If an extremely depressed person commits suicide, will he stay in hell forever,
or is there a chance of him being forgiven?
What can the relatives of the dead person do to help him?
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Only Disbelief Leads To Hell Forever
No, suicide does not mean that a person will go to Hell forever. The only way to go to Hell forever is to commit an act of disbelief. One such act of disbelief would reject the ruling of impermissibility and claim that suicide is permissible in Islam. This is the narrations indicating permanence in the Hellfire for those who commit suicide are understood.
The Meaning of ‘Khulud’
Many narrations state that a person will abide in Hell, repeating the process of his suicide. The word “khalidan“ is used to indicate this. However, this word, on its own, only means a long time and not permanence. So, it does not mean that anyone who commits suicide will be in Hell forever. (Raghib, Mufradat Alfaz al Qur’an)
Suicide Can Be Forgiven
As for a believer, who believes it is impermissible, but due to mental health issues or being overwhelmed by pain and difficulties – such a person, we hope, will be forgiven. Two men from the same tribe as Abu Hurayra moved to Medina to be with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Upon reaching there, they both got ill. One of them could not bear the agony, so he slit his forearms and killed himself.
His friend prayed for a year to see him in a dream, which he did. He was in a good state – in Paradise, it seems – but he had bandages on his arms. The friend asked him what Allah did with him, and he replied that Allah forgave him because he emigrated to Medina. However, he was told, “We won’t fix what you damaged,“ hence the bandages.
The companion mentioned this to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and he said, “O Allah, forgive his arms too.“ (Muslim) This is a moving hadith, and it brings hope for those whose loved ones died in such a way.
The relatives can do any good deed and ask Allah to give it to the deceased. Charity, dhikr, and the recitation of the Qur’an are all easy deeds one can benefit them with.
May Allah grant us all the best of ends.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.