If you have ever experienced such hard conditions in life that you see your life or other peoples’ lives completely purposeless or absolutely miserable and you may have thought of killing yourself or ending miserable peoples’ lives, then I suggest you read this text to the end and realize why suicide in Islam is strictly forbidden.
Although I know that if you are close to one of those highly hopeless phases of your life, you may even wish to kill me over the net!!! But, you probably have no important task right now, as you probably don’t care. So read on and do not lose your opportunity of accompanying me in this meaningless life!
Have you ever come across a person who is seriously ill, and his existence seems to be real trouble for himself and his family members? He stays all day in bed, with no capability of moving, or talking or transferring emotions or anything else, and he lives a plant life. Have you ever thought that killing such a useless and incapable person would bring more mental, physical and economic benefits to the society?
These thoughts and many other thoughts that may be on your mind, and may have remained unanswered for ages, can make life meaningless. But let us see how our creator answers these types of thoughts;
All human beings try to reach high positions in life, whether economic, social, political, educational, physical or spiritual. Some people reach those high positions, and many of them remain normal people in society. Among those who think that they have not achieved such reasonable positions in life, there is a group who has never set a real goal to achieve and have only dreamt of those situations.
But there are also a group of people who have set realistic goals and tried hard to achieve them, but they have never been successful. A percentage of the latter group may become disappointed and may think of this life as a pointless life, and some of them may think of suicide.
The tragedy that repeats in the history of humankind, and has been the reason for many suicide attempts is a broken heart, and not gaining the love of your life. People, who are not in love, may think that the suicidal decisions of disappointed lovers are very shallow and childish. But the person, who is trapped in the hands of powerful love, sees nothing more important than reaching the love of his/ her life.
The worldly loves may not be limited to the opposite sex only. Some people desire wealth, different jobs, cars, buildings, and towers, or even knowledge. This sort of love can also remain unattained and lead people toward disappointment.
Some people face problems in every aspect of their life. It can be individual problems such as debt, disease, family problems, loneliness, etc. Or it could be much bigger than that; social problems, war, the unjust power of imperialism and capitalism, environmental pollutions or the spread of oppression in the world.
These great issues are enough to make one totally disillusioned with living in this cruel world and to lead him toward ending his/ her life.
In all the issues mentioned above, that may take a person to the point of hopelessness, God gives us guidelines and answers. He says in the Holy Quran that most of the hardship that human beings go through is to test their level of faith and to distinguish those who are truthful and those who verbally talk about faith with no real belief in it (29: 2-3).
The life of this world is only a place for us to prove our capabilities and talents for greater eternal life, and in this path, only the patient will win;
“We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient.” (2: 155)
Imagine that you have entered a challenge or a test. In the middle of the tackle, you find it really hard that you feel like you cannot take it anymore. Will you stop the challenge and decide to kill yourself, or will you think about your goals and keep going with the rest of your energy?
Usually, people who have set goals in life, will keep moving and find ways of overcoming problems. Therefore, the main problem of those who may think of suicide is that they don’t have a clear goal, nor they have a clear vision of the meaning of challenges in life.
From an Islamic viewpoint, the life of this world is full of different tests, and by going through them and passing the tests, people elevate their spiritual level and build their eternal life more comfortable. Therefore, the harder the tests are, the stronger the person will become, and he will have an easier life in the hereafter.
First of all, He wants us to choose the right path in life; “rectitude has become distinct from error.” (2: 256)
After choosing the path of righteousness, He wants us to follow the guidelines that He sent us through His messengers; “should any guidance come to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will not go astray, nor will they be miserable.” (20: 123)
Then, He promises that whoever sets his goals in the direction of helping the religion of God and gaining God’s satisfaction, He will show him/her the right way: “As for those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways, and Allah is indeed with the virtuous.”(29:69)
Therefore, whoever forms his lifestyle based on teachings of God, will never feel disappointed, since Allah says: “indeed no one despairs of Allah’s mercy except the faithless lot”. (12: 87)
When you face problems you should:
1. Revise your goals and lifestyle. If it is against the path that Allah has sent us, disappointment will overcome you at some points.
2. Remember God, knowing that it will give you strength; “—those who have faith and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah.’ Behold! The hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance!” (13: 28)
3. Form a strong Islamic family to keep you in peace; “And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you.” (30:21)
4. Never hang around aimlessly and idly; “so when you are done appoint (to a new task).” (94: 7)
5. Keep in mind that the real life is to come after death. So live every day of your life knowing that it may be your last day. Many of us are the last minute people!!
And there are many other solutions that can help us get rid of satanic thoughts, if we just read the Quran while we are depressed and feeling suicidal.
The young Muslims of today are facing an ever-increasing number of plights, one of the most important of which is drugs. But, what is Islam’s view on this issue? How should Muslims regard drugs? To know this, we must see what the Quran and the prophet’s and Imams’ conducts (Sirah) say regarding narcotics.
Since drugs were not known at the advent of Islam, therefore we cannot see any direct evidence in the Sirah on this issue throughout history; so the only way is referring to general rules and principles of jurisprudence.
In general, it has been indicated, firstly, that since drug consuming inflicts tremendous losses, it is considered as forbidden (Haram), unless medical emergencies and necessities require it. Secondly, buying and selling it, is forbidden except where rational, lawful benefits are received, such as medicine production. This form of usage must be under precise official supervision and control. Based on these facts, Muslim scholars hammered out four rational and crystal clear reasons for the forbiddance of drug consumption:
All intoxicants are regarded as forbidden because of their inebriant repercussions, as well as their physical-mental adverse effects on individuals and communities. Moreover, drug consumption causes moral degeneration, body and intellect corruption, inflicts severe cultural, social and economic losses and finally ruins societies.
