Muttaqun OnLine

Home  Library    Education    References    Egroups    About


According to Quran and Sunnah


The confusion on what is suicide and who may be targeted in war

A small minority of Muslims (who are not in the category of those who have nullified their Islam*) misunderstand the word shaheed (martyr) when it comes to war and the act of suicide.

Muslims may engage in defensive wars and if they happen to die in this way, doing it for the sake of Allah, insha'Allah they die shaheed, and as we know, a shaheed may attain paradise.

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 1:35, Narrated Abu Huraira

The Prophet said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah's cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause."

Some Muslims incorrectly think that suicidal bombings during war is not suicide but an act of defensive war. They see it the same as fighting with guns or swords in a war. However, shooting in a war, one goes in with the intention NOT to die. Using oneself as a walking or flying bomb, one goes in with the intention of killing oneself (and the perceived enemy).

Sometimes a Muslim may have enough knowledge to quote the hadith in which it was said that the companions of Prophet Muhammad (saaws) would throw their bodies on top of the Prophet and were willing to take a hit for him. However, this does not mean they were intending to kill themselves! This means they were willing to perhaps take an attack to an arm or leg to prevent death to the Prophet saaws. Or that they would shield him and escort him to safety, and by shielding him, preventing the enemy from striking at that moment since the Prophet couldn't be clearly seen in the crowd. Putting oneself at risk is not the same thing as intending to do an act that would surely kill oneself!

As we know, the religion of Islam is based upon intentions, as we are judged according to our intentions. A good deed is not accepted by Allah if we have intentions other than doing it for the sake of Allah, or if it is not in accordance with Quran and Sunnah.

SUICIDAL BOMBINGS ARE AN ACT OF WAR **AND** SUICIDE and therefore haram (prohibited) since suicide (INTENTIONALLY KILLING ONESELF) is such a terrible sin with terrible consequences.

In addition, such Muslims are completely unaware of the ayat (proof) against killing women and children. Ignorance is so sad. And any haram act by any Muslim anywhere, hurts the Muslim ummah as a whole.

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 21.9 (Similar proofs in 21.8, 21.10, and 21.11)
Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw the corpse of a woman who had been slain in one of the raids, and he disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.

Of course if any woman or child is shooting directly at you, it is permissible to act in self-defense to an immediate situation, but (unarmed) women and children cannot be an intentional target during war or any such attacks. And of course, Islam does not support women in military, but it does permit an individual woman to pick up a weapon to use in self-defense if a specific situation dictates that. The general intent is to shield women and children from the brutal fatalities of a war front altogether and to place the responsibility on the men in society to protect them.

*see for a list of what disqualifies a person from being Muslim despite their claim to be Muslim, keeping in mind that Allah is the only One who knows the true status of any person as a believer or disbeliever and Allah alone knows who will enter paradise or hell. Muslims are at all different levels of faith, some committing many sins, some very little, and this should be recognized. The Muslims are one nation, a nation that must punish its own, according to the law of Quran and Sunnah, and that must pray for one another in Muslim unity.

Hadith - Bukhari 2:445, Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak

The Prophet said, "Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, 'If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,' he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire." Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, "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."

Hadith - Bukhari 7:576, Narrated Qais bin Abi Hazim, see also Bukhari 8:361, 438

We went to pay a visit to Khabbab (who was sick) and he had been branded (cauterized) at seven places in his body. He said, "Our companions who died (during the lifetime of the Prophet ) left (this world) without having their rewards reduced through enjoying the pleasures of this life, but we have got (so much) wealth that we find no way to spend it except on the construction of buildings. Had the Prophet not forbidden us to wish for death, I would have wished for it." We visited him for the second time while he was building a wall. He said, -A Muslim is rewarded (in the Hereafter) for whatever he spends except for something that he spends on building."

Hadith - Bukhari 7:670, Narrated Abu Huraira

The Prophet said, "Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever."

