Is suicide allowed in some situations?
Submitted by on Tue, 23/06/2009 - 11:17
Dear Brother / Sister,
It is necessary to ponder over it well. The concept “the lesser of the two evils” is valid here too. That is, when a person has to choose between two sins, he/she should choose the one that is considered lighter in terms of Islam.
Accordingly, if a person faces the two alternatives of being raped or committing suicide, the same principle can be used to decide. As a matter of fact, being in such a situation is really grave and dramatic. However, in accordance with the principle “the respect for the truth is high; it cannot be sacrificed for anything else”, we should put our feelings aside and make a decision.
In our opinion, here, committing suicide is a heavier crime because;
a. In Islam, killing someone unjustly is regarded as a heavier crime that fornication. Committing suicide is also a kind of killing; killing that is impossible to be forgiven by Allah.
b. It is very important whether a person’s free will is in question or not in the occurrence of responsibility for doing good or bad deeds. Therefore, a crime that a person is forced to commit should be preferred to committing suicide, which is committed through a person’s free will.
c. As it is seen in the following verse “Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief― except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith― but such as open their breast to unbelief― on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty. (an-Nahl, 16/106), a person who is forced to utter unbelief is regarded excusable and it is guaranteed that his belief in his heart will not be harmed by unbelief and denial uttered by his tongue. In fact, every sin is small compared to unbelief and denying the existence of Allah.
It should be noted that the excuse here is torture, oppression and the fear of death. Allah, who is the most compassionate and the most merciful, knows best the capacity of endurance of the creatures He created. When the person is in that critical point, He does not say “Do not deny! Do not commit suicide!”. On the contrary, he says,”There is no sin for you for the denial that you utter with your tongue so long as you keep your believing heart pure.”
According to the narrations, the verse above was sent about Hazrat Ammar. Hazrat Ammar, who could not bear the tortures of the polytheists, seemingly accepted their offers about unbelief and denial and uttered those words. However, he explained the trouble he suffered to Hazrat Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet said,: “Was your heart sound in terms of belief when you uttered those words?” Ammar said, “Yes, definitely…”.Then, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh)said, “Then, if you suffer torments like that, you may repeat what they want with your tongue” relieving him. (See Ibn Hajar, XII/312). Then, Almighty Allah sent that verse, confirming His Messenger.
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