Does the verse (42:30) apply to children and Prophets?
Fatwa No: 197749

  • Fatwa Date:12-2-2013 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 2, 1434
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Assalaam alaikum, i had sent a question regarding a verse from quraan "because of what your hands have earned" I was redirected towards already answered questions. but i did not find what i was asking for. My question was The verse says 'any' or whatever misfortune falls on is because of your own hands(doing or sins) misfortune falls on a child also, who did not do a sin.(and in islaam we know its a trial this we know) But since the verse includes ALL misfortunes are because of your own doings and says 'ALL', how do we interpret that verse. because a misfortune can be upon a child also, or on a prophet or those whom Allaah loves as a means of testing. but the verse says 'because of your own doing" *do we say that verse is being addressed only to SINNERS and does not include the trails?? how do we understand 'whatever' in the verse. please dont direct me to previously answered, because i am asking about the specific verse whether it is linked only to sinners or any misforutune, because a child is born without sinning.


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


Imaam Ibn Jareer At-Tabari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said regarding the interpretation of the saying of Allaah Almighty (which means): {And whatever strikes you of disaster - it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.} [Quran 42:30]: "Allaah The Almighty Says, O people, whatever strikes you of disasters in this worldly life in yourself, family and wealth (it is for what your hands have earned), meaning this strikes you as a kind of punishment from Allaah The Almighty for the sins you have committed between you and your Lord. Yet, your Lord pardons many of your sins and thus does not punish you for them." [End quote]

Disaster may befall one in himself or his relatives as Ibn Jareer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said. Amongst the texts that prove that one may be afflicted by trials in his children is the statement of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: "Trials will continue to befall the believing man or woman in himself/herself, his/her wealth and his/her offspring until he/she meets Allaah with no sin on him/her." [Ahmad]

The child, who is part of one's family and offspring, is not held accountable for his sins because he has not reached puberty yet; however, disaster may befall him because of the sins of his father. His trial in his child will be a form of punishment, expiation for his sins as well as being a reward for the child himself. Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said regarding the interpretation of this verse: "There are two opinions regarding it: Firstly, It specifically means a form of punishment for the adult individuals and a reward for children. Secondly, it is a general punishment for the adult individuals in themselves and in the case of the children it will be a punishment for their parents." [End quote]

The first opinion indicates that punishment via disaster because of sins is for adult individuals. In the case of the child, it will be a reward for him not a punishment. The second opinion indicates that punishment via disaster because of sins is general in the adult individuals and others. In the case of the child, it is a punishment for his father or mother.

As for the afflictions that strike the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, there is absolutely no doubt that they are to raise their ranks and also to be an expiation for what may be done by one of them that deserves blame from Allaah The Almighty, like what happened to Yoonus (Jonah)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention when Allaah The Almighty Says (what means) about him: {Then the fish swallowed him, while he was blameworthy.} [Quran 37:142] Mujaahid  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: it means while he is sinful. All Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, are infallible and protected from committing major sins and from all bad things that can infringe upon conveying the message; however, they may make some minor sins as Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "The view that the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, are infallible from committing major sins, and not from committing minor sins, is the view of the majority of Muslim scholars and all groups. It is also the view of the scholars of Tafseer (interpretation of the Quran) and Hadeeth and Fuqahaa' (Jurists). Indeed, nothing has been narrated from any of the Salaf (righteous predecessors), Imaams, Sahaabah (the Companions), Taabi’een (the followers of the Companions) and those who followed them except that which is in accordance with this view." [End quote]

Also, they are infallible from insisting on committing minor sins. Thus, if one of them was afflicted with a calamity, it would be either to raise his rank or to expiate what he may have done of things for which Allaah The Almighty blamed him.

Allaah Knows best.

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