Human life is priceless. No material treasure in the world can be equal in value to one moment of life. Every breath given to a person by Almighty Allah is a precious.
Therefore Allah Ta’ala says: “How can you disbelieve? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return." (Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 28)
This bounty of life is a trust that is accompanied with responsibilities. It must be cherished and utilized correctly. Any breach of this trust will be a matter of accountability to the Owner – Our Creator and Maker, Allah Ta’ala.
Life is about Ease and Grief
Hand in hand with ease, one will be called upon to embrace certain challenges, hardships and difficulties (at some point or the other). This is the pattern of life for human beings. Conditions of happiness and ease are not perpetual. Rather, occasions of sorrow, grief and difficulty will occur.
The challenges of life may seem to be enormous, however - with patience - it will never be beyond the individual's capacity to bear.
Allah Ta'ala says, “Allah does not burden a soul with more than it is capable of enduring.” (Surah Baqarah)
Thus, there will be challenges and the challenges will be within our scope of patience and endurance and there will be relief and consolation for us from Allah. Allah Ta'ala says; “Verily with every difficulty there is ease.” This verse is repeated in Surah Inshirah for emphasis.
The Road to Eternal Destruction
Some think that a quick way out of difficulties, is to commit suicide. Suicide, or self-killing, is a known phenomenon in every culture and society. Generally, people who have lost all hope in life or have underachieved in some task they expected to be successful in, resort to suicide - considering it to be a relief from thier dilemmas. Suicide does not give any relief. It is a defiance of Allah's will. Taking one’s life is something that compounds the misery of a Muslim and has devastating consequences for the community and family of the victim.
Suicide is Prohibited in Islam
Almighty Allah is our Creator, He is the giver of life and the Owner of it, and He Alone has the right to end it. Suicide is forbidden in Islam and listed among the major sins.
There are specific sanctions expressed in the Qur’an prohibiting self-killing.
Allah says explicitly in the Qur’an; "And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you." (Surah An-Nisa Verse 29)
In another verse of the Qur’an, Allah says; "And do not plunge yourselves into destruction…” (Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 195)
Hazrat Abu Hurayrah r narrated that the Nabi r said; “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein for ever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, for ever and ever.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Hazrat Thabit ibn al-Dahhak t narrates that the Nabi r said; “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Hazrat Jundub t narrates that the Nabi r said, “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said; 'My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise for him.” (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)
Why do People Commit Suicide?
The reasons people commit suicide are many. Some causes of suicide are:
- Isolation and detachment
- Substance Abuse (drugs and alcohol)
- Loss of family or friends
- Relationship break-ups
- Financial problems
- Sickness and disability
- Failure or low self-esteem
Statistics on Suicide
Suicide statistics are at times inaccurate because of the sensitivity of the issue. However, available stats show an alarming growth-rate every year.
- Annually more than one million people commit suicide globally
- In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 65% worldwide
- Suicide figures are twice the death toll from road accidents
- 6 000 to 8 000 people commit suicide in South Africa every year
What to do if you are Suicidal
- If one is thinking of committing suicide he or she should think deeply about the Creator, friends and family, then turn to Allah and seek His assistance.
- Talking to Ulama, scholars, and social workers will help in combating negative thoughts.
- Support groups provide useful assistance for those potentially suicidal.
- Seek medical assistance from a professional.
May Allah save us from all prohibited acts and give us eternal bliss and peace of mind and heart.