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Muhammad Asad
And so, when you met in battle, He made them appear as few in your eyes -just as He made you appear as of little account in their eyes - so that God might accomplish a thing [which He willed] to be done: for all things go back to God [as their source]
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Then when your armies met, Allah made them appear as few in your eyes, and made you appear as few in theirs, so Allah may establish what He had destined. And to Allah ˹all˺ matters will be returned ˹for judgment˺.
Safi Kaskas
When you met in battle, He made them appear as few in your eyes, just as He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that God might bring about a matter already decided. These matters are decided by God.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic
وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِكُمْ قَلِيلًا وَيُقَلِّلُكُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِهِمْ لِيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُور
Transliteration
Wa-ith yureekumoohum ithi iltaqaytum fee aAAyunikum qaleelan wayuqallilukum fee aAAyunihim liyaqdiya Allahu amran kana mafAAoolan wa-ila Allahi turjaAAu al-omooru
Transliteration-2
wa-idh yurīkumūhum idhi l-taqaytum fī aʿyunikum qalīlan wayuqallilukum fī aʿyunihim liyaqḍiya l-lahu amran kāna mafʿūlan wa-ilā l-lahi tur'jaʿu l-umūr
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
And when He showed them to you, when you met - in your eyes (as) few and He made you (appear) as fe in their eyes that might accomplish Allah a matter (that) was (already) destined. And to Allah return (all) the matters.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
And so, when you met in battle, He made them appear as few in your eyes -just as He made you appear as of little account in their eyes - so that God might accomplish a thing [which He willed] to be done: for all things go back to God [as their source]
M. M. Pickthall
And when He made you (Muslims), when ye met (them), see them with your eyes as few, and lessened you in their eyes, (it was) that Allah might conclude a thing that must be done. Unto Allah all things are brought back
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
And remember when ye met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes, and He made you appear as contemptible in their eyes: that Allah might accomplish a matter already enacted. For to Allah do all questions go back (for decision)
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Then when your armies met, Allah made them appear as few in your eyes, and made you appear as few in theirs, so Allah may establish what He had destined. And to Allah ˹all˺ matters will be returned ˹for judgment˺.
Safi Kaskas
When you met in battle, He made them appear as few in your eyes, just as He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that God might bring about a matter already decided. These matters are decided by God.
Wahiduddin Khan
When at the time of your encounter He made them appear few in your eyes, and made you appear few in their eyes, it was so that God might bring about that which had been decreed. Everything returns to God
Shakir
And when He showed them to you, when you met, as few in your eyes and He made you to appear little in their eyes, in order that Allah might bring about a matter which was to be done, and to Allah are all affairs returned
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
And mention when He causes you to see them when you met one another as few in your eyes and He makes you few in their eyes so that God decrees a command that had been one that is accomplished. And commands are returned to God.
T.B.Irving
When He showed you them as a few in your eyes as you met, He made you seem few in their eyes too, so God might settle a matter which had already been determined. To God do matters return.
Abdul Hye
And (remember) when you met (disbelievers during the battle of Badr), He showed them to you as few in number in your eyes and He made you appear as few in number in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish a matter that was already ordained, and to Allah all matters return (for decision).
