Download PDF: [S] The Amanah placed on Man
In Surah Ahzab (33), verse 72,73:
اِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْاَمَانَۃَ عَلَی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ وَ الْجِبَالِ فَاَبَیۡنَ اَنۡ یَّحْمِلْنَہَا وَ اَشْفَقْنَ مِنْہَا وَ حَمَلَہَا الْاِنۡسٰنُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ ظَلُوۡمًا جَہُوۡلًا ﴿ۙ۷۲﴾
لِّیُعَذِّبَ اللہُ الْمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَ الْمُنٰفِقٰتِ وَ الْمُشْرِکِیۡنَ وَ الْمُشْرِکٰتِ وَ یَتُوۡبَ اللہُ عَلَی الْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ وَ الْمُؤْمِنٰتِ ؕ وَکَانَ اللہُ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِیۡمًا ﴿٪۷۳﴾
“Undoubtedly, We offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear it and were afraid of it, and man bore it. Undoubtedly, he is the bearer of hardship, ignorant. So that Allah may torment hypocrite men and women and idolatrous men and women, and that Allah may accept the repentance of Muslim men and women. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
It is mentioned that this trust was presented to the heavens, the earth and the mountains and all of them out of fear for the Allah Almighty did not accept to uphold this trust. However, it was only mankind that agreed to carry this trust. What actually was this trust that is spoken about?
There are various opinions of the scholars of Qur’an in this regard. However, Allama Ahmed Saawi – may Allah be pleased with him – explains that, “The best explanation in this regard is that it meant the responsibility of upholding the Shari’ah.”
The status of upholding the Shari’ah
It is reported that when Allah Almighty had presented this trust to the mountains, the heavens and earth, the three of them replied, “O Allah! What will we acquire from this?”
Allah Almighty replied that, “If you uphold this, then in return you would be greatly rewarded.”
The three of them then declared, “O Allah! We are in all conditions confined to obeying You. What, therefore, would reward and punishment mean to us?”
However, out of extreme fear for the Divine Creator, all three of them excused themselves from carrying or upholding this mighty trust. This trust was then placed in front of Nabi Adam – peace be upon him – and he also asked what would be the result of abiding by this and carrying this trust.
He was told, “If you fulfil this properly, you would be greatly rewarded and if you do not abide by this or uphold it, then you would suffer from untold punishment. Nabi Adam – peace be upon him – then took the responsibility for carrying this trust. Allah Almighty also informed Nabi Adam – peace be upon him – that He would assist him in this regard as well. (Tafseer Saawi, 3/241)
Answer to a question
We all know that when Satan refused to bow to Nabi Adam Nabi Adam – peace be upon him – Satan was removed and cursed by Allah Almighty. However, when the heavens, the earth and the mountains refused to carry this trust, how is it that nothing happened to them? What is the difference between the both incidents? There is indeed a vast difference in this. When Satan refused to bow down to Nabi Adam – peace be upon him – he did so out of arrogance and pride while the heavens, the earth and the mountains refused to carry this trust out of humility. In other words, Satan thought very high of himself and refused to bow down while the heavens etc. thought of themselves as very little and insignificant to be able to carry such a huge trust and responsibility.
We also know that pride and arrogance is something which is extremely disliked by Allah Almighty while humility is a quality which is very much loved by Allah Almighty. This is the reason that Satan forever became a cursed individual while the heavens, the earth and the mountains were not punished for this reply.