torment, as well as Forgiveness from Allah, and (His) Agreement (and Assent). And what is the life devoted to this immediate world (alone) except a deceitful enjoyment! zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) Know that the worldly life is only play, and distraction, and glitter, and boasting among you, and rivalry in wealth and children. It is like a rainfall that produces plants, and delights the disbelievers. But then it withers, and you see it yellowing, and then it becomes debris. While in the Hereafter there is severe agony, and forgiveness from God, and acceptance. The life of this world is nothing but enjoyment of vanity. zoom
Maududi Know well that the life of this world is merely sport and diversion and adornment and an object of your boasting with one another, and a rivalry in the multiplication of riches and children. Its likeness is that of rain: when it produces vegetation it delights the tillers. But then it withers and you see it turn yellow, and then it crumbles away. In the Hereafter there is (either) grievous chastisement (or) forgiveness from Allah and (His) good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but delusion. zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad Know that this world’s life is only play and amusement, and decoration and show off among yourselves, and wanting more in the wealth and the children. It is like the example of a rain that its plant growth impresses the farmers, then it dries up and you see it turn yellow and then becomes broken pieces. And in the hereafter there is severe punishment (for the disbelievers) and forgiveness and pleasure of God (for the believers). And this world’s life is only means of the deception. zoom
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018) Know that the life of the present is but play and entertainment, pomp and boasting, and increasing for yourselves, wealth and children. Here is a similitude, the rain and the growth which it brings forth pleases the hearts of those who plant it, soon it withers, and you will see it grow yellow, then it becomes dry and crumbles away, but in the hereafter is a penalty severe, and forgiveness from God and His grace, and what is the life of the present but stuff of illusion? zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) Know that the worldly life is no more than play and distraction and adornments, and boasting among you, and to increase in wealth and children. It is like plants that are supplied by an abundant rain, which appear pleasing to the rejecters. But then they dry-up and turn yellow, and become useless hay. And in the Hereafter there is severe retribution, and forgiveness from God and acceptance. This worldly life is no more than a deceiving enjoyment. zoom
Mohammad Shafi Beware! The life of this world is only a game and a pastime, a show, and mutual boasting and out-rivaling each other in riches and children. It is like the growth of vegetation after the rain, which makes the skeptic wonder, but which then withers away, turns yellow and becomes worthless stubble. And in the Hereafter, severe punishment, forgiveness from Allah and His Pleasure! And the life of this world is nothing but means of deception. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian Know that the life in this world is nothing but a play and amusement. You are engaged in a show to compete among yourselves to earn more wealth and children in order to be proud of. The life in this world is like the plants which grow after a shower of rain, making people happy, but soon after they become yellow and turn into useless hay, blown away by the wind. This worldly life is not more than a temporary illusion. The real life starts in Hereafter where there is either a sever punishment for the disbelievers or forgiveness of the Lord accompanied by pleasure for the successful ones zoom
Faridul Haque Know that the life of this world is nothing but play and pastime, and adornment, and boasting amongst yourselves, and the desire to surpass each other in wealth and children; like the rain the produce of which pleased the farmer, then dried so you see it yellow, and then turned into dry trampled hay; and in the Hereafter is a severe punishment, and the forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure; and the life of this world is nothing but counterfeit wealth. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah Know that the life of this world is but play and an amusement, and adornment, and a cause for boasting among you, a rivalry for greater riches and children.It is like rain whose vegetation pleases the unbelievers, but then it withers and turns yellow, becoming broken stubble. In the Everlasting Life is a terrible punishment, forgiveness, and great pleasure from Allah. The life of this world is nothing except the joy of delusion. zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali Know that this world’s life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children. It is as rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow pleases the husbandmen, then it withers away so that thou seest it turning yellow, then it becomes chaff. And in the Hereafter is a severe chastisement, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure. And this world’s life is naught but a source of vanity. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira Know that the life the present/worldly life (is) playing/amusement and a play thing/amusement , and decoration/ornament , and competing in pride/arrogance/glory between you, and multiplication in the properties/possessions and the children, as/like rain (that) its plants pleased the disbelievers, then (it) dries and yellows , so you see it yellow/yellowish, then (it) becomes broken/debris/fragments , and in the end (other life is) a strong (severe) torture, and a forgiveness from God, and acceptance/approval ; and the life the present/worldly life is not except the deceits'/temptation's long life/enjoyment . zoom
Sher Ali Know that the life of this world is only a sport and a pastime, and an adornment, and a source of boasting among yourselves, and of rivalry in multiplying riches and children. It is like the rain, the vegetation produced whereby rejoices the tillers. Then it dries up and thou seest it turn yellow; then it becomes worthless stubble. And in the Hereafter there is severe punishment for the wicked and also forgiveness from ALLAH, and His pleasure for the righteous. And the life of this world is nothing but temporary enjoyment of delusive things. zoom
