Whoever is guided or errs, it is only for or against himself: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote in one portion of his book of tafsir:

قوله تعالى من اهتدى فإنما يهتدي لنفسه ومن ضل فإنما يضل عليها ، ذكر جل وعلا في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن من اهتدى فعمل بما يرضي الله جل وعلا ، أن اهتداءه ذلك إنما هو لنفسه ، لأنه هو الذي ترجع إليه فائدة ذلك الاهتداء ، وثمرته في الدنيا والآخرة ، وأن من ضل عن طريق الصواب فعمل بما يسخط ربه جل وعلا ، أن ضلاله ذلك إنما هو على نفسه ، لأنه هو الذي يجني ثمرة عواقبه السيئة الوخيمة ، فيخلد به في النار . ـ

Allah’s statement:

مَّنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا

Whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. [17:15]

Allah mentioned in this noble ayah that whoever is guided and therefore acts according to that with which Allah is pleased, then his guidance to that is only for the sake of his own self, because it is to him that the benefits and fruits of that return both in this worldly life and in the hereafter. And that whoever errs from the correct path and therefore acts according that with which Allah is displeased, that his misguidance is only against his own self, because it is to him that the outcomes of the punishment of grave misdeeds is accrued, so he will dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.

وبين هذا المعنى في مواضع كثيرة ، كقوله : من عمل صالحا فلنفسه ومن أساء فعليها الآية [ 41 \ 46 ] ، وقوله : من كفر فعليه كفره ومن عمل صالحا فلأنفسهم يمهدون [ 30 \ 44 ] ، وقوله : قد جاءكم بصائر من ربكم فمن أبصر فلنفسه ومن عمي فعليها وما أنا عليكم بحفيظ [ 6 \ 104 ] ، وقوله : فمن اهتدى فإنما يهتدي لنفسه ومن ضل فإنما يضل عليها وما أنا عليكم بوكيل [ 10 \ 108 ] ، [ ص: 64 ] والآيات بمثل هذا كثيرة جدا ، وقد قدمنا طرفا منها في سورة ” النحل ” . ـ

And He explained this meaning in many places, such as His statement:

مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۗ وَمَا رَ‌بُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

Whoever does righteousness – it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants. [41:46]

And His statement:

مَن كَفَرَ‌ فَعَلَيْهِ كُفْرُ‌هُ ۖ وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِأَنفُسِهِمْ يَمْهَدُونَ

Whoever disbelieves – upon him is [the consequence of] his disbelief. And whoever does righteousness – they are for themselves preparing [30:44]

And His statement:

قَدْ جَاءَكُم بَصَائِرُ‌ مِن رَّ‌بِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ‌ فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ عَمِيَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۚ وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ

There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord. So whoever will see (clearly) does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], “I am not a guardian over you.” [6:104]

And His statement:

فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا ۖ وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُم بِوَكِيلٍ

So whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever goes astray only goes astray [in violation] against it. And I am not over you a manager. [10:108]

And the ayaat like this are abundant, and we have already presented some of them in surah al-Nahl.

قوله تعالى : ولا تزر وازرة وزر أخرى . ذكر جل وعلا في هذه الآية الكريمة : أنه لا تحمل نفس ذنب أخرى ، بل لا تحمل نفس إلا ذنبها . ـ

His statement:

وَلَا تَزِرُ‌ وَازِرَ‌ةٌ وِزْرَ‌ أُخْرَ‌ىٰ

wa laa taziru waaziratun wizra ukhraa

And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another [17:15]

In this noble ayah He mentioned that a soul does not bear the sin of another; rather a soul does not bear anything other than its own sins.

