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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
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"O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful." [Noble Quran 9:119]

"If you obeyed most of those on earth they would mislead you far from Allah's way." [Noble Quran 6:116]

Return to the QURAN only - the complete and final STAND-ALONE Divine Message which also contains the authentic sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

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I bear witness that NONE is worthy of worship except ALLAH, He has NO partner nor partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the slave and Final Messenger of Allah.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Does the Quran forbid suicide?

The notion among Muslims about suicide being a sin is another one of those concepts borrowed from the Old and New Testaments through the Hadith literature.

The following are the views of the Old and New Testaments on suicide:

(1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV) [16] Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? [17] If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. 


Augustine argued in the 5th century that suicide was a violation of the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder" or  "Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13) Even though this clearly refers to murder, the Jewish and Christian clerics have persistently misinterpreted it as 'suicide.'  Later, Thomas Aquinas, being Catholic and believing that confession of sin must be made prior to departure from this world to the next, taught that suicide was the most fatal of all sins because the victim could not repent.

"Do not be a fool--why die before your time?" (Ecclesiastes 7:17b) .... an Old Testament book consisting of reflections on the vanity of human life; it's traditionally attributed to Solomon.  But that's not true.  According to Biblical information, Solomon died on 931 BC and this was written on 250 BC.

Similarly, the Hadith prohibits suicide in various narrations of Bukhari and others.  The following are two examples.   Observe the resembling tone between Hadith and the altered Bibles.

Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 445:
Narrated Jundab  “A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.”

Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 73:
Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak: ”And if somebody commits suicide with anything in this world, he will be tortured with that very thing on the Day of Resurrection.


As we all know, neither the altered Bibles nor the man-written Hadith contain the words of Allah.  The only Divine Scripture that's completely unchanged and original is the Glorious Quran,  and the Quran mentions no such dictates about suicide as contained in the Bible and Hadith. 

The so-called "ulemas" and "scholars" at present have tried hard to misinterpret a verse of the Quran to support the Hadith on suicide but their misinterpretation makes no sense.  The verse they've tried to misinterpret is 4:29 of Surah An-Nissa.   To explain it, it's also necessary to quote Verse 4:30.

"O ye who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity, except it be a trade by mutual consent, and kill not one another. Lo! Allah is ever Merciful unto you." (4:29)

"Whoso doeth that through aggression and injustice, we shall cast him into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah." (4:30)  [translated by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall]


Verse 4:29 very definitely refers to murder ("kill not one another").  This is re-confirmed by Verse 4:30 where Allah states that whoever kills out of "aggression and Injustice" will taste the punishment of Hellfire.  The concept of aggression only arises when a person kills someone else, not himself or herself.  That makes murder an injustice.   Suicide is never defined as "aggression."

Most other translators have translated Verse 4:29 as "And do not kill yourselves, surely God is most Merciful to you." (4:29).  Thus they claim it refers to suicide.  It's easy to perceive that the Hadithists have misinterpreted Verse 4:29 into suicide in exactly the same way as the Jews and Christians have misinterpreted  "You shall not murder" or  "Thou shalt not kill"  to be suicide.  A clear evidence of Hadith borrowing its contents from the altered Bibles. 

To presume the translation of Verse 4:29 ".. do not kill yourselves .."  to be suicide is completely wrong. Even if you accept it as the right translation, yet it doesn't mean suicide.   Here is the analytical explanation.   Grammatically, the word "yourselves"  ("anfusakum" in original Quranic Arabic) does not refer to 'first person plural' but it refers to 'second person plural' pronoun.  This has also been confirmed by Corpus Quran which contains word to word grammatical translation from original Arabic to English.  The term "yourselves" denotes the people of an entire community. Therefore, "do not kill yourselves" is a command to the people not to carry out killings within their community, that is, one person killing another person.  And when one person of a society kills another, it is violence based on "aggression."  Therefore, Verse 4:29 is followed by V.4:30 using the term "aggression."  The word "aggression" is always used when injury is caused to 'second person,' not to 'first person.'  Suicide is a self-inflicted injury in which the 'first person' kills himself or herself.  This is never described as "aggression" because aggression (as a standard definition) can only be shown towards others, not toward oneself.   Committing suicide through aggression or injustice toward oneself does not make any sense.   Suicide is never referred to in such terms.  People may commit suicide because of fear, sadness, depression, poverty, unhappiness, hopelessness or as a strategy of war.  None of these situations involve a feeling of aggression toward oneself.   Of course this doesn't mean that the Quran encourages us to go about killing ourselves.  But it does not mention suicide to be a sin either.  To propagate that anyone and everyone who commits suicide because of the various compelling reasons of life will be punished in Hellfire is a gross misconception.  Allah, The Almighty, has given us NO reason to believe in such presumptions.      

2 comments:

  1. "And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another." This means that anything that happens in your life is ordained by Allah and you must bear the burden, and struggle, and strive in His way. For these people, their is a greater reward.

    If I have the capacity to endure something, but decide not to for some reason, it is a judgment based on volition not capacity. God knows well one's capacity.

    Yes, the Qur'an doesn't outright forbid suicide. However, it obviously tells you to struggle/live in the way of Allah. The only case in which suicide should be "acceptable" is when the situation is dire(e.g. fear of torture/imprisonment).

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  2. Of course, the Quran tells us to struggle but that has no direct nor indirect connotations to suicide. Suicide is a separate aspect of life that depends on both volition and capacity. The strength of a person's will-power, their sense of judgment and level of endurance while facing the challenges of life, all play a vital role involving the decision of suicide, and indeed it differs from person to person. Only Allah knows the exact inner strength of every person at the face of earthly trials and tribulations, and accordingly He makes the decisions on the reactions of people.

    I cannot recall the verse number at the moment, but there's a Quranic verse that addrsses the Jews of Arabia who had abandoned their Scripture in preference to their own whims. The verse states "then wish for death, if you should be truthful. ... But they will never wish for it, ever, because of what their hands have put forth." Here, the aspect for wishing for death is expressed in a positive note. Had they loved Allah Almighty and been truthful to Him, they would have loved death, as death is the door to getting closer to the Creator, the One and Only. However, this interpretation should not be misconstrued as wishing to kill oneself for the fun of it. It refers to death (e.g. because of illness) or causing death to oneself under unavoidable circumstances (e.g. unbearable earthly distress / danger or as a strategy of war). As already stated, the "volition and capacity" within every person are known to Allah alone, on the basis of which He makes His decisions.

    You're right. The Noble Quran does not "outright forbid suicide," which means it does not forbid suicide. As simple as that.

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