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In the Name of God بسم الله

Food for thought .."Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…”

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Salam everyone! 

We as practising Muslims, Alhumdollilah, must have heard the verse in title several times in our lives. It's surah Baqarah verse 286.

This Ayah is often (too often in my opinion) quoted to people who are going through hardships and tough times to remind them that they have the strength to go through the test. 

I was thinking that often we see people crumbling under difficulties but then Allah says He doesn't burden someone more than he can carry so is there a possibility that we as humans have a role in leading a person to their breaking point but we just shelve it under 'hardships from Allah' and tell the person to toughen up, do Sabr, not complain?

I will give you an example. If a young child's father passes away he is now an orphan. This is a test from Allah and Allah doesn't exceed a test beyond a person's capacity but then the child's relatives steal his inheritance and he is forced to grow up poor. Is the latter also a test from Allah? Or from people? 

Similarly, there is a person who is working at a low wage job, trying to make ends meet to support his family so Allah is testing him through Rizq but if someone around him starts humiliating him for his menial job or people mistreat him because he is poor and hence weak in his money oriented world can that also be counted a test from Allah? I think not.

I believe many of the people we come across in life who undergo breakdowns be it emotional or financial or physical reach that point due to human actions, either their own or of those around them. Allah's tests don't cause people to breakdown,they are an opportunity for growth.

"Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned."

 

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Ws. This is a good topic. Another question that can be added to this is that although Allah doesn't test anyone with a burden greater than he can carry, can a person put himself in a situation where the burden becomes greater than he can carry because of his own fault... not because Allah intended the burden to be that high? And now even though the burden is greater than what he can bear, he would still be required to bear it because it is his own fault.

If a person is facing a burden in life, is he allowed to complain to Allah that this burden is more than what he can bear? Would that not go against Allah's assurance that burden is never that great?

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  • 2 weeks later...

salam alykum wrwb,

People do break what they didn't build through many ways alhamdulillah. 

But that which is inclined on Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)... 

They may try with all their might of wealth and human capital but won't break it.

It are tests too through wealth and children or lack of. These tests come via many channels like neglect becoming the effect of a certain trial, iblis(la) the avowed enemy who looks to keep you off the path by listening to stupidity instead of doing dhikr or listening to what is beautiful.

Instead of breaking down, 

Ali Ünal

The (true) servants of the All-Merciful are they who move on the earth gently and humbly, and when the ignorant, foolish ones address them (with insolence or vulgarity as befits their ignorance and foolishness), they response with (words of) peace, (without engaging in hostility with them); 25:63
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On 10/29/2020 at 9:16 AM, starlight said:

so is there a possibility that we as humans have a role in leading a person to their breaking point but we just shelve it under 'hardships from Allah' and tell the person to toughen up, do Sabr, not complain?

We also say that Allah is All-knowing. And taking your own example, Allah wouldn't have taken the kid's parents away from him/her, if He didn't know that the relatives would steal the inheritance from the kid. 

Basically what I'm trying to say is, Allah knew that in the near future the kid's relatives will steal the inheritance and hence Allah placed a divine testing system to, maybe test the kid with poverty and orphanage.

We may not know the real reason, because us as humans, have a limited mental capacity right? So it's safe to say that this kid, had to be tested, or had to go through these hardships so that it would give him an opportunity to reach his real potential or to do what Allah expected from the kid. Whether the kid succeeds or not, is a different topic. 

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On 10/29/2020 at 10:29 AM, Anonymous-Male said:

can a person put himself in a situation where the burden becomes greater than he can carry because of his own fault... not because Allah intended the burden to be that high? And now even though the burden is greater than what he can bear, he would still be required to bear it because it is his own fault

Yes. Possible. Maybe he didn't pass his test. Maybe that's why God put another test/hardship to help him grow. But again, it wouldn't be anything he can't bear. And that's God's promise isn't it? 

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18 minutes ago, Vindemiatrix said:

I've always thought: "What about people who commit suicide though?" 

Traditionally suicide rates have been low in Islamic countries. I believe the main reason was the cultural and religious values prevalent in these societies. In Islam people are actively encouraged to socialise with other people- congregational prayers, visiting the sick attending funeral and burial, inviting people to post Nikkah celebration(walima) etc.

Islam also attaches great importance to keeping ties with relatives. Looking after parents, orphans and neighbours all carry great rewards from Allah. 

Majority of the people who commit suicide reach a point where they are overwhelmed with problems and feel they have no one who talk to. In most cases such people do give out cries for help but usually there is no one listening.

Some of the reasons which drive people to suicide are academic failure, bullying, social isolation,financial problems, job loss, chronic illnesses, loss of social status.

If you look at the above, all of these are problems a person can survive through if one had good social support which is frankly greatly lacking in today's world.Suicide is rarely an impulsive act. People who commit suicide usually think it's a logical solution to their life problems. While it might seem obvious to an outside observer that things will get better depressed may not be able to see this.

So to reiterate what I stated in my OP, job loss can be from Allah as can be a debilitating illness or divorce but the social isolation or lack of support from family and friends that comes with it is not from Allah.

One of my grandfathers remained bedridden for almost a decade. All those years he was surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and friends. The household was rearranged so his bed was always in the hub of activity.I I never saw him depressed or thinking of ending his life. I doubt he would have remained mentally healthy if he had been in a nursing home where his children visited him only occasionally. 

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On 10/29/2020 at 3:46 AM, starlight said:

"Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear."

 

This can never be logically/philosophically proven, so remains very much a faith/belief.

If we take the opposite statement "God does burden a soul beyond than it can bear" the same problem exists.

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