Sunday 21 May 2023

The grave consequences of committing suicide (Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

Death by suicide, that is the act of intentionally causing one's own death, is one of the leading attempts to end one's life. As per a report published by the World Health Organization [1], more than 700 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds. As per Wikipedia [2], the reasons of committing suicide are many, some of which may be due to:
Mental disorders (including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorders), physical disorders (such as chronic fatigue syndrome), and substance abuse (including alcoholism and the use of and withdrawal from benzodiazepines) are risk factors. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress (such as from financial or academic difficulties), relationship problems (such as breakups or divorces), or harassment and bullying.
Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. However, no matter what the reason for ending one's life may be, Islam strictly prohibits such acts for life is a gift of Allah and it is only He Who has the right to take it away, for every man is born fir a reason. And when that reason is accomplished, the natural death occurs. Thus, any attempt on one's life with an intention of ending is strictly forbidden. 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has also warned believers from taking their lives and has spelt the consequences of such an act. This Hadith is mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  (Book 76 - Medicine كتاب الطب / Chapter 56: The taking of poison and treating with it باب شُرْبِ السُّمِّ، وَالدَّوَاءِ بِهِ، وَبِمَا يُخَافُ مِنْهُ وَالْخَبِيثِ ) as Hadith 5778, given herein under:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْوَهَّابِ، حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدُ بْنُ الْحَارِثِ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ ذَكْوَانَ، يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ مَنْ تَرَدَّى مِنْ جَبَلٍ فَقَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَهْوَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، يَتَرَدَّى فِيهِ خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا، وَمَنْ تَحَسَّى سَمًّا فَقَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَسَمُّهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَتَحَسَّاهُ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا، وَمَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِحَدِيدَةٍ، فَحَدِيدَتُهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَجَأُ بِهَا فِي بَطْنِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا ‏"‏‏.

Narrated by Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; 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 forever."
Although ones who commit suicide are generally seem to be so depressed and for many other reasons as mentioned above, yet the main reason for any believer to attempt ending his life is lack of faith in his Creator. No life is perfect - it has its ups and down, but that does not mean that when is confronted with situations that rob him of his comfort, wealth and health, one should decide to end his life. In fact, such grave situations in one's life are the Divine tests to see whether one has unflinching faith in one's Creator or otherwise. Those with weak faith and heart often fall prey to the desire to commit suicide, while those who are hit against the wall for any reason but remain steadfast, come out of their bad days and find a meaning to their existence and life. 
“And do not kill yourselves,” declares Quran (nor kill one another). “Allah is, without a doubt, most merciful to you” (Surah al‐Nisa, 4:29).
There is another Hadith in which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has been quoted as saying: 
"Amongst the nations before you there was a man who got a wound, and growing impatient (with its pain), he took a knife and cut his hand with it and the blood did not stop till he died. Allah said, 'My Slave hurried to bring death upon himself so I have forbidden him (to enter) Paradise.' " (Sahih Bukhari: 3469)

The crime of committing suicide is so grave that the Prophet of Allah even refrained from attending the funeral of a person who ended his life. It is mentioned that the Prophet (S.A.W.) refrained from offering the Janazah (funeral prayer) for one who had committed suicide, as a punishment to him and so as to discourage others from doing what he had done. But he gave the people permission to offer the Janazah for him.

‘(The dead body) of a person who had killed himself with a broad-headed arrow was brought before the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), but he did not offer prayers for him.’ (Sahih Muslim: 978) 

However, this does not mean that we should not pray and make Dua for the mercy and forgiveness of the person who committed suicide. We must make prayers because the person who committed suicide highly needs it as it is a major sin, though this does not take him outside of Islam. It is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection, if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills, He will punish for it.  Remember, when we do commit suicide, we are leaving it without permission from Allah. This is why it is haram in Islam.[3]

So let us, brothers and sisters in Islam, be steadfast in every adverse circumstance and have faith in Allah for one never knows when one is relieved of his bad times, provided he qualifies the test, and his bad days are replaced with happiness and blessings. Let our lives be respected and protected from our hurried decisions  

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.
Photo | Resource references: | 1 | 2 | 3 | Source of Hadith

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