فقوله : ولا تزر [ 17 \ 15 ] ، أي لا تحمل ، من وَزَرَ يَزِرُ إذا حمل ، ومنه سمي وزير السلطان ، لأنه يحمل أعباء تدبير شئون الدولة ، والوِزْر : الإثم ، يقال : وَزَرَ يَزِرُ وِزْراً ، إذا أثم . والوِزْر أيضا : الثقل المثقل ، أي : لا تحمل نفس وازرة ، أي : آثمة وزر نفس أخرى . أي إثمها ، أو حملها الثقيل ، بل لا تحمل إلا وزر نفسها . ـ

So His statement:

وَلَا تَزِرُ‌

will not bear

– meaning will not carry, from the verb wazara yaziru for when one carries/bears (something). And from this is the term wazeer al-sultaan [the adviser of the ruler], because that person carries/bears the weight of managing the affairs of the country. And al-wizr means a sin: it is said wazara yaziru wizran when one sins. And al-wizr also means a weighty burden. Meaning: the soul bearing a burden – i.e. the sinner – will not bear the burden – i.e. sin or bearing its weight – of any other person; rather he will not carry anything except for his own sin/burden.

وهذا المعنى جاء في آيات أخر ; كقوله : ولا تزر وازرة وزر أخرى وإن تدع مثقلة إلى حملها لا يحمل منه شيء ولو كان ذا قربى [ 35 \ 18 ] ، وقوله : ولا تكسب كل نفس إلا عليها ولا تزر وازرة وزر أخرى ثم إلى ربكم مرجعكم الآية [ 6 \ 164 ] ، وقوله : تلك أمة قد خلت لها ما كسبت ولكم ما كسبتم ولا تسألون عما كانوا يعملون ، إلى غير ذلك من الآيات . ـ

And this meaning has come in other ayaat, such as His statement:

وَلَا تَزِرُ‌ وَازِرَ‌ةٌ وِزْرَ‌ أُخْرَ‌ىٰ ۚ وَإِن تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَىٰ حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْ‌بَىٰ

And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative. [35:18]

And His statement:

وَلَا تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ إِلَّا عَلَيْهَا ۚ وَلَا تَزِرُ‌ وَازِرَ‌ةٌ وِزْرَ‌ أُخْرَ‌ىٰ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكُم مَّرْ‌جِعُكُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. [6:164]

And His statement:

تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۖ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ ۖ وَلَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do. [2:134. 2:141]

And in other than theses ayaat.

وقد قدمنا في سورة ” النحل ” بإيضاح : أن هذه الآيات لا يعارضها قوله تعالى : وليحملن أثقالهم وأثقالا مع أثقالهم الآية [ 29 \ 13 ] ، ولا قوله : ليحملوا أوزارهم كاملة يوم القيامة ومن أوزار الذين يضلونهم بغير علم الآية [ 16 \ 25 ] ; لأن المراد بذلك أنهم حملوا أوزار ضلالهم في أنفسهم ، وأوزار إضلالهم غيرهم ; لأن من سن سنة سيئة فعليه وزرها ووزر من عمل بها ، لا ينقص ذلك من أوزارهم شيئا ، كما تقدم مستوفى . ـ

And we have previously brought a clarification in surah al-Nahl that these ayaat are not contradicted by Allah’s statement:

وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالًا مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ

But they will surely carry their [own] burdens and [other] burdens along with their burdens [29:13]

until the end of the ayah. Nor by His statement:

لِيَحْمِلُوا أَوْزَارَ‌هُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ‌ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُم بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ

That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection and some of the burdens of those whom they misguide without knowledge. [16:25]

until the end of the ayah, because the meaning of those is they they will bear the burdens of their misguidance that occurred in their own selves, as well as the burdens of their misguidance in others, because whoever initiates an evil example then upon him is the burden of that and the burden of whoever acts according to that. That does not take away their burdens at all, as we have previously collected.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 3/65]

See also: Shaytaan’s address to the disbelievers at the end of time: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Remaining eternally in the Hell-fire and its causes: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: “Whoever does evil or wrongs himself but then seeks Allah’s forgiveness…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Benefits from the opening of Surah al-Layl: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Whoever does an atom’s weight of good or evil shall see it: Imam al-Shinqitee

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6 thoughts on “Whoever is guided or errs, it is only for or against himself: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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  3. Pingback: “Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Whoever does an atom’s weight of good or evil shall see it: Imam al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: “Whoever does evil or wrongs himself but then seeks Allah’s forgiveness…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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