Thursday, 23 November 2017







Alhamdu lillah was salatu was salaam ala rasuluhu al kareem

The World Health Day is celebrated every year with a theme. This year the theme is Depression: Let's Talk. It aims to mobilize action on depression.


This condition affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It impacts on people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with consequences for families, friends, and even communities, workplaces, and health care systems. At worst, depression can lead to self-inflicted injury and suicide. A better understanding of depression - which can be prevented and treated - will help reduce the stigma associated with the illness, and lead to more people seeking help.


In a society like the West - that prides itself for freedom and liberty to attain maximum happiness, suicide ought to be the furthest from the mind?  Yet it is not an uncommon practice and may be someone who is close to you and opens up to you and you may be the only person who can help.  Suicide, resorted to in times of crisis as an end to those worries, is not only prohibited in Islam but it is also not an escape.  This sermon illustrates how Islam provides an alternative that is worth living for!


In Allah’s care…

He brought together the sperm and the ovum from deep within two separate individuals, lodged the fertilized egg safely and prepared the uterus for the creation of a life – helpless and dependent on its Creator from the day of conception and beyond its birth, the vibrant youth, prudent adulthood up to its death at a senile old age and beyond to another life – its real home.  Not a day passes except that the same Creator sustains this life – and the six billion others like it on the planet – with attention to the most minute of its needs.  It breathes effortlessly without even noticing the complex art and perfection in the organs that enable it. 


Why despair then…

With such care and attention for detail in each individual, is it then warranted to despair of the help of the most Merciful?

Along the same lines we find these verses in the Quran, (their translation) “Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning?  Verily, We have created man from a drop of mixed fluid (of man and woman) in order to try him so We made him a hearer and seer.  Verily, We showed him the way (gave him guidance in all matters), whether he be grateful or ungrateful (lit. kafoor i.e. who conceals and denies the favours or signs of Allah).  [Surah Insan 76:1-3]


For us is to worship and the provision is from Him…

He created us with such care and attention for a noble purpose and assured us that He will sustain and look after each and every need.  He informs in the Quran, (its translation) “I did not create the Jinn or the human except that they worship me; I do not want any provision from them (neither for themselves nor for any creatures) nor do I seek that they should feed Me (i.e. provide for whom I provide). Verily, Allah He is the Provider (of all), possessor of Power, the Most Strong.”  [Surah Dhariyat 51:56-58]


Why the trials and hardship…

Thus Allah took the responsibility of providing for and looking after all affairs of each and every individual and reassured He is the One fully capable of that.  Our concern is not to be anxious even in the most trying circumstance for Allah promised to provide a way out; rather our concern is to worship Him by living a life of obedience to Him and excellence in every walk of life.  Any hardship faced is no more than a trial to prove that our only concern is the approval of our actions by Allah before anyone else in the community and even before our own pleasure.  Allah promised in the Quran, “Alif, Lam, Mim, do people think that they will be left alone on (merely) saying: ‘We believe,’ and not be tested (in their claims)?  We have indeed tested those who were before them; and Allah will certainly make it known those who were truthful and He will certainly make known the liars.”  [Surah Ankabut 29:1-2]   


Thus suicide forbidden in Quran and hadith…

Given that Allah promised to undertake the sustenance and any delay thereafter or withholding of any of its needs being merely for a trial, then there is no room for a person to take away the life that Allah has created for an important purpose and meticulously sustaining it each second for that purpose.  He prohibited the destroying of ones life in any manner as understood by the general meaning of the wording of this verse, “And do not throw (yourselves) with your own hands to destruction; but work (deeds of) excellence for verily Allah loves the people of excellence.”  [Surah Baqarah 2:195]   Thus we are ordered to not destroy ourselves rather to direct the mind and energies to doing good deeds that please Allah.  In another verse, “And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allaah is Most merciful to you.”  [Surah Nisaa 4:29]


In fact the taking of even one life is regarded as the taking of the life of the whole of mankind, “Whoever kills a soul – unless for another soul or for corruption (vice and mischief spread) in the land – it is as if he had slain the whole of mankind.  And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved the whole of mankind.” [Surah Ma’idah 5:32].


The noun, soul (nafs) in the verse is without the definite particle. In Arabic, an indefinite noun in a conditional clause gives the meaning of generality and comprehensiveness.  Thus, the verse is not only concerning the taking of a soul of another person but even ones own life for both are souls created and entrusted to us by Allah.  This is not only prohibited but strongly condemned as though he killed the whole of mankind.


The Messenger of Allah (May the peace and blessings be on him) also prohibited it as learnt from the following hadith.  "Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself, he will be in the Fire of Hell throwing himself down for ever and ever. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself will have the poison in his hand, drinking it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron (i.e. a weapon) will have that piece of iron in his hand, stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever." (Compiled in Sahih Bukhari).


The pain of suicide is for ever…

A person, who commits suicide, does so believing it an escape from his crisis so he ends his life willing to bear a moment of pain and may throw himself of a cliff.  Yet this hadith shows that he actually brings upon himself that pain not just momentarily but again and again in Hell-fire.


But from His mercy He may forgive suicide – so why not stay alive in His mercy…

However, from the mercy of Allah, the Exalted, He may forgive any sin committed by a person no matter how grave or He may punish in this life or in Hell-fire, except for Shirk.  Associating partners to Allah (Shirk) in divinity and Lordship is the only sin that Allah does not forgive.  The one doing shirk may seek forgiveness from the partner he claims to Allah in divinity but he is seeking forgiveness from someone who doesn’t have the authority to forgive!  This principle of forgiveness is established clearly in the Quran, “Verily Allah does not forgive that you set up partners with Him but He forgives anything else for whoever He wishes.”  [Surah Nisaa 4:48] 


A person who is confident of the mercy of Allah in forgiving him for committing suicide, shouldn’t he have the same confidence that if he doesn’t commit suicide, Allah from His mercy and care will alleviate his hardship and distress?  If it takes time, it is no more than a temporary trial.


A day’s worth for a Muslim…

An extra day alive is that much longer to work good deeds to distance oneself from the eternal torment of Hell-fire and a golden opportunity to win a better place in Paradise.  It is for deserving of this mercy of Allah and a Paradise which no eye has ever seen, nor any ear has ever heard nor conceived by any mind, it is for this a Muslim is directed to strive every moment he is alive by the favour of Allah.  A Believer capitalizes on each breath Allah allows him – only the ignorant would throw away such a bargain!  Allah says (translated it means), “And whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) will see it (on the Day of Resurrection to be rewarded) and whoever does mischief equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.”  [Surah Zalzalah 99:7-8]00


Reassurances in Quran and a purpose to live…

Thus a person contemplating suicide finds reassurance in the Quran and purpose for life.  He finds an explanation for ease or hardship.  He realizes that every hardship expiates for his sins and elevates his rank in Paradise.  He thus finds internal peace and pleasure even in external hardship and suffering and strives to acquire or lose the eternal comfort in the Hereafter.  The feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and self-loathing diminish as a Believer contemplates on the message of the Quran, reflects on life and patterns the life according to its wise injunctions.  Initially, this achievement may be for moments only but with time and following the guidance of the Quran it may become a constant state.