Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu alaykum
What does the verse 286 of Surah Al Baqara mean? Is it referring to spiritual aspect of hardship or does it refer to the physical aspect of it?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Allah Most High says, “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear: each gains whatever good it has done, and suffers its bad…” [2.286]
Suyuti explains, “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear, that is, what it is capable of bearing; each gains whatever good it has done, of good and its reward, and suffers its bad, of evil and its burden: no person shall be requited for another’s sin or for what he has not earned, even if he was tempted to do it.” [Tafsir Jalalayn]
Mufti Muhammad Shafi` writes in his Ma`arif al-Qur’an [1.722], “…thoughts that enter the heart without one’s intention and control, and are not translated into action, stand all excused in the sight of Allah Almighty. Deeds that are undertaken with choice and volition will be the only ones apprehended and called to account.”
Please also see: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment? and: A Time to Build: How Believers Respond To Trials and Tests
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)