Islam’s Take on Suicide

By Editorial Staff
Islam's Take on Suicide

Suicide is a major sin in Islam.

Muslim scholars agreed on five main objectives of the Shari`ah (Islamic law). These objectives are as follows: the preservation of the self; the preservation of the reason; the preservation of the religion; the preservation of the property/monetary; and the preservation of lineage.

Therefore, suicide is considered a major sin in Islam as it violates the objectives of preserving the human soul. Killing or harming others is forbidden in Islam.

There is a warning against suicide in the Quran. We read what means:

And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (An-Nisaa’ 4:29)

…And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction. (Al-Baqarah 2:195)

Taking the human soul is not justified under any circumstances in Islam.

We read in the Quran what means:

And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake – then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased’s family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity. But if the deceased was from a people at war with you and he was a believer – then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if he was from a people with whom you have a treaty – then a compensation payment presented to his family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [one or cannot afford to buy one] – then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively, [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah . And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment. (An-Nisaa’ 4:92-93)

We also read what means:

O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment. (Al-Baqarah 2:178)

Suicide is a major sin. The Prophet said:

“He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam, is, as he says; and whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) Fire; and cursing a believer is like murdering him; and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire.” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah: We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah’s Messenger  said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim. “This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire.” When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt (the Prophet’s statement), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Allah has made your statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. “The Prophet said, “O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man. (Al-Bukhari)

Suicide, out of despair and depression, is categorically prohibited in Islam. Life is a gift from God. We have to enjoy it and spend serving God and thanking Him for this great gift. This stems from the fact that the main purpose of our creation is to acknowledge the existence of God and worship Him alone.

Muslims believe that there is a solution for every problem. Muslims believe that whatever befalls them is a trial from God to test them and their patience.

The Prophet said: “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has taken all necessary measure to preserve the soul and laid down the foundations for the prevention of suicide.

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