Is it insensitive to say: Suicide is haram?
If you think stating that fact is insensitive, then what would you say to this hadith?
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be throwing himself down in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron will have that iron in his hand, thrusting it into his belly in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Is this hadith insensitive? Audhubillah! Or this one:
“A man among those who came before you was wounded. He panicked and took a knife and cut his hand, and the bleeding did not stop until he died. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, said: ‘My slave hastened his death; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Yes, it is true that if a Muslim commits suicide, we should not condemn him to hell. Committing suicide does not take one out of Islam. It is a major sin and like other sins, except shirk, Allah can forgive someone for it. But forgiveness is in no way guaranteed.
We cannot sugar coat this major sin. And sugar coating actually makes suicide more appealing to some people. Why would we want to do that?
There is an active campaign to “destigmatize” suicide. Why? What is the purpose of destigmatizing it?
Some confused Muslims believe that teaching the Ummah that suicide is haram is making the deen difficult.
What??? How does teaching suicide is haram make the deen difficult??
If a Muslim is depressed and expresses the desire to kill himself, he needs to know that it is haram and he is risking punishment in the hell-fire. Taking away this knowledge is not going to make life easier! It is going to lead to the END of life!
But this is the confusion caused by Liberalism. According to Liberalism, you own your body and what you do with it is your free choice, even killing it. So teaching that suicide is haram is an infringement on individual rights.
This Liberalism is at the basis of the destigmatization campaign that some “Muslim” psychologists and activists are pushing.
But we know, we don’t own our bodies. Allah owns our bodies and we do not have the free choice to do with it whatever we want. To kill it is a crime and violation of Allah’s rights upon us.
To counter this liberal secular campaign, we need to emphasize these hadith, emphasize the haram status.
NOTE: I am not saying that telling a suicidal person that it is haram is the ONLY thing needed. Stop with the pathetic strawmanning.
Rather, my claim is that telling that person it is haram and makes one liable for punishment in the hereafter is a NECESSARY part of the conversation. But there is much more that should be said, like the reward for patience, how all people go through trials, even the messengers, how Allah promises ease after hardship, etc.
NOTE: I am also not saying to go up to people who have lost loved ones to suicide and shame them. Focus, people!
What about the argument that those who commit suicide are suffering insanity therefore they are not accountable for their actions?
This is not how insanity is defined in Islam. Taking a deliberate action to do something harmful to yourself does not, in and of itself, make you be considered insane Islamically. A person might be insane for independent reasons, like those who are genuinely mentally retarded. If a mentally retarded person commits suicide, then yes, they wouldn’t be accountable. But those are not the cases we are referring to. Being severely depressed does not take away one’s ability to make decisions, and that is what is Islamically relevant. Mufti Zameelur Rahman has a short article on what constitutes insanity in Islam that is helpful to understand these distinctions.
Finally, don’t let the emotional blackmailers pressure you to stop teaching halal and haram.
If I lost a family member to a drug overdose, for example, I am not going to stop saying drugs are haram. That would be silly. In fact, I might want to do more to stigmatize drug use in my community.
Shame is an important tool in stigmatizing deadly behaviors and the liberal campaign to remove shame from the equation is nothing more than an attack on humanity. But we have the purveyors of “Compassionate” Islam and “Hikma” who want to do exactly this! They are pushing the exact opposite of hikma.
And let’s not forget, many depressed Muslims even admit that knowing suicide is haram is the ONLY reason they are not killing themselves. How many deaths are the destigmatizers responsible for?
Using Suicide as a Weapon for Reform
In traditional Muslim societies, if a family member committed suicide, one didn’t advertise this. It was important to preserve one’s family’s dignity by not advertising such an enormity.
But now, it has been so destigmatized (like all major sins), that people are advertising it and leveraging it for their own ideologies, like:
“She committed suicide because of the patriarchy! You patriarchy supporters essentially killed her!”
“He committed suicide because his parents forced him to memorize Quran as a kid! Shame on you parents!”
In other words, suicide is being used this to stigmatize things in Islam in order to push reformism. This is unbelievable!
And if you point out this emotional manipulation, you are the one that is called an insensitive jerk. How is it not callous and insensitive to shamelessly use someone’s suicide for your ideological ends?
May Allah protect us all.