Suicide. And Islam.

It’s ironic that I write about such a taboo topic when I begin writing again on this blog after such a long hiatus. About something that – even as a Catholic in the past- was viewed as an act that would gain the wrath of God.

So much so that it was shunned to be even talked about, and if anyone were to mention that they were having suicidal thoughts AND in the circle, they would be immediately chided, “How can you even think like that!?? Your life is a gift/ trust given to you!”

It is common that most of the time suicidal thoughts occur when life’s challenges get too much for the mind to bear; when one has had enough of this world. When one has lost a loved one, lost his possessions/wealth, or unable to face the test that has been given to him.

And the worst thing to do to people who are even brave enough to declare they are suicidal- is to dismiss or ignore them, or to chide them (like the above). Even if they did not end up doing the act itself, the dismissal and chiding by people they actually tried to confide in IS damaging itself to the soul, adding more to the feelings of utter helplessness and feeling unloved.

I came across this hadith that was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one of you should wish for death because of some harm that has befallen him, but if he must do that then let him say:

‘O Allaah, keep me alive so long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.’

In this there are a few things that we are doing;

  1. We are essentially submitting everything to Allah’s Will and if He decides it is time, it is time.
  2. We are acknowledging that we will face patiently the tests that Allah has given us as they are good for us.
  3. We are not dismissing our own suicidal thoughts, but instead, declaring it to Allah, the Listener of all our thoughts, the Utmost Confidante.

 

Next: there are only a few cases where it is allowable for one to wish for death:

1 – If we fear that we will lose our religious commitments because of fitnah (worldly temptations and tests).

It was narrated from Mahmoud ibn Labeed (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“There are two things that the son of Adam dislikes: death, although death is better for a believer than fitnah; and he dislikes having little wealth, but less wealth means less reckoning.”

Narrated by Ahmad; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 813.

2 – Wishing to be killed for the sake of Allah (martyrdom). Muslim (1909) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Whoever asks Allaah sincerely for martyrdom, Allaah will cause him to attain the status of the martyr, even if he dies in his bed.”

So when a loved one approaches you one day to tell you that they are feeling suicidal, do not dismiss and ignore them; but do not chide them either, because most of the time they DO know that it is a makruh act to even be thinking of it and they don’t really need someone to remind them that it is.

What they need- is a listening ear.

And if you’re the one with suicide thoughts, and if there’s no one else who would listen, remember- Allah has been there with you since Day 0. If you’re looking for someone to listen to you, remember- Allah is the Listener of all Listeners. And most important of all, remember this in your duas,

‘O Allaah, keep me alive so long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.’

May Allah give us the strength and patience to persevere through life’s challenges and keep us strong amidst fitnah in this world. Ameen.

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