Ayah

Word by Word
ضَرَبَ
Allah sets forth
ٱللَّهُ
Allah sets forth
مَثَلٗا
an example
رَّجُلٗا
a man
فِيهِ
belonging to
شُرَكَآءُ
partners
مُتَشَٰكِسُونَ
quarreling
وَرَجُلٗا
and a man
سَلَمٗا
(belonging) exclusively
لِّرَجُلٍ
to one man
هَلۡ
are
يَسۡتَوِيَانِ
they both equal
مَثَلًاۚ
(in) comparison
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ
All praise
لِلَّهِۚ
(be) to Allah
بَلۡ
Nay
أَكۡثَرُهُمۡ
most of them
لَا
(do) not
يَعۡلَمُونَ
know
ضَرَبَ
Allah sets forth
ٱللَّهُ
Allah sets forth
مَثَلٗا
an example
رَّجُلٗا
a man
فِيهِ
belonging to
شُرَكَآءُ
partners
مُتَشَٰكِسُونَ
quarreling
وَرَجُلٗا
and a man
سَلَمٗا
(belonging) exclusively
لِّرَجُلٍ
to one man
هَلۡ
are
يَسۡتَوِيَانِ
they both equal
مَثَلًاۚ
(in) comparison
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ
All praise
لِلَّهِۚ
(be) to Allah
بَلۡ
Nay
أَكۡثَرُهُمۡ
most of them
لَا
(do) not
يَعۡلَمُونَ
know

Translation

Allah puts forth a Parable a man belonging to many partners at variance with each other, and a man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal in comparison? Praise be to Allah! but most of them have no knowledge.

Tafsir

God strikes, for the idolater and the believer in God's Oneness, a similitude: a man (rajulan, substitutes for mathalan, 'a similitude') shared by several [masters], quarrelling, disputing, ill-mannered, and a man belonging exclusively to one man. Are the two equal in comparison? (mathalan, for specification), in other words, the slave of many [masters] is not the same as the slave of a single person. For in the case of the former, if all of his masters were to demand his service simultaneously, he would be confused as to whom of them he should serve - which is the similitude of the idolater; the latter [the slave of one] is the similitude of the one who believes in the One God. Praise be to God!, alone. Nay, but most of them, that is, the people of Mecca, do not know, the chastisement in which they will end up and so they associate others with God.

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