Why will the good deeds of a person be given to another person in the hereafter?

Details of the Question

Why will the good deeds of a person be given to another person in the hereafter due to violation of others’ rights since one’s good deeds belong to him?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The following is stated in the Quran:

“...For us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds....” (ash-Shura 15)

That is, the deeds a person does, whether good or bad, is recorded in his own account. A person who does not take part in those deeds directly or indirectly is not held responsible because of them.

Violation of others rights is different

If someone donates some money to a charity organization, it will be recorded as a thawab for him.

If the same person backbites another person, this backbiting will be recorded as a bad deed (debt) in his book of deeds against him in favor of the person he backbites.

If the person who backbites does not ask Allah for forgiveness, Allah will question him for that sin.

However, this person owes something to the person he backbites even if Allah forgives him. If he does not ask forgiveness from that person, from his thawabs, the same amount as the sin of his backbiting will be transferred to that person’s account; if his thawabs are not enough, some of the sins of that person will be transferred to his account. That is, our thawabs are not transferred without any reason. They are transferred due to our wrong deeds as a result of violation of others’ rights.  

As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:

"Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him." (Bukhari, Mazalim, 10)

The following question can come to mind here: “Why should I forgive that person since his thawabs will be transferred to me or my sins will be transferred to him?”

Allah’s infinite generosity, mercy and justice, which He obviously uses in favor of us, His weak slaves, intervenes at this point. Allah’s treasures are endless. He gives us the glad tiding that He will grant many times more to a slave who forgives others due to violation of his rights, which is a deed that is hard for the soul. Therefore, we should forgive those who ask forgiveness; praise be to Allah.

How can we expect Allah to forgive our sins if we avoid forgiving others for some minor worldly affairs?

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