Allah says in Surah al-Maidah that if anyone kills someone without reason, it’s as if he has killed all of humanity. Then, Allah says that the same applies to saving a life. Hence, any form of taking a life is a crime in Islam. We can apply the same logic to suicide, which Allah has wholly forbidden.
Allah has also clearly stated in Surah Nisa that people should not kill themselves. In the same verse, He adds that He is the Most Merciful. Allah’s Mercy contains the key that can obstruct the path for any Muslim who considers committing the crime of suicide. Human life is sacred, no matter what.
Prophet Muhammad (S) also said that in the Afterlife, Allah would punish a person who commits suicide with the same thing that he used to commit suicide with. Hence, we can see that there is no room for argument on this matter. Committing suicide is a major sin in Islam and must be avoided at all costs.
At the same time, we must also remember that Allah says that He can forgive all sins besides the sin of shirk. Therefore, if someone commits the crime of suicide, we cannot say that they are destined for the fire. Allah is the Just and the Most Merciful. If He wishes, He will punish the person. But if He wishes, He will also forgive the person.
In the modern-day world, suicide is becoming an increasingly bigger problem. This is a global issue that affects countries all over the world. According to some estimates, up to one million people take their own lives annually.
Depression is one of the leading causes of suicide
Many people all over the world feel distressed and sad at times. This is one of the most basic emotions among the human race. However, for some people, this goes a bit deeper and reaches the point of clinical depression. Depression of this kind is medically considered a mental health disorder.
Several factors can cause depression in human beings. They can be genetic or psychological factors, as well as factors relating to the environment. However, it is undeniable that our experience and situations and how we react to them also play a role in depression. Often, this can lead to suicide.
Depression can affect people who think lowly of themselves or have low self-esteem. It can also have an impact on people who are prone to thinking negatively. People who are easily overwhelmed, or those suffering from a debilitating illness are also prone to depression. May Allah keep us safe from all illnesses, Ameen.
Muslims are not immune to depression. Muslims must completely submit to Allah alone. However, this is rarely the case, as there are no perfect Muslims besides the Prophet (PBUH). Hence, we must try to minimize the factors that can cause depression and suicide.
If a Muslim gets depressed, he must focus on trying to identify the reason for the depression and eliminating it. Getting closer to Allah and moving away from materialistic aspects are things that can help Muslims in such situations.
There is no shame in a Muslim consulting doctors or psychologists if he feels that they can help him to overcome his condition. We must do whatever we can to keep ourselves safe and to stay far away from committing sins, especially major sins that harm us in this life and the next.
The phenomenon of suicide bombings in the name of Islam
Some ignorant people claim that Islam advocates, or tolerates suicide bombings. This is due to so-called Muslims who commit violent actions in the name of Islam. However, their actions show that they clearly do not know anything about Allah’s beloved religion.
As we have already established, suicide is haram and a major sin. We return to the initial point we mentioned: that all life is sacred. The sanctity of life is paramount, and no person can kill another without the judicial process, even if he may have committed a crime.
Suicide bombers are committing two massive sins. When they detonate themselves, they are violating the principle of not killing oneself. To make the point regarding suicide, the Prophet (PBUH) refused to offer funeral prayer behind a man who killed himself. However, he did allow others to do so.
The second principle that suicide bombers violate is when they kill innocent people. The vast majority of suicide bombers detonate themselves in areas with a lot of people. This causes maximum damage, killing people and destroying infrastructure. Therefore, suicide bombing is an extremely vile action that is a crime in Islam.
People who carry out such actions often claim to be Muslims, even pious ones. Hence, they are not only committing a crime against themselves and the Muslims, but they are committing a crime against Islam.
The community of Islamic scholars and jurists are also united on this matter. There is no room for suicide bombings in Islam.
Despair during trials and tribulations in Islam
One of the leading causes of people committing suicide is when they feel despair, and they think that they cannot deal with the reality of life.
As Muslims, we must be aware of the facts of life. Happiness and sadness are both a part of life on this Earth. We cannot avoid these facts. Even the Prophet (PBUH) went through the Year of Grief period when his wife and uncle both died within a short period. No one is exempt from the aspect of sadness. Therefore, this cannot be a reason for committing suicide.
Allah informs us in Surah al-Baqarah that He will test us. He tells us that this can be with fear, hunger, poverty, etc. However, He says to give glad tidings to the people who show patience in such adversity. Allah also mentions in Surah al-Ankabut that He will test the believers.
In another verse in Surah al-Baqarah, Allah also mentions that He does not burden souls beyond what they can bear. Therefore, we possess the ability to deal with tests Allah puts in our way, but we must have the willpower and strength to do so. Once again, suicide is not an option.
The prophets faced extensive tests and trials. Prophet Yaqoob (a.s.) is a prime example. He was sad and was faced with immense grief, after which he said that he can only complain about his sorrow to Allah.
The Prophet (PBUH) said that people face misfortune, disease, etc. However, he said that Allah expiates some of man’s sin in return for them having to undergo tests and trials. Hence, this is actually one of Allah’s ways to forgive us.
A Muslim must live between the two states of hope and fear
Fears of many kinds and the loss of hope are some of the leading causes of suicide. In this regard, there is a fundamental principle that Muslims must follow. All aspects of life require balance. If we tilt too much towards one side, we can lose perspective of what’s happening. In physical terms, we can fall if we’re off-balance.
The same applies to a Muslim’s state of mind. A Muslim must fear Allah above everyone else. However, a Muslim must also have hope in Allah beyond anyone else.
This means that a person should be aware of Allah’s punishment once he does something wrong. This can be a form of deterrence for any evil deed or sin. Suicide is also in this category of sins. If a person fears Allah, he refrains from doing anything that displeases Him.
Having hope in Allah means never to despair and lose hope. Some people may commit suicide because they don’t have hope of anything good in the future. This may be because they feel they are bad human beings or because they have committed too much sin. But either way, this is the wrong attitude. After all, Allah can even forgive a man who murders 99 people.
We must always have hope in Allah. We should always think that if we sincerely repent for our bad deeds, then Allah will forgive us and will take us out of the problematic situation that we are facing. From another point of view, we should also commit good deeds hoping that Allah will reward us for them.
Thus, the aspects of hope and fear are essential for a Muslim to have balance in his life.
People who kill themselves to avoid facing evil actions
A small number of cases of suicide cases take place when a person feels that someone may inflict them with harmful and painful actions.
One such case is that of a woman who commits suicide due to fear of rape. Suicide is not permissible in such cases. The victim must try to fight off the attacker. If the victim dies during the attack, then he or she is considered a martyr.
Another case is when an evil foe and the threat of unspeakable torture faces a person. Many people feel that it’s better to commit suicide in such cases to avoid various forms of torture. However, the same principle applies as in the previous example. The victim must try to ward off the evil rather than taking his or her own life.
There is undeniable proof in the Quran and Sunnah that committing suicide is not permitted in Islam. In fact, it is haram and is a major sin. The Prophet (PBUH)’s warning regarding the punishment for a person who kills himself is a stark reminder of the seriousness of the matter at hand. Muslims cannot afford to take this lightly. They must not commit this action under any circumstance.