One of the errant beliefs prevalent in ignorant societies is that one person's sins can be heaped upon another. For example, someone may try to prevent his friends from carrying out a religious obligation and say, "I will accept that sin myself." Of course that person will be committing the sin of preventing the carrying out of an obligation, but his friend will still be committing the sin of not carrying it out. In other words, nobody can lift that sin from another's shoulders. On the Day of Reckoning, people will only be held responsible for their own deeds. Nobody will be asked about the sins of others, and nobody's sins will be attributed to anyone else. Allah told the Prophet Muhammad (saas) to explain this in these terms:
Say: "Am I to desire other than Allah as Lord when He is the Lord of all things?" What each self earns is for itself alone. No burden-bearer can bear another's burden. Then you will return to your Lord, and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. (Surat al-An'am: 164)
The Prophet (saas)'s words, "no burdened soul will bear another's burden,"43 explained the truth about that popular superstition.