Liberalism has led to a series of strange behaviors that are clearly wrong, becoming acceptable in society. One of which in particular is assisted suicide. An increasing number of Western countries have legalized this procedure. Just recently, Austria jumped on the bandwagon:
From Saturday, adults who are terminally ill or have a permanent, debilitating condition, can opt to make provisions for an assisted death.
As of now, the act mostly refers to medically assisted suicide for people who are suffering due to various (but not always) terminal and incurable diseases.
A ‘suicide pod’ was designed by a company and a 3-D printed version was displayed recently. The designer hopes that the euthanasia device, which kills by flooding the pod with nitrogen gas, will be launched in Switzerland as early as this year. They claim that the user can have the pod placed anywhere, such as in a grassy field outside on a sunny day, choosing a ‘peaceful’ place to die.
Many people have favored the idea of assisted suicide, citing ‘compassion’ as their main reason for doing so. Let’s take the people of New Zealand as an example:
Supporters believe the assisted dying laws will give New Zealanders who are “suffering terribly at the end of their lives” choice, compassion and dignity.
“This weekend New Zealand became a kinder, more compassionate and humane society for allowing people who are struggling and suffering in those last few days with their terminal illness choice and compassion on how and when they go,” Velden said.
At first glance, this may look misleadingly noble to some. After all, these people’s suffering is being alleviated, how can this not be a good thing? But is this really how Muslims should think about the situation?
The answer is no. Suicide is forbidden, haram.
O believers! Do not devour one another’s wealth illegally, but rather trade by mutual consent. And do not kill ˹each other or˺ yourselves. Surely Allah is ever Merciful to you. And whoever does this sinfully and unjustly, We will burn them in the Fire. That is easy for Allah. (4:29-30)
Narrated Sa`d bin Sahl As-Sa`idi:
The Prophet (ﷺ) looked at a man fighting against the pagans and he was one of the most competent persons fighting on behalf of the Muslims. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Let him who wants to look at a man from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire, look at this (man).” Another man followed him and kept on following him till he (the fighter) was injured and, seeking to die quickly, he placed the blade tip of his sword between his breasts and leaned over it till it passed through his shoulders (i.e., committed suicide).” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “A person may do deeds that seem to the people as the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact, he is from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire: and similarly a person may do deeds that seem to the people as the deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire while in fact, he is from the dwellers of Paradise. Verily, the (results of) deeds done, depend upon the last actions.” (Sahih Bukhari: 6493)
The verse above displays the severity of this crime, and the Hadith that follows clearly shows that such an act is forbidden even if one is in pain, no matter how much. Non-believers think that they are easing a person’s pain by killing them using ‘painless’ methods, such as giving them medication that induces deep sleep. Then, when the patient is murdered, they will die peacefully, without any pain.
However, Muslims know that this is totally false, as it doesn’t matter what state you’re in when death arrives, its indescribable pain will be felt by every soul all the same.
What we need to keep in mind, is that this life is a test. This life is a test, and so is all the pain and suffering within it. Imagine if a student sitting in an exam saw a difficult question, and promptly decided to leave the room without even attempting it. Before the bell even rang. Just because they presumed that they wouldn’t be able to solve it. An act like that is nothing short of an insult in the face of the test giver.
The same is true for life. We cannot choose when our time will end. That is something only Allah has Power over. When someone decides to take his own life, it is one of the greatest acts of rebellion against his Creator.
We can see now how favoring such a liberal stance is anything but compassionate.
Instead, if a Muslim finds himself suffering through a painful illness, he should remind himself of this Hadith:
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5641, 5642)
Opt for a quick and temporary fix by ending one’s own life, only to suffer forever in the Raging Fire, or stay steadfast in the face of this pain and overcome it with the help of Allah, relieving oneself of numerous sins in the process? The choice, when looked at clearly, is an easy one to make.
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