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Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear, Surah Al Baqarah 286

Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear means that Allah is merciful and just,and that He does not place more hardships on us than we can bear.

Allah doesn't burden a soul beyond that it can bear
Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear

Does Allah task a soul beyond its scope?

Yes, Allah does not burden a soul beyond its scope. This concept is mentioned in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 286: “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (2:286).

This verse reassures believers that Allah is just and merciful. He understands the capabilities and limitations of each individual and does not impose a burden or responsibility that is beyond their capacity. It signifies Allah’s compassion and fairness towards His creation, taking into account their abilities, circumstances, and situations.

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Allah doesn't burden a soul beyond that it can bear. 14

Where in the Quran does it say Allah doesn’t burden a soul?

It says in Quran, 2:286

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لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا ٱكْتَسَبَتْ ۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْرًۭا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِۦ ۖ وَٱعْفُ عَنَّا وَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَٱرْحَمْنَآ ۚ أَنتَ مَوْلَىٰنَا فَٱنصُرْنَا عَلَى ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ ٢٨٦

Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity. For him is what he has earned, and on him what he has incurred. “Our Lord, do not hold us accountable, if we forget or make a mistake and, Our Lord, do not place on us a burden such as You have placed on those before us. And our Lord, do not make us bear that for which we have no strength. And pardon us. And grant us forgiveness. And have mercy on us. You are our Lord . Help us, then, against the disbelieving people.

Dua for forgiveness

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Does Allah obligate anyone beyond his capacity?

Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear, What does it mean?

It is mentioned in Ma’ariful Quran,

Praised here is the distinction of this ummah which is made of people who do not reject any prophet. This is followed by words of admiration for what the noble Companions had said when so directed by the Holy Prophet –

“We have listened, and obeyed. Our Lord, Your pardon! And to You is the return.”

In this verse , the doubt, which could have risen during the comprehension of some sentences in the previous verse, has been removed in a style that is very special. It will be recalled that the question was as to how one would escape punishment if thoughts concealed in hearts were also made subject to accounting. It was said:Allah burdens not anyone beyond his or her capacity.’ Therefore, thoughts that enter the heart without one’s intention and control and are not translated into action, stand all excused in the sight of Allah Almighty. Deeds, that are undertaken with choice and volition will be the only ones apprehended and called to account.

Allah doesn't burden a soul beyond that it can bear.

Deeds are of 2 types

A little detail will show that there is an outward aspect of human deeds which concerns what is done with the hand, head, eye, tongue and other parts of the body. This is further divided into two kinds.

The first reflects what is done with choice and volition. This is voluntary, such as, to speak by choice or to beat somebody by choice.

The second kind is involuntary, that which just issues forth without choice or volition, for instance, saying something other than what one actually intended to say, or a palsied hand moving unintentionally caused pain to somebody. Here everyone knows that accounting and retribution, reward and punishment are particularly related to voluntary deeds. As far as non-voluntary deeds are concerned man is neither obligated nor constrained therein, and certainly, there is no thawdb (reward) or ‘adhab (punishment) on them.

Similarly, the deeds relating to one’s heart are also of two kinds.

The first one is voluntary, for instance, the belief in kufr and shirk, which one has* implanted firmly in one’s heart with intention and choice, or the arrogance one assumes as a result of conscious and wilful self-pride, or the making of firm resolution to start drinking.

The second kind is the non-voluntary, for instance, the entry of some evil thought in one’s heart without volition and intention. Here too, the accounting, the reckoning and the reprehensibility covers voluntary deeds only, and does not cover non- voluntary deeds.

Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear

By this explanation given by the Qur’an itself, peace was restored in the hearts of the noble Companions. They were satisfied that there was no accounting, reckoning, punishment or reward on non-voluntary thoughts. The same subject has been further clarified towards the end by saying:” man is rewarded for what he intends to do and is punished for what he elects to do.”

But it should be borne in mind that the drive of the meaning of this verse is that, one will initially face direct reward or punishment for what is done with intention and volition. However, the indirect coming of reward or punishment after any such deed which was not intended, is not contrary to this. This provides an answer to the doubt that there are times when man faces reward or punishment even without intention and volition.

Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear, Proof in Hadith

In this context, several other verses of the Qur’an and many reports from ahadith prove that one who does something good which persuades others to act similarly, then its reward will continue reaching the original doer of the good deed as long as the later followers of the original deed continue with their good deeds. Similar is the case with one who gives currency to an evil way; he too will be incurring its curse as the original innovator of this evil way when later people follow him, and keep getting involved with the sin for all times to come.

Similarly, narrations in hadith prove that one can transmit the reward of ones good deeds to any other person. It is clear that in all these situations, man is receiving reward or punishment without intention and volition.

Here is an answer to this doubt. It is obvious that this reward and punishment did not reach a person directly, but it reached him through the medium of another person. In addition to that, one’s own act and choice do surely play a role in making another person a medium of thawab for onself.

The reason is that whoever adopts a good or evil way initiated by someone, then in his doing, there certainly is a role played by the voluntary act of the original person, even if he did not intend to release such particular effect. Similar is the case of a person who does his isal al-thawab (the prayer for transmittal of reward) for somebody only when he has done him some favour. In view of this, the said reward and punishment of somebody else is, in reality, the reward and punishment of one’s own deeds.

The noble Qur’an, towards the far end, teaches Muslims to make a special dua or prayer in which forgiveness has been sought on commission of some act because of forgetfulness or neglect or mistake. It was said:

Allah doesn't burden a soul
Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear
  1. Our Lord, do not hold us accountable, if we forget or make a mistake.
  2. Our Lord, do not place on us a burden such as You have placed on those before us. And our Lord, do not make us bear that for which we have no strength.

Also Indicated here are the severe restrictions placed on the Bani Isra’il (Israelites), such as, a piece of cloth could not be made fully pure unless cut or burnt, or that repentance could not be accepted without killing. Alternately, it could mean that punishment should not visit us as it visited the Bani Isra’il following their evil deeds.

In short, Allah Almighty bestowed His best when He promised the acceptance of all these prayers through His Rasul, the last among the prophets, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

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Islamic Reflection ., Quran notes,