The Study Quran
And [remember] when He showed them to you, when you met them, as being few in your eyes, and made you appear to be few in their eyes, so that God may conclude a matter that was to be done. And unto God are all matters returned
Dr. Kamal Omar
And when He makes you people see them when you got interlocked (with the infidel-force) in your eyes as a small (military force); and side by side makes you (appear) small in number in their eyes — so that Allah may give decision in the matter which stands accomplished (as a prediction from Allah). And to Allah are matters made to return
Farook Malik
And remember when you met them in the encounter, He showed them to you as few in number in your eyes and He made you appear as a few in number in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish what He had ordained: for ultimately all affairs return to Allah for decision
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
When you met, He made them appear as few in your eyes, and made you appear fewer in their eyes, so that God may conclude a predetermined matter. To God all matters revert
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
And as He showed you them in your eyes as few, as you encountered, and made you few in their eyes, that Allah might decree a Command that was to be performed, and to Allah all Commands are returned
Muhammad Sarwar
When you met the pagans' army, God made them appear fewer in your eyes and you appear fewer in their eyes so that His miracle of granting you (an incredible) victory could easily be fulfilled. To God do all things return
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
And when, at the time you met each other, He showed them to you few in number in your eyes, and reduced your number in their eyes, so that Allah might accomplish what was destined to be done. And to Allah all matters are returned
Shabbir Ahmed
When the two armies faced each other, He made them appear few in your eyes, and made you appear weak in their eyes (3:12). Allah willed that to be the Day of Distinction. All matters go back to Allah's Laws as their source
Dr. Munir Munshey
When you met each other (on the battlefield), He made them appear to you fewer in number. Further, He made you appear fewer in their eyes too; so that He may bring to pass that which had to happen. All matters are referred to Allah (for decision)
Syed Vickar Ahamed
And (remember) when you met (in war), he showed them (the enemy) to you as a few (men) in your eyes, and He made you appear as few (and worthless) in their eyes: For Allah to complete an act already decided; For all questions go back to Allah (for decision)
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
And [remember] when He showed them to you, when you met, as few in your eyes, and He made you [appear] as few in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish a matter already destined. And to Allah are [all] matters returned
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
And God showed them to you when you met as being few to your eyes, and He made you appear as being fewer to their eyes. That was so God's decree would come to be; and to God all matters are returned
Abdel Haleem
When you met He showed them to you as few, and He made you few in their eyes, so that He might bring about what has been ordained: everything goes back to God
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
And recall what time He shewed them few in your eyes when ye met and lessened you in their eyes in order that Allah might decree an affair already enacted; and unto Allah are all affairs returned
Ahmed Ali
When you faced them He made (the enemy) seem few to you in numbers, and made you appear fewer in their eyes, (it was) so that God could accomplish what had been decreed; for all things rest with God
Aisha Bewley
Remember when Allah made you see them as few when you met them, and also made you seem few in their eyes. This was so that Allah could settle a matter whose result was preordained. All matters return to Allah.
Ali Ünal
And when He made them appear as few in your eyes when you met them in the battle just as He lessened you in their eyes, so that God might accomplish a thing that He had already decreed. And to God are all affairs ultimately referred, (and whatever He wills occurs)
Ali Quli Qara'i
And when He showed them to you —when you met them [on the battlefield]— as few in your eyes, and He made you [appear] few in their eyes in order that Allah may carry through a matter that was bound to be fulfilled, and to Allah all matters are returned
Hamid S. Aziz
And when He showed them to you (Muslims), when you encountered them, as few in your eyes; and made you seem weak (or contemptible) in their eyes, it was that Allah might accomplish a thing that must be done (or was fore-ordained); for unto Allah do all t
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
And when you encountered, He showed them as a few in your eyes, and reduced you in their eyes, so that God finishes a matter that was to be done. All affairs are returned to God
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
And remember when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes, and He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that God would accomplish a matter destined, for to God do all questions go back
Musharraf Hussain
And when you faced each other, He made them appear to be few in your eyes, and He made you seem even fewer in number in their eyes, so that He could accomplish what had been preordained. Eventually all matters return to Allah
Maududi
And recall when He made them appear as few in your eyes when you met them in the battle just as He lessened you in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish what had been decreed. To Allah are all matters referred for decision
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
And He showed them to you when you met as being few to your eyes, and He made you appear as being fewer to their eyes. That was so the decree of God would come to be; and to God all matters are returned.
Mohammad Shafi
And then He showed them to you, when you met, as few in your eyes and He made you to appear few in their eyes, in order that Allah brought a matter, which was to be done, to fruition. And to Allah are all matters returned

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
And when at the time of encounter, the infidels were shown to you as few, and made you appear few in their eyes, so that Allah might fulfil the work which, is to be done. And towards 'Allah is the return of all affairs.
