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Meaning of Trust in Verse 33:72


Was each person given a choice to be human or to accept the trust in 33:72, or was it Adam alone? I know that we all testified that Allah is our Lord, but what I am asking is, did we have any choice before being put in this terrible situation where we are punished for sins, and we can go to hell forever so so easily?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The Scholars of Tafseer differed greatly regarding the interpretation of the verse in question. The most correct opinion in this regard is that the offer was real (had actually taken place). The opinions then differed regarding the reference to the “man” who carried the Trust in the verse. It was said that it is a reference to Aadam and his descendants, and considering the offspring of Aadam (to be included in the verse) is due to the covenant that Allah had taken from them in the world of spirit (prior to this physical world); as Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Aadam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified.”} [Quran 7:172]

It was also said that “man” in the verse is a reference to Aadam, and that his offspring bore the Trust after him by extension. A third opinion said that it refers to Cain (Qaabeel) who killed his brother, and there were other opinions as well.

One of the scholars who gave preponderance to the opinion that “man” in the verse is a generic noun referring to all sons of Aadam was the well-versed scholar Al-Aloosi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who said that: “{… but man [undertook to] bear it} [Quran 33:72] is a reference to all mankind, similar to the verse that reads (what means): {Indeed man, to his Lord, is ungrateful.} [Quran 100:6] and {No! [But] indeed, man transgresses.} [Quran 96:6] Man undertook to bear the Trust either on the grounds that he is qualified, by nature, to bear it, or by way of being charged with it on the Day of the Covenant (with Allah); i.e. in terms of undertaking to bear it and committing to it.” [End of Quote] Thus, the problematic issue becomes clear to you.

However, we would like to clarify to you that even if it is a very hard task, Allah, The Exalted, does not torture anyone except on account of his own sins, and He does not wrong people at all. Rather, it is people who wrong themselves. Moreover, the path to guidance and happiness is open for everyone to tread; so, whoever bears the Trust duly shall relish eternal happiness.

Allah, The Exalted, concluded this Soorah with the two divine names “The Oft-Forgiving, The Ever-Merciful,” to show that His Mercy preceded His Wrath, and that He aids His obedient Slaves with success and support.

As-Si‘di  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

Allah offered the Trust to Man, with the mentioned condition, and he accepted it and undertook to bear it, despite his injustice and ignorance; he bore this heavy burden. So, people were divided into three categories, in terms of their attitude towards bearing the Trust: hypocrites, who upheld it outwardly but abandoned it inwardly; polytheists, who abandoned it outwardly and inwardly; and believers who duly shouldered it outwardly and inwardly. Allah, The Exalted, mentioned the deeds of these three categories of people and their respective rewards and punishments; He Says (what means): {[It was] so that Allah may punish the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the men and women who associate others with Him and that Allah may accept repentance from the believing men and believing women. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 33:73] So praise be to Allah, The Exalted! He concluded the verse with these two Divine Names that indicate His complete Forgiveness, vast Mercy, and complete Generosity, although many of those people whom He has included in His judgment did not deserve such forgiveness and mercy due to their hypocrisy and polytheism.” [End of Quote]

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 227149.

Allah knows best.

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