Suicide In the Merciful Religion of Islam? No!, By Murtadha Gusau
…I ask Allah (SWT) to destroy the terrorists and all their supporters, sponsors, and collaborators. I also ask Allah the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne to kill them like the killing of Aad, Thamuud and Fir’awn, Ya Allah, Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim, Ya Dhal-Jalaali wal-Ikraam. Ya Allah! Snatch and hold them, “AKHAZA AZEEZIN MUQTADIR.”
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Verily, all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Surah Ali Imran 3:102]
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Surah al-Nisa’ 4:1]
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [Surah al-Ahzab 33:70-71]
As to what proceeds: Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire. As to what proceeds:
My People! Allah, the Most High, strongly prohibited the killing of oneself (suicide), or anybody else, or children for fear of poverty, as stated in verses 6: 151, 17: 33, 2: 195, and 4: 29 because the killing of one innocent soul is for Allah equal to the crime of killing all people, as stated in 5: 32.
And Allah said:
“Say, Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6: 151)
And He the Almighty said:
“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly – We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in (the matter of) taking life. Indeed, he has been supported.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17: 33)
And He said:
“And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2: 195)
“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (or one another). Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2: 29)
“Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.” (Surah Al-Ma-ida, 5: 32)
Brothers and Sisters! In a society like the West – that prides itself for freedom and liberty to attain maximum happiness, suicide ought to be the furthest from the mind! Yet it is not an uncommon practice and may be someone who is close to you and opens up to you and you may be the only person who can help. Suicide, resorted to in times of crisis as an end to those worries, is not only prohibited in Islam but it is also not an escape. This piece illustrates how Islam provides an alternative that is worth living for!
In Allah’s care…
He the Almighty brought together the sperm and the ovum from deep within two separate individuals, lodged the fertilised egg safely and prepared the uterus for the creation of a life – helpless and dependent on its Creator from the day of conception and beyond its birth, the vibrant youth, prudent adulthood up to its death at a senile old age and beyond to another life – its real home. Not a day passes except that the same Creator sustains this life – and the six to seven billion others like it on the planet – with attention to the most minute of its needs. It breathes effortlessly without even noticing the complex art and perfection in the organs that enable it.
Why despair then?
With such care and attention for detail in each individual, is it then warranted to despair of the help of the most Merciful?
Along the same lines we find these verses in the Quran:
“Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning? Verily, We have created man from a drop of mixed fluid (of man and woman) in order to try him so We made him a hearer and seer. Verily, We showed him the way (gave him guidance in all matters), whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” [Surah Insan, 76:1-3]
For us is to worship and the provision is from Him…
Allah created us with such care and attention for a noble purpose and assured us that He will sustain and look after each and every need. He informs in the Quran:
“I did not create the Jinn or the human except that they worship me; I do not want any provision from them (neither for themselves nor for any creatures) nor do I seek that they should feed Me (i.e. provide for whom I provide). Verily, Allah He is the Provider (of all), possessor of Power, the Most Strong.” [Surah Dhariyat, 51:56-58]
Why the trials and hardship?
Thus Allah took the responsibility of providing for and looking after all affairs of each and every individual and reassured He is the One fully capable of that. Our concern is not to be anxious even in the most trying circumstance for Allah promised to provide a way out; rather our concern is to worship Him by living a life of obedience to Him and excellence in every walk of life. Any hardship faced is no more than a trial to prove that our only concern is the approval of our actions by Allah before anyone else in the community and even before our own pleasure. Allah promised in the Quran:
“Alif, Lam, Mim, do people think that they will be left alone on (merely) saying: ‘We believe,’ and not be tested (in their claims)? We have indeed tested those who were before them; and Allah will certainly make it known those who were truthful and He will certainly make known the liars.” [Surah Ankabut, 29:1-2]
Thus suicide is forbidden in the Quran and hadith.
Given that Allah promised to undertake the sustenance and any delay thereafter or withholding of any of its needs being merely for a trial, then there is no room for a person to take away the life that Allah has created for an important purpose and meticulously sustaining it each second for that purpose. He prohibited the destroying of ones life in any manner as understood by the general meaning of the wording of this verse:
“And do not throw (yourselves) with your own hands to destruction; but work (deeds of) excellence for verily Allah loves the people of excellence.” [Surah Baqarah, 2:195]
Thus we are ordered to not destroy ourselves rather to direct the mind and energies to doing good deeds that please Allah. In another verse:
“And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most merciful to you.” [Surah Nisa’, 4:29]
In fact the taking of even one life is regarded as the taking of the life of the whole of mankind:
“Whoever kills a soul – unless for another soul or for corruption (vice and mischief spread) in the land – it is as if he had slain the whole of mankind. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved the whole of mankind.” [Surah Ma’idah, 5:32]
The noun, soul (nafs) in the verse is without the definite particle. In Arabic, an indefinite noun in a conditional clause gives the meaning of generality and comprehensiveness. Thus, the verse is not only concerning the taking of a soul of another person but even ones own life for both are souls created and entrusted to us by Allah. This is not only prohibited but strongly condemned as though he killed the whole of mankind.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) also prohibited it as learnt from the following hadith:
“Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself, he will be in the Fire of Hell throwing himself down for ever and ever. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself will have the poison in his hand, drinking it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron (i.e. a weapon) will have that piece of iron in his hand, stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever.” (Sahih Bukhari)
The pain of suicide is for ever.
