“Do not kill yourself”

Naba Basar brings to light the serious challenge of resisting suicide in today’s disturbed and fast paced society.

Addressing this issue Allah says: “Do not kill yourselves; indeed, Allah is merciful to you” (Al-Imran 4:29)

The word ‘suicide’ means the intentional killing of oneself. Although the most privileged means of entering Hell, it is at an increase. Allah has made life sacred, and by no means can any being terminate and transgress rules He has set for His creation.

Islam encourages us to face mishaps with determination, and prohibits the resort to self-violation. Know that every calamity is a test from Allah, and a believer should be confident that Allah will help him in every possible way. As Conte Vittorio Alfieri stated, “Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.”

“…Do not take life which God has made sacred except in the course of Justice…” (Al-Anam 6:151) Taking away one’s life is an unforgivable sin, and it reflects the weakness of a person’s Eeman. Narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta), the Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling into it and abiding therein forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally.” (Bukhari)

Anas Ibn Malik (rta) reported of Allah’s Messenger (sa) saying: “None of you should make a request for death because of the trouble in which he is involved. At times of despair say: ‘O Allah, keep me alive as long as there is goodness in life for me and bring death to me when there is goodness in death for me.'” (Muslim)

“There was amongst those before you a man who had a wound. He was in (such) anguish that he took a knife and made with it a cut in his hand, and the blood did not cease to flow till he died. Allah the Almighty said: ‘My servant has himself forestalled Me; I have forbidden him Paradise.”’ (Hadith Qudsi)

Clearly a person who commits suicide lacks faith in Allah and sees things through the eyes of an absolute pessimist. The above Ahadeeth confirm that any form of suicide is prohibited in Islam. An essential part of faith is to believe in predestination with its good and bad. Allah rewards a believer who suffers trials and tribulations, provided he exhibits Sabr (patience) and Tawwakul (reliance) on the Creator. We fail to understand that these little trials are a means to test our belief in Allah and in the Day of Resurrection.

It has been noticed that suicide among males is more common and is the third leading cause of death. W. H. Ferry once quoted, “Men just don’t seem to jump off the bridge for big reasons; they usually do so for little ones.” Nevertheless factors that contribute towards suicide may be:

  • Physical ailment / loss of any physical organ
  • Feelings of despair, depression and guilt
  • Fear of failure
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Rejection as in the break up of and engagement / romantic relationship or divorce
  • Severe financial dilemma / loss of business / debt

The means adopted for suicide are mostly intake of poisonous substances, hanging, shooting, jumping off a cliff, setting one’s self on fire, cutting the wrist etc. But many use methods that require time to ensure partial safety, so they use drugs over a longer period of time.

What of the family left behind to bear the grief? They blame themselves for not preventing the suicide. Thus, they spend their lives tormented with shame and guilt. These emotions are intensified when the perished and the survivor had an argument before the suicide took place.

Remember a person who commits suicide is forbidden Paradise.

If you feel suicidal make sure you try talking to an Imam or someone who can help paint a clearer picture through Ahadeeth and Quranic verses.

Or seek out Islamic counsel to guide and encourage you to take the right path, not the perceived easy path.

Say: “Astaghfar Allah wa Atubu ilayh” (May Allah have mercy on me and accept my repentance) 100 times a day, as was the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa).

When fearful, say: “La ilaha ill Allah” (there is no deity but Allah).

If someone expresses suicidal thoughts to you, it is important that you warn him or her of the consequences that their soul will have to bear. Nevertheless, pray for the soul that committed suicide, for Allah knows the truth and really forgives. “He is Oft-Forgive, Most-Merciful.”

According to a report by Shifa News International, published in the August 2004 issue of ‘Madadgar’, an NGO quoted, almost 2,386 people in Pakistan committed suicide in 2004 & around 468 people failed in their attempt.

Sindh led other provinces in this regard with an estimated count of 1,391 cases, 804 in Punjab, 108 in NWFP & 83 in Balochistan. In Sindh an average of five cases were reported daily in different areas.

Concept of group suicide

Strange facets of suicide have surfaced in recent years. In the town of Minano in Japan, police recently found four men and three women dead in a car parked on the mountainside. It was a case of group suicide whose members had become acquainted with each other over the inter net. What led them to commit suicide is yet to be known. Dawn

Suicide is Europe’s unseen killer

58,000 people commit suicide annually in Europe according to the European Union’s health chief. Most suicides in the 25-nation bloc are linked to mental illness, especially depression. 15% who suffer severe depression commit suicide while 56% attempt to kill themselves. Reuters