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Sura 33
Aya 72
إِنّا عَرَضنَا الأَمانَةَ عَلَى السَّماواتِ وَالأَرضِ وَالجِبالِ فَأَبَينَ أَن يَحمِلنَها وَأَشفَقنَ مِنها وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنسانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كانَ ظَلومًا جَهولًا

Muhammad Asad

Verily, We did offer the trust [of reason and volition] to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains:1 but they refused to bear it because they were afraid of it. Yet man took it up2 - for, verily, he has always been prone to be most wicked, most foolish.
  • The classical commentators give all kinds of laborious explanations to the term amanah ("trust") occurring in this parable, but the most convincing of them (mentioned in Lane 1, 102, with reference to the above verse) are "reason", or "intellect", and "the faculty of volition" - i.e., the ability to choose between two or more possible courses of action or modes of behaviour, and thus between good and evil.
  • Sc., "and then failed to measure up to the moral responsibility arising from the reason and the comparative free will with which he has been endowed" (Zamakhshari). This obviously applies to the human race as such, and not necessarily to all of its individuals.