Hadith - Muslim #6485

Hammam b. Munabbih said: Abu Huraira narrated to us ahadith from Allah's Messenger and out of these one is that Allah's Messenger said:  none amongst you should make a request for death, and do not call for it before it comes, for when any of you dies, he ceases (to do good) deeds and the life of a believer is not prolonged but for goodness.

Hadith - Muslim #6480

Anas (b. Malik) reported Allah's Messenger as saying: None of you should make a request for death because of the trouble in which he is involved, but if there is no other help to it, then say:  O Allah, keep me alive as long as there is goodness in life for me and bring death to me when there is goodness in death for me.

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #1613, Narrated Jabin ibn Abdullah [Ahmad transmitted it.]

Allah's Messenger said, "Do not wish for death, for the terror of the place whence one looks down is severe. It is part of a man's happiness that his life should be long and Allah Who is Great and Glorious, should supply him with repentance."

Hadith - Qudsi 28

There was amongst those before you a man who had a wound. He was in [such] anguish that he took a knife and made with it a cut in his hand, and the blood did not cease to flow till he died. Allah the Almighty said: My servant has himself forestalled Me; I have forbidden him Paradise.

The Noble Qur'an - An-Nisa 4:29

...And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another).  Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.

Ruling of Scholar of Today's Times - Sheikh Ibn 'Uthaymeen - Kayfa Nu'aalij Waaqi'unaa al-Aleem - Page 119

Question: What is the ruling regarding acts of jihaad by means of suicide, such as attaching explosives to a car and storming the enemy, whereby he knows without a doubt that he shall die as a result of this action?

Response: Indeed, my opinion is that he is regarded as one who has killed himself (committed suicide), and as a result he shall be punished in Hell, for that which is authenticated on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).

[((Indeed, whoever (intentionally) kills himself, then certainly he will be punished in the Fire of Hell, wherein he shall dwell forever)), [Bukhaaree (5778) and Muslim (109 and 110)]].

However, one who is ignorant and does not know, and assumes his action was good and pleasing to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala), then we hope Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) forgives him for that which he did out of (ignorant) ijtihaad, even though I do not find any excuse for him in the present day. This is because this type of suicide is well known and widespread amongst the people, so it is upon the person to ask the people of knowledge (scholars) regarding it, until the right guidance for him is differentiated from the error.

And from that which is surprising, is that these people kill themselves despite Allaah having fordbidden this, as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you}, [Soorah an-Nisaa., Aayah 29].

And many amongst them do not desire anything except revenge of the enemy, by whatever means, be it halaal or haraam. So they only want to satisfy their thirst for revenge.

We ask Allaah to bless us with foresight in His Deen and action(s) which please Him, indeed He is all Powerful over all things.

Ruling of Scholar of Today's Times - Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (Rahimahu 'Llah)- Kayfa Nu'aalij Waaqi'unaa al-Aleem - Page 120

Question: What is the ruling regarding suicide in Islaam?

Response: Suicide is when a person kills himself intentionally by whatever means. This is haraam and regarded as amongst the major sins, and likewise included in the general statement of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala):

{And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him}, [Soorah an-Nisaa, Aayah 93].

And it is established from the Sunnah on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) who said:

((Indeed, whoever (intentionally) kills himself, then certainly he will be punished in the Fire of Hell, wherein he shall dwell forever)), [Bukhaaree (5778) and Muslim (109 and 110)].

In reality, the one who commits suicide, generally does so because of his desperate situation, either as a direct result of an act of Allaah or a human being. So you find him unable to cope with that which has afflicted him, and in actual fact he is like one who is calling for help from the scorching heat of the fire. So he has progressed from that which was tough (bad) to that which is worse. And if he was patient, then Allaah would have assisted him in dealing with the difficulty.

Ruling of Scholar of Today's Times - Kitaab Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) – vol. 13, p. 122

A person who has killed himself should be washed, prayed over and buried with the Muslims, because he is a sinner but he is not a kaafir. Killing oneself is a sin but it is not kufr. If he killed himself – we seek refuge with Allaah – he should be washed, shrouded and prayed over, but the khaleefah and important people should not pray for him, by way of rebuke, lest anyone think that they approve of what he did. If the khaleefah, ruler, judges, president or mayor do not pray over him in order to denounce this action and announce that it is wrong, then this is good, but some of the Muslims should still offer the (funeral) prayer for him.

