Surah 53:38


Dr. Zohurul Hoque & Husain Nuri


53:38  that a bearer of burden will not bear the burden of another;

53:38 The word awzâr (lit. burden) figuratively includes good and bad deeds of an individual by dint of which the salvation of the individual will be determined. This divine principle of holding each person accountable for his or her own deeds is one of the fundamental teachings of Islam (6:31,164; 17:15; 20:100-101; 29:12-13; 35:18; 39:7) that significantly differs from theories projected by major world religions. This divine principle has several implications: (a) it summarily rejects the Christian theory of Original Sin of Âdam and Eve with which entire human being is burdened and the females are additionally burdened with the 'sins' of Eve (Gen. 3:16); (b) the principle refutes the theory vicarious atonement believed by the Christian, i.e. a person's sins could be atoned for by the sacrifice of Jesus, or broadly speaking any sacrifice undertaken by saintly person to atone for the sins of a community; (c) it refutes the doctrine of circumventing the Judgment by virtue of one's alleged favored nation theory, as professed by the Jews; (d) it rebuts the doctrine of denying one's spiritual merit simply due to one's birth in a caste considered to be lower, as held by Hindus; (e) it rejects the possibility of reducing one's sinful burden through carefully orchestrated intercession by preposterous mediators, as seen among all faith groups, including some of the Muslims.







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