لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِنْ نَسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنْتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
"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." (Surat AlBaqarah Verse 286)
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
The word تکلیف (takleef) in arabic means to be burdened with something and Allah says in this verse Allah does not burden any individual except to that persons capacity.
This actually means any trials you and I go through in life, are actually custom tailored to our capability to manage them. What somebody else is going through may not be something you may be able to handle and what you are going through may be something that someone else may not be able to handle.
The gifts we enjoy in life and the difficulties, hardships and trials we suffer in life are actually all accustomed tailored to our own individual personalities.
So Allah says he does not burden anybody more than they in particular are capable of bearing.
Another remarkable thing about this ayah is that there are some things that we are all equally responsible for. So they are commandments of Islam that we cant refuse, for example the five daily prayers we cannot say
"that i am unable to pray salaah."
As these are a few of the commandments of Allah that Allah put on every individual that we have to be able to do. There are a few exceptions to this that have to be very minute cases and even in that there are differences of opinions.
But they are pretty much universal laws and the major things that are obligatory and the major things that are forbidden we cannot make the excuse to ourselves that Allah will understand. For example we cannot use the excuse for ourselves to say that "I'm not the prayer type, I cannot pray Fajr as I'm not a morning person".
Allah burdened us with these responsibilities knowing that every single human being will be capable of praying five times a day, every muslim is capable of staying away from haram. When we convince ourselves that we cant then we are actually denying what Allah has said about us; that we can & we are capable. Allah would have never have given us these things to do if we werent capable of doing them. So we have to ask yourself; am i being true to myself when i say i cant, or is Allah being true when he says that yes we can. This is the real honest question that we have to ask ourselves especially when it comes to the major commandments of Allah.
لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ
And finally in this verse Allah says a person will benefit from whatever they earn and have for themselves and whatever they earn for themselves in terms of sin will go against them. So they are something's that we earn that will go for us and there are other stuff that we earn that will go against us.
Also in this ayah Allah is telling us a secret that although sins may be easy to earn in the short term but what we pay for them in the long term bring about so much difficulty and what we have earned in terms of problems and difficulties in your life there is so much hardship because of that disobedience to Allah, that actually in reality it doesn't count as something easy.
For example stealing may be easy but doing time in jail will be pretty hard
So what you did as a act of stupidity may have been easy on you at the time but the price you payed for it made it a very difficult and a bad thing that you did for yourself. On the other hand getting a job and working hard and earning money in the right way may be really hard but the hardship in the long term that you save yourself compared to that, the alternative is pretty easy.
That is the view that Allah wants us to have about good and bad deeds
Good deeds may require a lot more work but Allah will make them easy
And bad deeds might be much more easier to do but we will pay the price and we will realise how much difficulty it actually puts us through in our life
So dont overestimate the burden Allah has put on us as far as responsibilities and dont underestimate the weight of sin. Do not think about the trouble it will bring us tomorrow and especially when we stand in front of Allah
May Allah make us amongst those who are able to stay away from sin, and fulfill the commandments of Allah and gain his pleasure
Notes taken from a lecture by Nouman Ali Khan