7 September issue
Suicide“And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah swt is Most Merciful to you.” (Quran 4:29)
By Suhaib Ashraf Bhat
Suicide, which is increasing day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute and second by second. Thinkers are thinking; Philosophers making another philosophy out of it yet the rate of the suicide is increasing. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Life is an unending succession of moments. At the two extremes there are joyful moments that make our hearts soar and dark moments that plunge us into sadness and worry or even despair. Gladness and its opposite sadness are part of the human condition, however when we lose control over our emotions we can easily fall into despair. Despair is the feeling that we get when all hope has disappeared and it is a very dangerous situation. Calamity is part of the natural order of things and hardly anyone is safe from it.
The Messenger of Allah swt Muhammad Salalahualihwasalam narrated from his Lord that He Said: “I am as my slave expects Me to be.
Ahmad bin ‘Umar al-Qurtubi Rahimullah said:“It is said that His Saying “I am as my slave expects Me to be” means if one expects an answer when he supplicates, his repentance to be accepted, something repugnant to be repelled from him, his deeds to be accepted that are performed with their proper conditions. And this is supported by his saying: “Call upon Allah swt while you are certain that you will be answered.” Likewise, it is incumbent upon the one who repents, seeks Forgiveness, and does good deeds to exert himself in fulfilling his obligations while he is certain that Allah swt will accept his actions and Forgive his sins, as Allah swt has promised that He will accept any truthful repentance and righteous deeds. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah swt will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah swt, and is from greatest of the major sins. Whoever dies upon this will be delivered to that which he expected.”‘Al-Mufhim li ma Ushkil min Talkhis Kitab Muslim’ (5/267)
Suicide is a complex issue and therefore suicide prevention efforts require coordination and collaboration among multiple sectors of society, including the health sector and other sectors such as education, labour, agriculture, business, justice, law, defence, politics, and the media. These efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact on an issue as complex as suicide.
“And whoever oppresses (commits injustice) among you, We will make him taste a great punishment.” (Quran 25:19)
Prophet Muhammad Salalahualihiwasalam said: “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfills the needs of his brother, Allah swt will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah swt will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever covers the faults of a Muslim, Allah swt will cover his faults on the Day of Resurrection.”
Thus there is certainly a benefit in treating others well, especially in coming to the aid of friends or family members who are overwhelmed by life’s cruelties and injustices. However what of the people who feel alone, crushed by circumstance and are teetering on the edge of despair. How can a person suffering from suicidal thoughts bring themselves back from the brink? This can be achieved in many ways; firstly by strengthening one’s relationship with Allah swt. This is achieved by reading the Quran, being mindful of Him and making lots of dua (supplication) to Allah swt. Next a person would do well to recognise Satan’s hand in this matter. He whispers frightening scenarios of poverty and helplessness. They are not true for Allah swt’s mercy conquers all. Cling to Him and to Islam even in the darkest hour and the longest night.
If you suspect that a family member or friend may be considering suicide, talk to them about your concerns. You can begin the conversation by asking questions in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational way.
Talk openly and don’t be afraid to ask direct questions, such as “Are you thinking about suicide?”
During the conversation, make sure you:
Stay calm and speak in a reassuring toneAcknowledge that their feelings are legitimateOffer support and encouragementTell them that help is available and that they can feel better with treatmentMake sure not to minimize their problems or attempts at shaming them into changing their mind. Listening and showing your support is the best way to help them. You can also encourage them to seek help from a professional.
Offer to help them find a healthcare provider, make a phone call, or go with them to their first appointment.
It can be frightening when someone you care about shows suicidal signs. But it’s critical to take action if you’re in a position to help. Starting a conversation to try to help save a life is a risk worth taking.
Dear brothers and sisters, don’t forget, Trouble is inevitable in the life of this world; this is how Allah swt has decreed it and He swt has made it a place of trials and tests, and a bridge to the Hereafter. Even the best of His creation, the prophets, were never free of troubles. Life is never plain sailing for anyone, young or old. You may have reason to rejoice one day, then reason to feel sad for many other days; this is how it always is in the life of this world and this is how people are all the time.
May Allah swt make things easy for us and make us among those who always provide helping hand to others. Aameen
Suhaib Ashraf Bhat Suhaibbhatt85@gmail.com