Rashad Khalifa Know that this worldly life is no more than play and games, and boasting among you, and hoarding of money and children. It is like abundant rain that produces plants and pleases the disbelievers. But then the plants turn into useless hay, and are blown away by the wind. In the Hereafter there is either severe retribution, or forgiveness from GOD and approval. This worldly life is no more than a temporary illusion. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Know that the life of the world is not but a sport and amusement and an adornment and a source of boasting among yourselves and desiring multiplication in riches and children against one another It is like the rain whose vegetation pleased the tillers, then it dried up that you see it yellow then it was trampled into pieces. And in the Hereafter, there is severe torment and forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure. And the life of the world is nothing but a deceitful wealth. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar Know that the life of this world is but a sport, wanton, an empty show, (a source of) boasting among yourselves and an emulous quest for more riches and children. It is like the rain, the vegetation produced whereby pleases the cultivators. Then it (- the vegetation) blooms and flourishes so that you can see it turn yellow (on ripening). Then (there comes a time when) it becomes (worthless) chaff. But the Hereafter promises both, a severe punishment (for the wicked) and (for the righteous there is) protection from Allah and (His) pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but a (temporary) enjoyment of delusive things. zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Know that the life of the world is nothing but a sport and pastime, and superficial beauty, and mutual boasting and self-praise, and ambition to excel in wealth and children over one another. Its similitude is rain whose produce pleases the farmers. Then it dries up. Then you see it turning yellow and then it becomes bits of stubble. And there is severe torment (for the disobedient) in the Hereafter, and forgiveness and great pleasure from Allah (for the obedient). And the life of the world is nothing but belongings that deceive. zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment. zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry Know that the present life is but a sport and a diversion, an adornment and a cause for boasting among you, and a rivalry in wealth and children. It is as a rain whose vegetation pleases the unbelievers; then it withers, and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becomes broken orts. And in the world to come there is a terrible chastisement, and forgiveness from God and good pleasure; and the present life is but the joy of delusion. zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Know that the life of this world is but a sport, and a play, and an adornment, and something to boast of amongst yourselves; and the multiplying of children is like a rain-growth, its vegetation pleases the misbelievers; then they wither away, and thou mayest see them become yellow; then they become but grit. But in the hereafter is a severe woe, and forgiveness from God and His goodwill; but the life of this world is but a chattel of guile. zoom
George Sale Know that this present life is only a toy and a vain amusement: And worldly pomp, and the affectation of glory among you, and the multiplying of riches and children, are as the plants nourished by the rain, the springing up whereof delighteth the husbandmen; afterwards they wither, so that thou seest the same turned yellow, and at length they become dry stubble. And in the life to come will be a severe punishment for those who covet worldly grandeur; and pardon from God, and favour for those who renounce it: For this present life is no other than a deceitful provision. zoom
John Medows Rodwell Know ye that this world's life is only a sport, and pastime, and show, and a cause of vainglory among you! And the multiplying of riches and children is like the plants which spring up after rain - Their growth rejoiceth the husband-man; then they wither away, and thou seest them all yellow; then they become stubble. And in the next life is a severe chastisement, Or else pardon from God and His satisfaction: and this world's life is but a cheating fruition. zoom
N J Dawood (2014) Know that the life of this world is but a sport and a diversion, a show and an empty boast among you, a quest for greater riches and more children. It is like the plants that flourish after rain: the unbelievers rejoices to see them grow; but then they wither and turn yellow, soon becoming worthless stubble. In the life to come there is a grievous scourge, forgiveness from God and good pleasure. The life of this world is but a pleasurable delusion. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim You -people- had better know that life here is hut an illusive and rapid change of feeling, fancy and thought and an amusement and a display of splendour, boastfulness and vainglory and treasuring of wealth and multiplication in progeny; all but regressing naturally to nothingness, like man who goes from childhood to youthfulness to maturity, then to wrinkles characteristic of age, then to weakness and infirmity, then he goes through the gates of death. A succession of events similar to a land that has been tilled and cultivated by those who care only for the material harvest and counsel deaf to spiritual harvest. Then it rained, and the crops grew delightfully well and to their hearts desire. Then suddenly the crops lost their bloom and natural colour, turned yellow then dried up, shriveled and decayed. Likewise, in the Hereafter there is a condign punishment, but also forgiveness and fulfillment of desire; and life here is but an animate existence affording pleasure deceiving those with foolish credulous ambition and vain employment of time. zoom
Mir Aneesuddin Know that the life of this world is nothing but sport and pastime and pomp and boasting among yourselves and competition for increase in wealth and children, it is like rain, the growth of vegetation through which pleases the farmer, then it dries up and you see it become yellow, then it becomes broken pieces. And in the hereafter there is severe punishment and protective forgiveness and pleasure from Allah. And the life of this world is nothing but a deceptive provision. zoom

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