The following excerpt is taken from the book, "The Inevitable Journey Part 3: Funerals - Regulations and Exhortations by Muhammad al-Jibaly.


Sinful Muslims

As stated earlier, the janazah prayer must be offered even for a faajir (a corrupt person or sinner who had indulged in disobedience and transgression), such as one who did not pray [regularly*], did not pay zakah, was an alcohol addict, used to commit zinaa, and so on. However, those who are respected for their knowledge and piety in the community should attempt not to attend, as a form of punishment and reprimand for people like him. This was the practice of the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam), as in the hadith of Zayd Bin Khalid (in the beginning of this chapter) regarding the man who stole from the booty.

Also, Abu Qatadah (radiyAllahu 'anhu) reported that when Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was invited to pray janazah he would inquire about the deceased. If he is praised as having been good, he (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would stand and pray for him. But is he is described as having been otherwise, he (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would tell his family, "You take care of him." And he (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would not pray for him.

And Jabir Bin Samurah (radiyAllahu 'anhu) reported that a man fell ill, and his family wailed over him. His neighbor came to Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and told him that he died. The Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) asked him "How did you know?" The man replied, "I saw him." He (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "He did not die." So he went back and heard the wailing again. His wife said, "Go to Allah's Messenger and tell him (about the wailing)." The man said, "May Allah curse him." Then he went to his neigbor's house and found that he had cut his throat with a knife. He went to the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and told him that he died. He (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) again asked him, "How did you know?" He replied, "I saw him cutting his throat with a blade that he had with him." He (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) asked "You saw him do that?" He said, "Yes." The Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Then I will not pray janazah for him." (Recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud and others)

At-Tirmithi said:

This is a good hadith. The people of knowledge have differed about this; some of them say that the Muslims should pray for everyone who faces the Qiblah in prayer, and for the one who commits suicide. This is the opinion of Sufyan at-Thawri and Ishaq. Ahmad said, 'The imam should not pray for the one who commits suicide, but other people than the imam should.'" (Sunan ut-Tirmithi)

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

"If someone refuses to pray janazah for one of those (a killer, robber, and one deep in debt), as a warning for those like him from doing similar acts - this is good. And if one refused to do that in public, but makes supplication for him in secret, thereby fulfilling both interests - this is even better." (Al-Iktiyarat p. 52)

       *word inserted by Muttaqun OnLine, as those who completly abandon salat are not Muslim, and if reliable witnesses establish before the Ameer (leader) that the person had undoubtedly abandoned salat altogether, the person would not be considered Muslim and would not, of course, receive a Muslim funeral. Establishing this is harder (requires a very high burden of proof) once the person is dead, as the dead person cannot defend themself.

  • Hadith - Related by Ahmad, Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, anNasa'i and Ibn Majah
    Buraidah reported that the Prophet Peace and Blessings be upon him said, "The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever."

Action Items for the Muttaqun:

  • Recognize that a person who commits suicide is forbidden paradise.

  • Be sure to talk to your local Imam if you feel suicidal.  The imam should generally not be judgemental in his response.  The imam, should, however, show or quote to you the above hadith or similar rulings, at least so you know the consequences on your soul.  Seek out the Islamic counsel that is there to guide and encourage you on the right path, not the perceived easy path.

  • Say, "astagherAllah wa atubu alaihi" (May Allah have mercy on me and accept my repentance) 100 times a day, as was a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, saaws.

  • When fearful, say "La ilaha ill Allah" (there is no deity but Allah).

  • If someone expresses suicidal thoughts to you, it is important that you warn him or her of the consequences.

  • Do not kill yourself.  Seek Allah's Mercy, for surely Allah, subhana watala, is All Merciful.  Humbly seek the help of your Lord.

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!

Home  Library    Education     References    Egroups    About