Rashad Khalifa
And when the time came and you faced them, He made them appear fewer in your eyes, and made you appear fewer in their eyes as well. For GOD willed to carry out a certain plan. All decisions are made by GOD.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
And when you met them, He showed them in your eyes as being few, and decreased (your number) in their eyes so that Allah might determine what was ordained. To Allah all matters return
Maulana Muhammad Ali
And when He showed them to you, when you met, as few in your eyes, and He made you to appear few in their eyes, in order that Allah might bring about a matter which had to be done. And to Allah are all affairs returned
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
When He shows them to you when you met/found (them) in your eyes/sights (as) few/little, and He lessens/reduces you (P) in their eyes/sights, (it is for) God to execute/order an order/command (that) was made/done, and to God the matters/affairs are returned
Bijan Moeinian
When you engaged in the fight, God made them appear to you fewer in number [to encourage you to fight] and made you appear fewer in number in their eyes too, so that [they would be encouraged to engage in the fight and that] God materializes His will; ultimately, it is God Who decides what should take place
Faridul Haque
And when at the time of fighting He made the disbelievers seem few to you, and you as few in their sight, in order for Allah to conclude the matter that must be done; and towards Allah is the return of all matters
Sher Ali
And remember when at the time of your encounter, HE made them appear to you as few in your eyes, and made you appear as few in their eyes, that ALLAH might bring about the thing that was decreed. And to ALLAH are all affairs referred for final decision
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
And (also remind them of the sight) when He, at the time of encounter (as well), made (the troops of) the disbelievers appear small (just) in your eyes and made you appear small in their eyes (so that both the armies might remain in a heightened state of alert) in order that Allah leads to completion the (total defeat of disbelievers resulting from the full-fledged war) preordained (by Allah). And (eventually) all matters are returned to Allah alone
Amatul Rahman Omar
And when you encountered (them), He made them appear as a few in your eyes and He made you appear as a few in their eyes, in order that Allah might bring about the thing that had already been decreed. And to Allah all matters stand referred (for decision)
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
And (remember) when you met (the army of the disbelievers on the Day of the battle of Badr), He showed them to you as few in your eyes and He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained (in His Knowledge), and to Allah return all matters (for decision)

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
When God showed you them in your eyes as few, when you encountered, and made you few in their eyes, that God might determine a matter that was done; and unto God all matters are returned
George Sale
And when He caused them to appear unto you, when ye met, to be few in your eyes; and diminished your numbers in their eyes; that God might accomplish the thing which was decreed to be done: And unto God shall all things return
Edward Henry Palmer
And when He showed them to you, as ye encountered them, as few in your eyes; and made you seem few in their eyes; that God might accomplish a thing that was as good as done; for unto God do things return
John Medows Rodwell
And when, on your meeting, he made them to appear to your eyes as few, and diminished you in their eyes, that God might carry out the thing that was to be done. To God do all things return
N J Dawood (2014)
And when you met them, He made each appear to the other few in number, that God might accomplish what had been ordained. To God shall all things return

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
When (the opposing forces) met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes. He made you appear few in their eyes. This was so that Allah would accomplish a matter that was destined. To Allah, all matters are returned.
Sayyid Qutb
When you actually met, He made them appear few in your eyes, just as He made you appear as a small band in their eyes, so that God might accomplish something He willed to be done. To God shall all things return.
Ahmed Hulusi
And remember when you met them in opposition He showed them to you as few and made you appear to them as few... Thus Allah accomplished a matter already destined! All things will eventually return to Allah.
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli
And (remember) when He showed them to you, when you encountered (the enemy) , as few in your eyes, and He made you few in their eyes in order that Allah may enact the matter which was destined to be done, and unto Allah all matters are returned
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
When the two forces met, We influenced your minds' eyes so as you view them as being some few, and you would be viewed as being some few, so that you assail each other, and Allah's purpose would be served as has been enacted, and to Allah, the Ultimate Authority are committed and submitted all matters and all affairs for consideration, decision and execution here and Hereafter
Mir Aneesuddin
and when He showed them to you less in your eyes when you met (them) and He made you to appear less in their eyes, in order that Allah may accomplish an affair which was to be executed and to Allah are (all) affairs returned.

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
And remember when ye met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes, and He made you appear as contemptible in their eyes: that God might accomplish a matter already enacted. For to God do all questions go back (for decision)
OLD Literal Word for Word
And when He showed them to you, when you met - in your eyes (as) few and He made you (appear) as fe in their eyes that Allah might accomplish a matter (that) was (already) destined. And to Allah return (all) the matters