According to the verse Quran 2 :286 Allah does not test a soul beyond its limit.

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. "Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people."

but in Sahih Buckari hadith we can see prophet Moses is more knowledgeable than Allah in this regard

Sahih Buckari Book 8 hadith 345 Narrated Abu Dhar: Allah's Apostle said, "While I was at Mecca the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zam-zam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it. Then he took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven, when I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, 'Open (the gate).' The gatekeeper asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered: 'Gabriel.' He asked, 'Is there anyone with you?' Gabriel replied, 'Yes, Muhammad I is with me.' He asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel said, 'Yes.' So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked toward his left he wept. Then he said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.' I asked Gabriel, 'Who is he?' He replied, 'He is Adam and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps.' Then he ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and he (Gabriel) said to its gatekeeper, 'Open (the gate).' The gatekeeper said to him the same as the gatekeeper of the first heaven had said and he opened the gate. Anas said: "Abu Dhar added that the Prophet met Adam, Idris, Moses, Jesus and Abraham, he (Abu Dhar) did not mention on which heaven they were but he mentioned that he (the Prophet ) met Adarn on the nearest heaven and Abraham on the sixth heaven. Anas said, "When Gabriel along with the Prophet passed by Idris, the latter said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.' The Prophet asked, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Idris." The Prophet added, "I passed by Moses and he said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.' I asked Gabriel, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Moses.' Then I passed by Jesus and he said, 'Welcome! O pious brother and pious Prophet.' I asked, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Jesus. Then I passed by Abraham and he said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.' I asked Gabriel, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Abraham. The Prophet added, 'Then Gabriel ascended with me to a place where I heard the creaking of the pens." Ibn Hazm and Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet said, "Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers when I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, 'What has Allah enjoined on your followers?' I replied, 'He has enjoined fifty prayers on them.' Moses said, 'Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it.' (So I went back to Allah and requested for reduction) and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Moses again and informed him about it, he said, 'Go back to your Lord as your followers will not be able to bear it.' So I returned to Allah and requested for further reduction and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Moses and he said to me: 'Return to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it. So I returned to Allah and He said, 'These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change.' I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, 'Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.' Then Gabriel took me till we '' reached Sidrat-il-Muntaha (Lote tree of; the utmost boundry) which was shrouded in colors, indescribable. Then I was admitted into Paradise where I found small (tents or) walls (made) of pearls and its earth was of musk."

Why Allah enjoined something beyond a souls capacity in the first place?

  • 1
    Perhaps to teach us how incapable and miserable we are in upholding the deserving prayer.
    – infatuated
    May 13, 2015 at 4:31
  • Who said He did? Allah in His omniscience knows what is and is not beyond a soul's capacity; in the quoted hadith, Moses claimed that the burden was too much to bear, but why would you assume that he had any sort of omniscience in that regard?
    – goldPseudo
    May 13, 2015 at 4:38
  • I agree with @goldPseudo. I tried to point that out in the answer. Furthermore, it is valid to ask. I see someone downvoted the question. This is not fair I think. Don't discourage someone who wants to learn. If you downvote, then please leave a comment stating the reason.
    – user12680
    May 13, 2015 at 4:41
  • Because he ultimately knew it is gonna be "5 times". Maybe, to test. May 13, 2015 at 7:04
  • The background of this apokalypse is that Jews use to perform three formal prayers similar (but not equal) to our salat, that's why it is said that Mose (saw) told Muhammad (saw) to ask anew what he didn't. So we received the order prayers after this apocalypse in the Quran. Of cause, Allah knew before what will happen.
    – Jeschu
    Sep 1, 2020 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


First of all, I would not make that conclusion, that Allah enjoined something beyond a soul's capacity. He does not do that, because (as you know) Allah says (Sura 2, Verse 286):

<< لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ >>

And at the end of the journey, Allah in fact enjoined five prayers per day (all equal to 50). Moses simply states his opinion according to his knowledge, and Allah knows best.

Remember at the end of the journey it is mentioned

I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, 'Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.'

That is: Moses still thinks that five prayers is still too much. However, Muhammad shied from asking again. In Islam those five prayers are the second pillar of Islam today. Moses was worried that Muslims will not be able to bear it. But today many Muslims really do those five prayers per day. Thus my thinking that the conclusion you draw (that Moses is more knowledgeable than Allah) is not a correct conclusion.

In fact, we humans are expected to believe in Allah/God and one of his properties is all-knowing.

I hope I could help and feel free to edit clarify more.


Allaah SWT, being omniscient, no doubt knew that Muhammad (saws) would be advised by Musa (AS) to ask for a Reduction, in the number of prayers, and so Perhaps Allaah SWT granted Himself the opportunity to show His Mercy and favour upon our Prophet (saws).


The answer is given in the hadith itself.

On the Night of Isra, fifty prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet. Then it was decreased until it was made five. Then it was called out: 'O Muhammad! Indeed My Word does not change; these five prayers will be recorded for you as fifty (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 213)

Allah already knew that, so the words "Indeed My Word does not change" indicates that he does know what mankind is capable of doing and made this announcement after prescribing five daily prayers.

So why did Allah shortened the number of prayers after prescribing 50 prayers? The answer is that it is to show the mankind how merciful Allah is.

Allah says,

Allah wants to lighten your burdens: for man has been created weak (Koran 4:28)

Secondly, after mentioning five prayers, God said, "these five prayers will be recorded for you as fifty" clearly indicated that it was to demonstrate mercy of God, as God already knew that fifty prayers would not be something that can be observed by mankind.

Bible mentions a similar story where Moses asked God to lessen the burden on him:-

He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.

The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. (Numbers 11:11-17)

Thirdly, I do not believe that it was impossible for mankind to offer 50 prayers a day. It was just difficult. Jews observe 100 brachas daily even today and it is difficult to do that on Yom Kippur and Sabbath. This includes reciting several passages from their Holy books.

Fourthly, we do not know how many Raka'hs (Units) of prayers those Fifty prayers had. We know nothing about how we were supposed to offer those fifty prayers. Suppose if we divide those fifty prayers by ten Rak'ahs for five times a day, then we would have been offering ten Rak'ahs for each time a day. In reality we know nothing about how those fifty prayers looked like.

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