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IslamQA: Do the consequences of other people’s sins affect us?

Aselam Alaikum, hope your well in shaa Allah. In Islam does the consequences of another persons sin, affect oneself? My aunt, who has been very absent, rude and hating towards my family and I, and disowned us for years, has now fallen ill. And out of all, I have ended up being the one taking care of her. It has effected me badly since I can’t work or be with friends ect, since I’m home all day taking care of her, for months now. How may it be that the consequences of her sin affects my life

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Another person’s sin can certainly affect you materially. A person who steals something is sinning, but the sin also affects the victim who will now lack that thing. If your aunt has been bad toward your family and is now reliant upon you, that could be God’s way of repaying you by helping you earn the great rewards of taking care of someone who has hurt you in the past.  The Quran refers in this way to those who do good toward those who have done them harm in the past:

But none will attain [this virtue] except those who persevere, and none will attain it except the very fortunate. (The Quran, verse 41:35)

I know it can be tiring and dreary to have to take care of someone, even someone you love. But assuming you have no choice but to continue in this way, then the best thing to do is to make this an occasion for rising your status in God’s sight.

Every person’s life contains certain “unsolvable” problems; it might be a chronically ill child or parent, or an abusive spouse, or a bad job that a person can find no way to leave. There are two ways of dealing with such problems: one way leads to discontent and spiritual stagnation, and the other leads to growth and maturation. For more please see my essay below which is dedicated to this topic:

The Road to Maturity: On Dealing with Life’s Unsolvable Problems

Best wishes.

And God knows best.
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