Is it possible in Islam to voluntarily receive other peoples sins, freeing them?

The immediate reason I ask is I need urgent help .

And if it is possible, what is the way to do it?

2 Answers 2


As far as I can understand your question, no!

Allah has stated that "وَ لَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَيٰ وَ إِنْ تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَيٰ حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَ لَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَيٰ" which translates into "Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another's burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related" ...

However, people can do other things to help the others, like requesting Allah to forgive others, like Moses PBUH prayed and said "قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَ لِأَخِي وَ أَدْخِلْنَا فِي رَحْمَتِكَ وَ أَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ" which translates into "Moses prayed: 'O my Lord! forgive me and my brother! admit us to Thy mercy! for Thou art the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!" ... or else, people can help others to compensate the consequences of their sins, so that their repent will be accepted. This latter is most common on behalf of those who have passed away, e.g. by asking for forgiveness from people being hurt by the one who has passed away and cannot ask for forgiveness easily on his own.

  • Thank you for your answer. Please forgive me that I don't immediately accept your answer but wait some time for others to choose from, if any. Apr 1 at 17:51
  • Feel free, I'm not expecting you to accept my answer, only hope it will help you and/or future readers, God willing :)
    – owari
    Apr 1 at 17:55
  • 1
    It looks sound and valid, I only want others give a chance, too. Apr 1 at 17:56

The person guiding (someone) to do a good deed, is like the one performing the good deed. And the opposite is valid!

From the sunnah we learn:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: "A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) to get a mount, but he (ﷺ) did not have anything to mount him on with him. So he was lead to another person to give him a mount. He came to the Prophet (ﷺ) to inform him about that and he said: 'Whoever leads to good, he is like the one who does it.'"
(Jami' at-Tirmidhi)

This led to an often-used proverb (which was understood as the hadith statement as you may see in the Collections of Forty » Forty Hadith of Shah Waliullah Dehlawi here) and I've added above as the title of this "chapter".

But the qur'an also teaches us that the opposite of this statement is valid since Allah says about the disbelievers and polytheists:

  • That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection and some of the burdens of those whom they misguide without knowledge. Unquestionably, evil is that which they bear. (16:25)

And also in surat al-'Ankaboot:

  • And those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Follow our way, and we will carry your sins." But they will not carry anything of their sins. Indeed, they are liars. (12)
    But they will surely carry their [own] burdens and [other] burdens along with their burdens, and they will surely be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about what they used to invent. (13)

And in the sunnah you may read a more general confirmation or explanation of these verses:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: He who called (people) to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect. (Sahih Muslim)

From the above, we may conclude that one can receive other people's sins if one leads them to these sins. In other words, one will bear (at least a part of) the burdens of those one has led to sins. But, I wouldn't call that receiving their sins voluntarily. However, something like a(n) (bad) intention could be considered in this context.

The main rule: everybody must take responsibility for their (own) sins.

On the other hand, we have a whole bunch of verses supporting that every individual is responsible or liable for their (own committed) sins:

  • ...It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. ... (2:286)

  • ...And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. (6:164)

  • Indeed, the Hour is coming - I almost conceal it - so that every soul may be recompensed according to that for which it strives. (20:15)

  • Whoever does righteousness - it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants. (41:46)

  • Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained (74:38)

Some of the above verses already show that an essential part of Allah's justness is only to punish a person for his/her (own committed) misdeeds and sins!

In other words, the earlier statements above are just an exception to the rule. For example, if one person persuades another person to kill a third person, would it be fair to punish only the murderer and not also to pay the person who made this act possible their share of the punishment?
The same applies to the verses and hadiths mentioned above. A person who previously did not know about a sin or had never committed it before was persuaded to do so by someone. As a result, he or she may now sin regularly without being aware that it is a sin. since sin was made beautiful to her. Similarly, if a person shows others how to do good and they follow his/her guidance he/she might get her share of this good deed.

We also find a story in the Sunnah that hopefully illuminates and explains the topic:

Jarir b. Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard-pressed by need. He (the Holy Prophet) exhorted people to give charity, but they showed some reluctance until (signs) of anger could be seen on his face. Then a person from the Ansar came with a purse containing silver. Then came another person and then other persons followed them in succession until signs of happiness could be seen on his (sacred) face. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said:
He who introduced some good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect. (Sahih Muslim)

To conclude: In Islam we don't have the choice to receive other people's sins, but we may receive them if we lead them to these sins, or we may ask Allah to forgive them, or maybe have the option to do good deeds on their behalf, but even this is a disputed subject.

P.s.: I voluntarily waive a potential bounty :)

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