A person, who commits suicide, does so believing it an escape from his crisis so he ends his life willing to bear a moment of pain and may throw himself of a cliff. Yet this hadith shows that he actually brings upon himself that pain not just momentarily but again and again in Hell-fire.
But from His (Allah) mercy He may forgive suicide – so why not stay alive in His mercy?
However, from the mercy of Allah, the Exalted, He may forgive any sin committed by a person no matter how grave or He may punish in this life or in Hell-fire, except for Shirk. Associating partners to Allah (Shirk) in divinity and Lordship is the only sin that Allah does not forgive. The one doing shirk may seek forgiveness from the partner he claims to Allah in divinity but he is seeking forgiveness from someone who doesn’t have the authority to forgive! This principle of forgiveness is established clearly in the Quran:
“Verily Allah does not forgive that you set up partners with Him but He forgives anything else for whoever He wishes.” [Surah Nisa’, 4:48]
A person who is confident of the mercy of Allah in forgiving him for committing suicide, shouldn’t he have the same confidence that if he doesn’t commit suicide, Allah from His mercy and care will alleviate his hardship and distress? If it takes time, it is no more than a temporary trial.
A day’s worth for a Muslim…
An extra day alive is that much longer to work good deeds to distance oneself from the eternal torment of Hell-fire and a golden opportunity to win a better place in Paradise. It is for deserving of this mercy of Allah and a Paradise which no eye has ever seen, nor any ear has ever heard nor conceived by any mind, it is for this a Muslim is directed to strive every moment he is alive by the favour of Allah. A Believer capitalises on each breath Allah allows him – only the ignorant would throw away such a bargain! Allah says:
“And whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) will see it (on the Day of Resurrection to be rewarded) and whoever does mischief equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” [Surah Zalzalah, 99:7-8]
Reassurances in Quran and a purpose to live…
Thus a person contemplating suicide finds reassurance in the Quran and purpose for life. He finds an explanation for ease or hardship. He realizes that every hardship expiates for his sins and elevates his rank in Paradise. He thus finds internal peace and pleasure even in external hardship and suffering and strives to acquire or lose the eternal comfort in the Hereafter. The feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and self-loathing diminish as a Believer contemplates on the message of the Quran, reflects on life and patterns the life according to its wise injunctions. Initially, this achievement may be for moments only but with time and following the guidance of the Quran it may become a constant state.
Mixing with people…
The effectiveness of this process can be enhanced tremendously by interaction with other people, righteous Muslims and especially the people with Islamic knowledge and counselors. As negative feelings develop and pessimism sets in, they can draw attention to vital realities of life and the Hereafter as well as be the encouraging spirit. Not everyone will be sensitive nor can the person open up to just anyone, however it is good to at least with some who is understanding and able to help. As for those who make the person feel worthless for reasons that are insignificant in Allah’s sight, not interacting with them is understandable.
Self-worth… with people…and with Allah…
No matter how insignificant a person is in the eyes of his peers, he is important enough in the sight of Allah that He created him with such care from even before birth. Today, the society judges a person for wealth, power, success in career, physical attraction and other worldly traits. But a person who has none of this or has lost everything may still be the dearest to Allah, the angels and the believers who are rightly guided! In Islam, the worth of an individual is solely based on taqwa – the Allah consciousness that produces righteousness and piety. A peasant or a bankrupt businessman may be superior to a CEO of the most successful organisation on earth – if he excels in taqwa! Allah makes this point clear in the Quran:
“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has the most taqwa (piety). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-aware.” [Surah Hujurat, 49:13]
Even in times of weakness, take a step at a time…
Although reassured that in the sight of Allah the worthiness of an individual is measured only by taqwa, a person may still be weary – especially at times of high stress, depression and anxiety – of him being able to attain this taqwa and self-worth.
