Surah Hadid >> Currently viewing Surah Hadid Ayat 20 (57:20)

Surah Hadid Ayat 20 in Arabic Text

ٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌۭ وَلَهْوٌۭ وَزِينَةٌۭ وَتَفَاخُرٌۢ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌۭ فِى ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَوْلَـٰدِ ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ ٱلْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُۥ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَىٰهُ مُصْفَرًّۭا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَـٰمًۭا ۖ وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ عَذَابٌۭ شَدِيدٌۭ وَمَغْفِرَةٌۭ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضْوَٰنٌۭ ۚ وَمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلْغُرُورِ
I’lamooo annamal hayaa tud dunyaa la’ibunw wa lahwunw wa zeenatunw wa tafaakhurum bainakum wa takaasurun fil amwaali wal awlaad, kamasali ghaisin a’jabal kuffaara nabaatuhoo summa yaheeju fataraahu musfaaran summa yakoonu hutaamaa; wa fil aakhirati ‘azaabun shadeedunw wa magh firatum minal laahi wa ridwaan; wa mal haiyaa tuddun yaaa illaa mataa’ul ghuroor

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 20

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.

Yusuf Ali
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?

Abul Ala 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.

Muhsin Khan
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.

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.

Dr. 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 allblessed Satisfaction; and in no way is the present life anything except the enjoyment of delusion.

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.

Quran 57 Verse 20 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Hadid ayat 20, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(57:20) 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.[36]


36. To understand this theme fully one should keep the following verses of the Quran in mind: (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayats 14-15); (Surah Younus, Ayats 24-25); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 18); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 45-46); (Surah An-Noor, Ayat 39). In all these verses the truth that has been impressed on the mind is: The life of this world is a temporary life: its spring as well as its autumn is temporary. There is much here to allure man. But this, in fact, consists of base and insignificant things which man because of his shallowness of mind regards as great and splendid and is deluded into thinking that in attaining them lies supreme success. The truth however is that the highest benefits and means of pleasure and enjoyment that one can possibly attain in the world, are indeed short and insignificant and confined to a few years of temporary life and can be destroyed by just one turn of fate. Contrary to this, the life in Hereafter is a splendid and eternal life. Its benefits are great and permanent and its losses too are great and permanent. The one who attains Allah’s forgiveness and His goodwill there, will indeed have attained the everlasting bliss beside which the entire wealth of the world and its kingdom become pale and insignificant. And the one who is seized in God’s torment there, will come to know that he had made a bad bargain even if he had attained all that he regarded as great and splendid in the world.

Ibn-Kathir

20. 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. (It is) like a rain (Ghayth), 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, and (there is) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure. And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment. 21. Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord, and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.


This Life of this World is Fleeting Enjoyment

Allah the Exalted degrades the significance of this life and belittles it by saying,

﴿أَنَّمَا الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِى الاٌّمْوَلِ وَالاٌّوْلْـدِ﴾

(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.) meaning, this is the significance of this life to its people, just as He said in another Ayah,

﴿زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَتِ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَـطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالأَنْعَـمِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَلِكَ مَتَـعُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَأَبِ ﴾

(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allah has the excellent return with Him.)(3:14) Allah the Exalted also sets a parable for this life, declaring that its joys are fading and its delights are perishable, saying that life is,

﴿كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ﴾

(Like a rain (Ghayth),) which is the rain that comes down to mankind, after they had felt despair. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ﴾

(And He it is Who sends down the Ghayth (rain) after they have despaired.)(42:28) Allah’s statement,

﴿أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ﴾

(thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller;) meaning that farmers admire the vegetation that grows in the aftermath of rain. And just as farmers admire vegetation, the disbelievers admire this life; they are the most eager to acquire the traits of life, and life is most dear to them,

﴿ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرّاً ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَاماً﴾

(afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw.) meaning, that vegetation soon turns yellow in color, after being fresh and green. After that, the green fades away and becomes scattered pieces of dust. This is the parable of this worldly life, it starts young, then matures and then turns old and feeble. This is also the parable of mankind in this life; they are young and strong in the beginning. In this stage of life, they look youthful and handsome. Slowly, they begin growing older, their mannerism changes and their strength weakens. They then grow old and feeble; moving becomes difficult for them, while doing easy things becomes beyond their ability. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعْفاً وَشَيْبَةً يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْقَدِيرُ ﴾

(Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.)(30:54) This parable indicates the near demise of this life and the imminent end of it, while in contrast, the Hereafter is surely coming. Those who hear this parable should, therefore, be aware of the significance of the Hereafter and feel eagerness in the goodness that it contains,

﴿وَفِى الاٌّخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَنٌ وَمَا الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَآ إِلاَّ مَتَـعُ الْغُرُورِ﴾

(But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment, and (there is) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure. And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.) meaning, surely, the Hereafter that will certainly come contains two things either severe punishment or forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿وَما الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَتَـعُ الْغُرُورِ﴾

(And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.) meaning, this life is only a form of enjoyment that deceives those who incline to it. Surely, those who recline to this life will admire it and feel that it is dear to them, so much so, that they might think that this is the only life, no life or dwelling after it. Yet, in reality, this life is insignificant as compared to the Hereafter. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَلْجَنَّةُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَى أَحَدِكُمْ مِنْ شِرَاكِ نَعْلِهِ، وَالنَّارُ مِثْلُ ذلِك»

(Paradise is nearer to any of you than the strap on his shoe, and so is the (Hell) Fire.) Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith through the narration of Ath-Thawri. This Hadith indicates the close proximity of both good and evil in relation to mankind. If this is the case, then this is the reason Allah the Exalted encouraged mankind to rush to perform acts of righteousness and obedience and to avoid the prohibitions. By doing so, their sins and errors will be forgiven and they will acquire rewards and an exalted status. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿سَابِقُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ﴾

(Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord, and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth,) Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,

﴿وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴾

(And march forth in the way (to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who have Taqwa.)(3:133) Allah said here,

﴿أُعِدَّتْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ﴾

(prepared for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.) meaning, “This, that Allah has qualified them for, is all a part of His favor, bounty and compassion.” We mentioned a Hadith collected in the Sahih in which the poor emigrants said to the Messenger , “O Allah’s Messenger! The wealthy people will get higher grades and permanent enjoyment.” He asked,

«وَمَا ذَاكَ؟»

(Why is that) They said, “They pray like us and fast as we do. However, they give in charity, whereas we cannot do that, and that free servants, whereas we cannot afford it.” The Prophet said,

«أَفَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ سَبَقْتُمْ مَنْ بَعْدَكُمْ، وَلَا يَكُونُ أَحَدٌ أَفْضَلَ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ صَنَعَ مِثْلَ مَا صَنَعْتُمْ: تُسَبِّحُونَ وَتُكَبِّرُونَ وَتُحَمِّدُونَ دُبُرَ كُلِّ صَلَاةٍ ثَلَاثًا وَثَلَاثِين»

(Shall I tell you of a good deed that, if you acted upon, you would catch up with those who have surpassed you none would overtake you and be better than you, except those who might do the same. Say, “Glorious is Allah,” “Allah is Most Great,” and “Praise be to Allah,” thirty three times each after every prayer.) They later came back and said, “Our wealthy brethren heard what we did and they started doing the same.” Allah’s Messenger said,

«ذلِكَ فَضْلُ اللهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاء»

This is the favor of Allah that He gives to whom He wills.)

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