Suicide

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “There was once a man who had a wound. He was in such anguish that he took a knife and made a cut in his hands, and the blood did not cease to flow until he died. Allah said, ‘My slave has lost hope in My Mercy. I have forbidden for him Paradise.’”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Commentary:

Suicide is a major sin and a bad end. The one who kills himself in order to escape calamities or poverty or the results of distress or anger has, by doing that, exposed himself to the punishment of Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allah”  [al-Nisa’ 4:29]

Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein forever 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 forever 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, forever and ever.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (radi Allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And in the full narration of the Hadith in discussion (and with a different translation) it was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allah (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) 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 to him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

If the suicide stemmed from ignorance and the person was righteous and obeyed Allah, and prayed regularly, then there is the hope that Allah may forgive him, for He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. However, if he knew of the ruling on suicide, but he resorted to that in order to get rid of a problem from which he was suffering, then there is the danger that he is included in the warning of the punishment narrated in the above Hadith. But nevertheless if he was still a believer in Allah and His Messenger and a follower of Tawheed, not a mushrik, he is subject to the will of Allah. If Allah wills He will forgive him, and if He wills he will punish him, but even if He punishes him He will eventually bring him forth from the Fire, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills” [al-Nisa’ 4:48]

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) refrained from offering the funeral prayer for one who had committed suicide, as a punishment to him and so as to deter others from doing what he had done. But he gave the people permission to offer the funeral prayer for him, so it is Sunnah for the people of knowledge and virtue not to offer the funeral prayer for one who has committed suicide, following the example of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam).

It was narrated that Jaabir ibn Samurah (radi Allahu anhu) said: A man who had killed himself with a broad arrow-head was brought to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and he did not offer the funeral prayer for him. [Sahih Muslim]

The scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them) said, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) did not offer the funeral prayer for him himself so as to deter the people from doing something similar, but the Sahaabah offered the funeral prayer for him.

The believer in Allah has to be patient and to seek the help of Allah – may He be exalted – and understand that no matter what hardship befalls him in this world, no matter how severe it is, the punishment of the Hereafter is worse than it.

It is not acceptable according to anyone who is of right mind to run away from the heat of the desert and throw himself into the fire. How can he flee from temporary hardship and difficulty, which inevitably will come to an end, to an eternal punishment which has no end?

The Muslim should ponder and realise that he is not the only one in this world who is affected by calamity and hardship. Calamities befell the greatest of mankind, namely the Prophets, Messengers and the righteous. They also befell the worst of mankind, namely the disbelievers and atheists.

Calamity is part of the natural order of things and hardly anyone is safe from it.

If the believer handles it well and is patient, and it becomes a means that makes him turn back to Allah and strive hard in worship and righteous deeds, then the calamity will have been good for him and will be expiation for his sins, and perhaps he will meet Allah with no burden of sin.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “No pain, hardship, sickness or grief befalls a believer, not even worry that befalls him, but some of his bad deeds will be expiated.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Calamities will continue to befall believing men and women in themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allah with no burden of sin.” [Al-Tirmidhi (2399) - Classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (2280)]

And Allah knows best!

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