Suicide“…and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good (Al-Baqara, 2: 195).
Indeed it could be true: that those who die by suicide do not actually set out to end their lives; they want to end their pain. But to say that is true, however, is to invest acts of suicide with felicity; to validate an atrocious act which seeks to divest the Almighty of His power to give life and take life and to enrobe entities that are by themselves contingent with such powers that would purport to make them independent and self-subsistent.
But again we must proceed with the excuse that it is only a perpetrator of the act of suicide that could explains ‘the pleasure’ in becoming a victim. We must keep in mind that there are pleasures in being mad which none but the mad knows. In other words, among other arguments against it, acts of suicide which is ordinarily deemed to be an iniquitous indulgence in self-destruction, is the only crime I can recall in which the perpetrator is equally the victim. It is a crime which seeks to turn the will of the Almighty in creation upside down. It is the only mistake in life you would not live to regret here but in the otherworldly. Perpetrators of acts of suicide would regret their action in the hereafter simply because their action constituted an affront to the Almighty. In real time, the person who commits suicide says to the Almighty: “You have given me life and I am taking it away.” In an hadith Qudsi, the Almighty alludes to this: “My servant has precipitated My will with regard to himself! Therefore, I am forbidding him entry into heaven.”
Islam therefore disapproves of suicide simply because it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Islam teaches that no matter how bad the situation, if the sun still sets at dusk and rises at dawn, the dire situation of now would ultimately pass and become history.
But all of the above is applicable to those who commit acts of suicide willfully and voluntarily. It relates to, for example, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a big company who puts an end to his life simply because he is unable to account for the millions of money under his care or to the highly impressionist young girl who puts end to her life just because her lover ‘checks out’ of the relationship. Individuals like this- those who in full control of their faculties still opt for suicide as a solution to earthly challenges that are likely to face eternal damnation. Abu Hurayrah says the Prophet said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself such a person 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.”
Further it was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allaah reported that the Prophet of the Almighty says: “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. The Almighty said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden paradise to him.” Thus “whoever (intentionally) kills himself, then certainly he will be punished in the Fire of Hell, wherein he shall dwell forever”.
There are copious verses of the Quran in which acts of suicide are expressly and unequivocally forbidden. “Say, Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you do 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 He has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason” ( Quran 6: 151; Quran 17:33; Quran 5: 32).
Now what about those who sleep-walk into death? How do we prevent descent into depression which is equally a factor for acts of suicide? What about those who succumb to the whisperings of Shaytan? The recent act of suicide committed by a medical doctor in Lagos, among many others, underscores the extremely slippery nature of the subject of today’s sermon. Up till this moment neither the cause of the incident is known.
An associate of the diseased, himself a medical practitioner has suggested that the reason our compatriot jumped into the lagoon could be depression. Brethren, what line separates between depression and the noxious interventions of the evil eye? How does a Muslim strengthens himself against their machinations?