Yet the Quran inspires and motivates even the weakest of the believers to achieve the highest success. Allah declares in the Quran reassuringly:
“Whoever works righteousness – whether male or female – while he (or she) is a Believer, verily, to him We will give a good life (in this life with contentment etc), and certainly We shall give them a reward (in the eternal Hereafter) according to the best of what they used to do.” [Surah Nahl, 16:97]
Thus when overwhelmed by stress and concerns, doing noble and pious deeds may seem far, but a believer finds reassurance that he or she will be rewarded by the best acts he does at any time in his life and momentary lapses may well be forgiven by Allah the Oft-Forgiving, Merciful.
And at that moment of trauma when little seems possible, a believer is reminded in the Quran:
“And whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) will see it (on the Day of Resurrection to be rewarded) and whoever does mischief equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” [Surah Zalzalah, 99:7-8]
So instead of despair, a believer is found unconcerned of the society’s estimation of him or of a major worldly loss, there is neither grief over what destroyed the past nor anxiety over what the future holds, rather the only concern is to do even an atoms weight of good at that difficult moment – even if it is merely persevering patiently till a better moment later on when big acts of piety can be performed because eventually the reward from Allah, the Most Merciful, is in accordance to the best actions performed by the person. In fact patiently persevering in such a difficult moment may rank as the best of deeds!
Even the worst moment can actually become the best…
In fact not a moment passes by in the life of a Muslim even if a catastrophe befalls him, except that it can be a success and a bonus for the Believer if he bears it patiently! Even while overwhelmed by grief, anxieties and a desire to finish it all with suicide, merely holding on till it passes away even without doing any other good deed in that state can actually turn that depressing moment into one of triumph and sure success so why resort to suicide then? The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings be on him) said:
“The case of a believer is amazing! Every affair of his is good for him, and this is not for anyone except a believer: if he experiences something pleasant, he is grateful to Allah and that is good for him; and if he comes across some adversity, he is patiently persevering (i.e. has sabr) and that too is good for him!” [Sahih Muslim]
In fact we learn from another hadith that:
“When Allah wants well for a slave of His, He hastens the punishment in this world (rather than the severe and eternal Hereafter). And when Allah wants for His slave bad, He withholds from him (the punishment for) his sin until he takes it from him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Tirmidhi]
Thus the one suffering hardship may actually be more beloved to Allah than one who is being left and not punished despite sins and impiety. The Prophet informed that:
“Nothing strikes a Muslim – no fatigue, illness, worry, grief, hurt nor sorrow; not even a prick of a thorn – except that Allah wipes off due to it some of his sins.” [Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim]
Even if his world seems to be falling apart…
With a sense of worth for even the smallest good deeds, a believer bears the most trying of hardships reassured that as the Messenger of Allah said:
“Verily, the greatness of the reward is with the greatness (or severity) of the trial. Verily if Allah loves a people He tries them (with trials).” [Tirmidhi]
Thus, what may seem to another as his world falling apart in front of his eyes and nothing to live for, a Believer sees in the same an equally great world of unending bliss and comfort being prepared for him or her in Paradise so long as he bears it with patience for although this life is for being tried repetitively:
“Verily along with every difficulty is relief (that comes thereafter).” [Surah Inshirah, 94:6]
The relief is near – a guarantee from Allah…
If the relief doesn’t come immediately, it’s not far. This, Allah guarantees:
“Or did you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) that came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When will come the help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!” [Surah Baqarah, 2:214]
So why then would anyone want to commit suicide?!
My respected People! It is not surprising then, with such compelling reasons to live for and reassurances of help, Allah warned of some of the most severe punishments for the one who ends his own life – a life that in fact belongs to Allah! As the above mentioned hadith of the punishment of the one who committed suicide shows, the self-infliction of the same fatal blow repeatedly in hell-fire again and again, a person who commits suicide hasn’t found an escape from his worries; in fact, it’s just the beginning.
