Suicide: the Gravest Sin in Islam
Sometimes we feels that our burden is too heavy. Besieged by failures and losses, driven into agony by stress, we just cannot bear the weight any longer. Then the decision comes to take our own life. A step into the abyss, a journey into the arms of the devil. At that moment, we don’t really care, but we should, really. In fact, we must.
The Holy Quran names suicide as one of the gravest sins, a sacrilege against the Almighty. Your body was created and is provided for by Allah. Taking your life is His decision and His right only. If He decides to subject you to trials, then He knows better. There are no trials which Allah may send that man cannot bear. They may be very hard but always bearable. Anything different is the devil whispering in your ear, wishing to take you into his realm. Now think for a moment what that realm may be. Suicide is a sin.
If people had unwavering faith in Allah and the hereafter, their minds wouldn’t allow them to buckle under the burden which is pressing them down. They would summon the last of their strength and fight. Yet when faith is flimsy, the thought prevailing at the very last moment before the final tragedy is ‘none of that which I’ve been told exists, there is nothing to fear, what really exists is my plight and I am going to take care of it’. The devil is rubbing his hands with joy.
For such people it might be useful to explore the philosophical exercise called ‘Pascal’s Wager’. It shows clearly why the choice to comply with Allah’s commandments is better than that to negate them. When you comply with Allah’s commandments and it turns out that the hereafter doesn’t exist, all you stand to lose is the pleasures of this world (which you deny yourself because of the bans imposed by your religion), this loss is finite. When you negate Allah’s commandments and it turns out that the hereafter does exist, you will be faced with infinite loss, that of eternal damnation. The terrible, ever-lasting, unending damnation for centuries and millennia to come.
This exercise, although not entirely conventional from the Muslim point of view, may save a desperate soul from the fatal step. Compliance with Allah’s laws is safer than negation. Do not buckle. Do not be a fool.
For those who are more steadfast in their beliefs and adherence to Allah, there’s a choice of surahs to reassure them that suicide is the greatest harm one can do to himself. Allah is Merciful. He will turn his Loving Eye to you and will deliver you from any affliction you may be suffering, but you must be strong.
“And it is not possible for one to die except by permission of Allah at a decree determined. And whoever desires the reward of this world – We will give
him thereof; and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter – We will give him thereof. And we will reward the grateful”. (3:145)
“Do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. And whoever does that in aggression and injustice – then We will drive him into a Fire. And that, for Allah, is easy”. (4:29, 30)