Is suicide permissible under extreme circumstances?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

What are the Fatwās of different Imāms regarding a woman committing suicide in order to save from pregnancy, a woman if she is raped and becomes pregnant??

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Allah Taāla is our Creator. He has granted us life and sent us to this world to test our submission to Him. During this test various conditions come upon a person.

 

Allah Taāla says,

 

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ (2) وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ(3)

Do people think We will leave them saying we believe and they will not be tested. Verily we have tested the people in the past so that the truthful are known and the liars are known.

(Quran 29:2-3)

In another verse Allah Taāla says,

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ (155) الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ (156)

Verily we will test you with fear hunger and by decrease in wealth, lives and fruit crops. Glad tidings for the patient ones who at the time of adversities say, Verily we belong to Allah and to Him we return.

(Quran 2:155-156)

Furthermore, Allah Taāla has also promised relief after difficulties He says,

                                       

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا (5) إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا (6)

Verily with every difficulty there is relief.

(Quran 94:5-6)

It is narrated on the authority of Jābir ibn Samurah Radhi Allahu Anhu: A man who had killed himself with a broad arrow-head was brought to Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alayhi Wasallam and He did not pray the funeral prayer for him.[1]

The solution to the different aggravations in life is not to take one’s life, rather, to be patient and seek assistance from Allah Taāla directly. Taking one’s life is strictly prohibited. Such a person will continuously be punished after death in the same manner he had taken his life.  Thus, anyone who is in the right state of mind will not run away from the heat of the desert and throw himself into the burning fire. How can one flee from temporary hardship and difficulty which inevitably will come to an end to an eternal punishment which has no end? 

Life is a trust from Allah and one cannot do as he wishes with someone else’s property. A person who breaches the trust of Allah will be held in contempt for his action.

A person involved in such conditions should ponder and realize that he/she is not the only one who is affected by calamity and hardship. Calamities befell the greatest of mankind, i.e., the Prophets, Messengers and the righteous. They also befell the worst of mankind, i.e., the disbelievers.

Calamity is part of the natural order of things and everyone is faced by it. 

Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alayhi Wasallam said:

“No pain, hardship, sickness or grief befalls a Muslim, not even worry that befalls him, but some of his bad deeds will be expiated.”[2]

As Muslims, we believe in predestine (Taqdeer) and that all good and bad is from Allah. Many a times a person is afflicted with certain problems and calamities, this is only to test and see how a Muslim reacts to these adverse conditions. Whether we are patient and put our reliance on Allah, or do we turn our backs and complain and have evil perception. Accordingly, he will be rewarded, whether it is apparent in this world or the hereafter.

Therefore, suicide is not permissible in the manner stated in reference. [3]

 

Now reverting to your query, one should abstain from places where there is a possibility of such despicable and vile act. However, if by chance one is put in a challenging situation, then one should do whatever it takes to get out of the situation. Exploit the same courage one uses to commit suicide to defend ones chastity to the best of one’s ability. This includes physically assaulting the offender or even charging him with any object, stone, knife etc.

Hereunder are some practices one should exercise while traveling to safeguard one’s chastity:

1.      Make a habit of reading Ayat ul Kursi every morning for protection. 

2.      Do not travel alone. Accompany a family member or a friend.

And Allah Taāla Knows Best

 

Mufti Zaid M Shelia,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, Illinois (USA)

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net   



[1]  حَدَّثَنَا عَوْنُ بْنُ سَلَّامٍ الْكُوفِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا زُهَيْرٌ، عَنْ سِمَاكٍ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ، قَالَ:أُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِرَجُلٍ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِمَشَاقِصَ، فَلَمْ يُصَلِّ عَلَيْهِ.. (صحيح مسلم 2/672 دار إحياء التراث العربي بيروت)

[2]  حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَأَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، قَالَا: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو أُسَامَةَ، عَنِ الْوَلِيدِ بْنِ كَثِيرٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ عَطَاءٍ، عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّهُمَا سَمِعَا رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، يَقُولُ:مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ وَصَبٍ، وَلَا نَصَبٍ، وَلَا سَقَمٍ، وَلَا حَزَنٍ حَتَّى الْهَمِّ يُهَمُّهُ، إِلَّا كُفِّرَ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِ.. (صحيح مسلم 4/1992 دار إحياء التراث العربي بيروت)

[3]  احسن الفتاوی ۶/۲۲ سعید

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