Someone who suffers drug addiction is not able to oversee his behavior, loses his zeal, motivation and common sense, and as a result is ready to do anything to obtain drugs without any consideration. A Drug-addicted person, also, cannot fully adhere to his Islamic practices, since drugs turn him into an irresponsible and a total inefficacious human.
Wise men throughout history always avoided using drugs and this attitude is entirely in line with the Islamic law (Shari’a). Following in the footsteps of great personalities and considering their lifestyle is an authoritative way and a logical ground to reason against drug consumption.
This rule is one the most important and fundamental jurisprudential rules which is applied to a wide range of Islamic teachings. On this basis, people should not engage in deeds that inflict excessive losses. Today, we can say from experience that drug consumption encompasses significant social and individual damages and creates completely irresponsible generations. Accordingly, the rule of “No harming nor reciprocating harm” can provide us with the most rational ground to argue against drug consumption; its adverse effects are not only directed to the drug-addicted person himself/herself but also his/her family, relatives and even the whole society.
Furthermore, drug addiction is one of the most significant causes of self-destructing and life-ruining behaviors. We have a clear affirmation about this reality as Allah Almighty says: “and do not cast yourselves with your own hands into destruction” (2:195).
In Islam, every evil thing which results in heavy losses is forbidden (Haram); clearly, the drug with its many negative effects on a broad spectrum of people is categorized as highly harmful. There is a vivid indication on this claim in the Holy Quran: “He makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things” (7:157).
The weakness in wisdom and perception power can be considered among the most important disadvantages of drug consumption; therefore, Islam names “common sense preservation” as the most important obligation for a Muslim. Now it is easy to understand why the Islamic law (Shari’a) bans all sorts of intoxicants like alcohol, drugs, etc.
It is noteworthy that based on the first-ever report on worldwide addiction statistics released by researchers, which uses data from sources including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drug addiction has reached epidemic levels across the globe and there were 230 million drug users worldwide in 2015. The report found that drug takes a higher toll on “productive years of life lost” than does any other intoxicant. That means people dependent on drugs not only die younger but also have poor health over a more extended period. Drugs affect their work, relationships, and consequently reduce their quality of life .
These results prove how far Islam predicts the disadvantages of using drugs and why it is declared as forbidden (Haram) on almost all of the Islamic decrees.
Islam, as the last divine monotheistic religion, is the most perfect of the religions: “Today I have perfected your religion for you… and I have approved Islam as your religion.” (5:3). By introducing Islam, Allah has completed His blessings upon human beings (5:3). In other words, Islam provides everything that humans need to reach their perfection and salvation in the afterlife ; what they require for a divine life in this world and the tools they need for their social life, too; including their rights and responsibilities. The Islamic responsibilities of each individual towards others were thoroughly discussed previously. Here, the focus will be on Islamic responsibilities that concern the rights and benefits of people in society.
When reviewing the Islamic teachings, one can notice the importance of congregation, unity, and brotherhood in the society. That is why many duties such as those to parents, neighbors, relatives, sick people, the elderly, the young people, mentors, etc. as various members of society are defined in Islam. Doing good to orphans, those in need, the traveler and the beggar, and freeing slaves (2:177) is another Islamic principle that concerns the members of society.
Hence, it can be concluded that in most cases, Islam has preferred the benefits of the congregation over the individual, even if it imposes a limitation or a loss to the individual. This can be compared to some of the social rules that aim to bring order in society but are limiting to individuals (e.g., red light).
In Islam, there is no place for arrogance and racism, but brotherhood towards other Muslims and a general sense of humanity towards every human being have been encouraged . According to the Quran, the diversity of life and the various languages and colors of human beings are all signs of Allah’s majesty (30:22). Also, as Islamic teachings suggest, no privileged class exists, and everyone is equal in society, the only criteria for superiority over others is having piety or moral excellence (49:13).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has also emphasized this in a narration where he (PBUH&HP) says that all human beings are from the same father (Adam (AS)) and no nation or race is superior to the other . In another narration, he (PBUH&HP) says that whoever knows more than others is more respected , and he repudiates the discriminations based on tribe, origin, color, and wealth.
By many of its rulings and duties considered for its followers, Islam aims to direct the attention of each individual to other’s needs. One way of achieving this goal is through the Alms-Tax (Zakat). Zakat is an exact amount of money that must be paid according to the rules of Sharia to be used in favor of the people in need or for certain beneficial deeds in society. Zakat can be given to poor people or can be spent on public welfare or creating jobs.
It should be noted that one can directly pay Zakat to the needy people only under the permission of his/her religious expert (Marja’). The aim is to manage and organize the resources by an expert aware of the requirements of the society; Marja’. This is one of the solutions to prevent a particular group of community to manipulate the economy. It empowers those who have been neglected in society to become productive and useful.
Sadaqah is giving away something (money, clothes, food, teaching, etc.) voluntarily to someone in need without expecting anything in return and with the intention of pleasing Allah: “spend from what we have provided you” (63:10). Giving charity in the form of Sadaqah is highly recommended in Islamic teachings. However, the manner of giving charity is of high importance in Islam. Sadagah should be offered discreetly to needy people rather than in public with the intention of showing off and pretending to be generous. This means that Islam encourages the preservation of human dignity.
Here, we reviewed a general Islamic viewpoint that guarantees the rights of every member of the society and the importance it gives to social expediency. These Islamic recommendations will ultimately promote human rights and dignity.
- M H Tabataba'i, “Tafsir al-Mizan”, Surah Al-Maidah.
- islam and humanity
- M. Karajaki, “Ma’dan al-Jawahir wa-Riyadat al-Khawatir”, p. 21.
- Shaykh Saduq, “al-Amali”, p. 27.