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The Qur'an says that the actions of the infidels are futile:

You hypocrites are like those unbelievers before you. They were much stronger than you and were richer and had more children. They enjoyed their share in this life. You enjoyed your share, just like them. And you are engaged in idle talk, just like them. Their deeds have become invalid in this world and in the Hereafter. And they are the "real" losers. 9:69

Polytheists should not maintain the mosques of Allah while they openly profess disbelief. Their deeds are futile, and they will be on fire forever. 9:17

But it is also said that Allah does not lose the good deeds of people:

Indeed, Allah never offends anyone — not even by the weight of an atom. And if it is a good deed, He will multiply it many times and give a great reward according to His grace. 4:40

So whoever does good by the weight of a speck of dust will see it. 99:7

That is, if the actions of the unbelievers are invalid (according to 9:17, 9:69), then how will they double the reward on the Day of Judgment in accordance with 4:40 and 99:7. Just in 99:7, the word "people" is used, that is, people are understood as both infidels and believers. So if the deeds of unbelievers are annulled, then why is it said that each person will not only be credited, but also double the reward for these deeds. So I wanted to ask: How do these groups of verses relate?

2 Answers 2

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This can be resolved in several ways.

First way:

Whoever from the disbelievers does good in his life, it will be seen in this life and rewarded. Then, he will have nothing left in the hereafter.

Allah says:

Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter - We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world - We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share. (42:20)

The Prophet (SAW) said:

"Allah does not wrong a believer a good deed because he is given blessings for it in this world and will be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. But the infidel is given in the world the reward for good deeds, he has performed for the sake of Allah and when he comes to the Hereafter, there is no good deed for which he can be rewarded". (Sahih Muslim)

Second way:

Both 4:40 and 99:7 are specific to believers.

As for 4:40, that can be seen by its context:

And what [harm would come] upon them if they believed in Allah and the Last Day and spent out of what Allah provided for them? And Allah is ever, about them, Knowing.

Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom's weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward. (4:39-40)

So, it is about those who believe and spend in charity. Their deeds will be multiplied.

As for 99:7-8, the first is about believers and the second is about disbelievers.

So whoever does an atom's weight of good [from the believers] will see it,

And whoever does an atom's weight of evil [from the disbelievers] will see it.

The reason for this specification is that we know there are many evil deeds believers will not see because of Allah hiding them in His mercy. Likewise, we know from the other verses that there are good deeds that the disbelievers will not see.

Third way:

The "good" mentioned in 4:40 and 99:7 only applies to truly good deeds, and those are the deeds done with faith for the sake of Allah.

In that case, whatever the disbelievers do, their deeds are not good in the first place.

And Allah knows best.

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  • Good answer. As for the first option, I doubt it, because it is said that the works of the infidels are futile in this world and in the Hereafter (9:69). But the second and third opinions are quite likely.
    – Insan
    Aug 31 at 20:36
  • @Insan As for 9:69, it's likely referring to not deeds but work and efforts i.e. work they put into earning wealth, building power, etc. since that is the context of the verse. So, their wealth and effort is wasted in the world because they lose it all when they die and wasted in the hereafter because it will do nothing for them there.
    – The Z
    Aug 31 at 20:42
  • What about 4:49? It says that non-believers will not be offended even by the size of the thread. "Have you ˹O Prophet˺ not seen those who ˹falsely˺ elevate themselves? It is Allah who elevates whoever He wills. And none will be wronged ˹even by the width of˺ the thread of a date stone".4:49 So their deeds will still be counted? Or is it not?
    – Insan
    Aug 31 at 20:52
  • @Insan In the first way, they are not offended because their reward was already given in the world. In the third way, it is because their deeds weren't good in the first place such that disregarding them would be offense.
    – The Z
    Aug 31 at 20:54
  • It is more encompassing to say: Everyone agrees the disregarding of the deeds of the disbelievers is not wrong or injustice since Allah is all-Just. They would just disagree about how and why it is not injustice.
    – The Z
    Aug 31 at 21:07
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Asalamo Alaikum, Please do elaborate a bit more!

The hypocrites and polytheists deed are in vain and are invalid because they either associate others with Allah or they do not truly (by heart and tongue) believe in Allah.

For a person's deeds to be any benefit to him or accepted, they first need to truly believe in what Allah has revealed.

"Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight" is the
majesty of Allah ( ٱلْعَدْلُ) that he is not unjust.

And if it is a good deed, He will multiply it many times and give a great reward according to His grace. is the grace and gift of Allah (الرحمان) to those who are obedient to Him.

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