I’ve come at last to the end of Sura/Surah/Surat 2 in the Koran. The longest chapter in the Koran, the final verse begins with this:
On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.
Koran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I do believe in an overall sense of divine justice, and who doesn’t like the concept of getting what is deserved — for good or for evil? This verse makes it very clear that goodness will be rewarded, as surely as wickedness will be punished. It’s not the whim of an arbitrary god but the natural consequence of our own behavior.
But what of that first line? On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. To me, this means Allah/God/the Supreme Being knows each of us and knows our limits.
Sounds good…but, wait!
Does this mean that the strong will be more heavily burdened with trials, troubles, and tribulations? Is this saying that the more faith we have, the more likely we are to be “dumped on” by our loving father in heaven? Sorry, but that doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s as though this great creator is actually punishing those who are working the hardest, or if not punishing, at least expecting them to carry more than their fair share of the workload.
It happens all the time on the job. The best workers are treated the worst until finally their attitude gets so bad they lose their motivation. They reach a point where they just don’t care anymore about whether or not they do a good job.
Meanwhile, the weak — in faith and in job performance — are able to slide by. Nobody expects much from them, so they’re under no pressure to perform. Maybe they don’t earn the big salaries, or in the case of religion, the big blessings, but they don’t have to deal with all those burdens, so it still sounds like a fairly good deal to me.
There’s more to Verse 286 of Al-Baqara, so let’s move on. We come now to a prayer to be offered. In this prayer, we recognize Allah as our protector, and we ask for his mercy and forgiveness. This prayers asks something else, too.
Pray: “Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.”
Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Slightly different wording, so maybe there’s a bit of “wriggle room”, but I’m not in the mood for wriggling. This strikes me as a quick disavowal of the opening line of the verse.
God won’t give me more than I can bear.
God, please don’t give me more than I can bear.
There’s a disconnect between the two, at least in my mind. If I truly believed that God would lay no burden upon me greater than I could bear, I’ve have no reason to plead with him about it.
- This is the truth from your Lord; so do not be among the doubters. (2:147) (oceansofknowledge.wordpress.com)
- Bear The Burden? (selamusa12.wordpress.com)
- Fasting and its wisdom (sealm.wordpress.com)
- This is Allah (14) O mankind, you need Allah and Allah needs nothing (safaafromcaeg.wordpress.com)
- Letting GOD (mahasinis1.wordpress.com)
- The necessity of Ikhlas (sincerity) in deeds (ramyabdeljabbar.wordpress.com)