Past Good or Bad Deeds Continue to Affect Our Record After Death


"Lo! We it is Who bring the dead to life. We record that which they send before (them, and their footprints. And all things We have kept in a clear Register."  (36:12)

A person's deeds during their lifetime and the consequences or affects of their deeds on the society, their family and descendents will also continue being recorded after death which will either contribute or tarnish their final Report on the Day of Resurrection .... depending on the kind of influence their deeds had on others.  It's tightly linked with ones actions during lifetime.  People have a tendency of getting influenced by one another.  Obviously a good person's actions will leave positive imprints on the people they interacted with during earthly life e.g. their parents, children, spouses, siblings, extended family, friends, neighbors etc.  A misguided person will likely have a negative influence on at least some people around them.   Therefore, the after-affect of peoples' deeds continue to affect their Record even after their death.   Also, if a person committed murder or robbery or any other crime, the repercussions of such an act can cause a lot of suffering and trauma to many affected people even after the death of that criminal.  Hence, the continued suffering will continue to add to the sins of that criminal.  In the same way, the after-affects or sacrifices of a good person's actions will continue to add to their rewards after their death.

In Verse 36:12 the expression "We record that which they send before (them, and their footprints." quite clearly seems to infer to the consequences of ones deeds on individuals and society they leave behind or those which come later.  While these contemporaries, descendants and later communities are basically responsible for their own souls, a fraction of the responsibility is carried on the shoulders of their first ancestors/friends/communities who did not teach them what they should have or intentionally misguided them for the fun of it.

No doubt the Noble Quran has made it clear that every soul bears its own responsibility and will be answerable only for itself.  At the same time it also clarifies in V.16:25 "That they may bear their burdens undiminished on the Day of Resurrection, with somewhat of the burdens of those whom they mislead without knowledge. Ah! evil is that which they bear!"  This Verse connects with Verse 36:12 quoted at the beginning of this article, in that, it again refers that any person who is responsible for misleading others does become somewhat responsible for that as well.  However, sometimes such mistakes of misleading others happen inadvertently.  Like in the simple example of parents and children, when parents trust the future adulthood of their children and cannot imagine them disobeying the basic principles of Faith in later life, expecting them to learn on their own.  But they are disappointed if that doesn't happen.   Of course, the responsibility of such an oversight would obviously be much smaller compared to the misguidance of an intentional transgressor.  This again brings the concept of Salvation and Reprobation having various degrees as elucidated in Verse 3:163.

"There are degrees (of grace and reprobation) with Allah, and Allah is Seer of what they do."  (3:163).

There are some believers who have more good deeds than other believers.  There are also some disbelievers who have more ill deeds than other disbelievers.  Therefore a believer's reward will have varying degrees and an evil doer's violations will also have different degrees.   That's because the the system of justice with Allah Almighty is most perfect and wrongs no one.    All praise be to Allah, The Almighty, only.


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