BELOW ARE THE SIGNS AND DESCRIPTIONS OF THE EXTREMISTS, TERRORISTS, REBELS AND INSURGENTS WHO LEGALISE SUICIDE BOMBING IN THEIR RELIGION (NOT ISLAM)
Brothers and Sisters! The Messenger of Allah (SAW) described them to us as follows:
1. They are the Dogs of Hell. [Ahmad, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim recorded the Hadith from Ibn Abi Awfa, and also Ahmad and Al-Hakim recorded it from Abu Umamah];
2. They are the worst of people, the worst of all creatures. [Ahmad, Muslim, and Ibn Majah recorded the Hadith from Abu Dharr];
3. The Anti-Christ (Dajjal) will emerge among them. [Ibn Majah recorded the Hadith from Ibn Umar (R.A)];
4. They are the worst of people killed; and the best are those whom they kill. [Ibn Majah recorded the Hadith from Abu Umamah];
5. Their distinguishing signs on the day of Nahrawan are that, (they will say) they are fighting for social justice, equality, equity, fairness, liberty and freedom from the tyranny of those in authority. [al-Bukhari and Muslim both recorded the hadith from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (R.A)];
6. They murder the people of Islam (i.e. Muslims) and ignore the people of Idol-worship. [al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and al-Nasa’i all recorded the Hadith from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (R.A)];
7. Among their sign is their Shaven heads. [Imam Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded the Hadith from Sahl Ibn Hanif];
8. They recite the Quran but with only their tongues. [al-Tabarani recorded the Hadith from Uqbah Ibn Amir from Sahl Ibn Hanif];
9. They are mostly people of talk and propaganda, but not acting according to the teachings of Islam. [Abu Dawud and al-Hakim recorded the Hadith narrated by both Abu Sa’id and Anas];
10. Their religious actions and their (wrong) love for the religion amaze some people. [al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Ibn Majah recorded the Hadith from Abuu Sa’id al-Khudri (R.A)];
11. They are the Mariqun (i.e. they will leave the religion and they pass right through the religion). [al-Bazzar recorded the Hadith, as did Ibn Abi Asim in “Kitab al-Sunnah” from Ali Ibn Abi Talib (R.A)];
12. The closer of the two parties to the truth will defeat them (i.e. the party of Ali and that of Mu’awiyyah). [Muslim and Abu Dawud recorded the Hadith from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (R.A)];
13. The encouragement of Allah’s Messenger (SAW) to fight and defeat them and the reward for doing so. [al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud recorded the Hadith from Ali (R.A)];
14. They consider their rebellion and acts of terrorism to be a Jihad and a form of migration for the sake of Allah. [Ahmad recorded the narration as did Ibn Abi Asim recorded in “Kitab al-Sunnah”)];
15. How Ali (RA)’s attempt to return them to the truth before fighting them. [Ibn Jarir recorded it in his “al-Tarikh” from Isma’il Ibn Sami’ al-Hanafi from Abu Zarir);
16. Their Fitnah to Islam and Muslims are worse than that of Jews and Christians. And they are the worst of all creations according to Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah and Imam Ibn Kathir. [ Minhajus-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah and al-Bidayatu Wan-Nihayah];
17. Historically, these people use to conspire with the enemies of Islam and Muslims to wreak havoc with the intent of destroying Islam and Muslims. [Sharru Qatla Tahta Adimis-Sama’, by Sheikh al-Furaihan, Page 57];
My respected people! I ask Allah (SWT) to destroy the terrorists and all their supporters, sponsors, and collaborators. I also ask Allah the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne to kill them like the killing of Aad, Thamuud and Fir’awn, Ya Allah, Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim, Ya Dhal-Jalaali wal-Ikraam. Ya Allah! Snatch and hold them, “AKHAZA AZEEZIN MUQTADIR.”
I ask Allah to give us the ability to restrain our desires and to willingly submit ourselves to His will.
Oh Allah the Almighty, make our country Nigeria safe and the other Muslim countries in general, Oh Lord of the universe (jinn and mankind).
Oh Allah protect our safety, our Iman and our peace in our native lands and rectify those placed in authority over our affairs (our leaders), and don’t hold us to account for that which the foolish amongst us have done, and protect us from trials the apparent and hidden of it.
Oh Allah show us the truth for the truth and help us to follow it, and show us the falsehood for falsehood and help us to stay away from it, and make Iman the most beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts, and make disbelief, lewdness, terrorism and rebellion most hated to us and make us from those who are guided.
Oh Allah rectify our leaders, guide them to that which is good for themselves and to that which is good for us. Oh Allah make them a means for our safety, and make them a means for our word (unity) to be one, and make them a cause for our coming together, Ya Al-Hayyu (Oh The Ever Living, The One who cannot die), Ya Al-Qayyum (The Self Sustainer), Ya Saami’ (The Hearer) of the supplication.
Oh Allah safeguard our country. Oh Allah bring ease to the Nigerians from that which they face from sufferings. Oh Allah give us immediate ease. Oh Allah give us victory with a happy outcome. Oh Allah make ease for the Nigerians from every difficulty and from every suffering, Oh Hearer of the supplication, Oh Reliever from every distress, Oh answerer of the supplication, Oh Helper of the grieving, Oh ever living, Self Sustaining, Oh Hearer of the supplication, Oh Owner of Loftiness and Nobility!
I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognize the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.
O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen.
May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.
With this I conclude my piece and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.
Written by your Brother,
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.