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The Major Scholars of Today Clarify the Ruling on the Muslim Who Commits Suicide

  Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn, Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān, Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

The major scholars of our time were asked regarding the janāzah of those who have commited suicide, and whether or not they should be buried with the muslims. In three seperate answers, they explain how the one who commited suicide is still a Muslim.

bismallah

  This is in opposition to the Khawārij and Muʿtazilah sects, two stray groups, who say: Sinful people who enter the Fire remain there forever, and this is a huge mistake.
Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Merciful...


Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz:

Shaykh Ibn Bāz (may Allāh have Mercy on him) was asked, "If someone commits suicide because of certain situations in his life and other factors that make it difficult for him to live and provide for his family, does this mean that he will abide eternally in Jahannam (the Fire)?"

He responded:

Suicide is a great evil, and one of the major sins.  A Muslim is not allowed to commit suicide.  Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic, says, (what means),

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ  إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

"And do not kill yourselves!  Verily, Allāh is ever-merciful to you!"
[Sūrah al-Nisāʾ, 4:29]   

And the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) said in the authentic ḥadīth (what means), "Whoever kills himself with something will be punished by it on the Day of Standing."

So it is obligatory on Muslims to have patience and perseverance if they face some calamities or difficulties in their lives, [and] not to rush and kill themselves. Rather, they must be warned of that, fear Allāh, be patient, and work through it by taking the necessary steps, and whoever fears Allāh, then Allāh will make a way out for him.   

If someone kills himself, he subjects himself to the Anger of Allāh and His Punishment, however, it will be up to Allāh (to punish him or not), since suicide is less than shirk, and Allāh, the Most High, has said (what means),

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء

"Verily Allāh does not forgive that partners be set up for Him, and He forgives what is less than that for whomever He wills."
[Sūrah al-Nisāʾ, 4:48] 

Everything less than shirk is up to Allāh to forgive, and suicide is less than shirk.  Similarly is the case with fornication, stealing, and drinking alcohol - they are all forms of disobedience less than shirk, and the one who does them is under Allāh's Will, (meaning) if he dies upon that disobedience Allāh may forgive him if He wants, due to his good deeds and his Islām.  And if Allāh wishes He may punish him in the Fire based on the severity of his sin.  Then, after he is purified he will be taken out of the Fire.  According to Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jamāʿah he will not remain in the Fire eternally. A sinful person does not remain forever in the Fire, not a murderer or anyone else stays in the Fire forever.  He shall be punished if Allāh wants to punish him, for however long Allāh wishes to punish him based on the severity of his disobedience, and then Allāh will have him removed and taken to a river called "the River of Life."  People will grow there (from whatever remains after burning in the Fire) as a seedling grows after being washed up by floodwaters.

Once their restoration is completed, Allāh will allow them to enter Paradise because of their Islām and their Īmān that they died upon.  The only ones that shall remain in the Fire eternally are the disbelievers.  The only ones who shall remain in the Fire eternally are the polytheist disbelievers who disbelieved in Allāh and His Messengers, rejected His (other) Messengers, denied something that the Messengers came with, or did other things of this nature that expel one from Islām. Sins do not cause someone to remain in the Fire eternally according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jamāʿah.   

This is in opposition to the Khawārij and Muʿtazilah sects, two stray groups, who say: Sinful people who enter the Fire remain there forever, and this is a huge mistake.

Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jamāʿah, the Companions of the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace), and those who followed in righteousness say: Sinful people do not have to remain in the Fire forever so long as they do not declare the act of disobedience to be permissible, while knowing it is disobedience.  If the Shayṭān tricked him into doing it then he is not to remain in the Fire forever, rather it is up to Allāh - He may choose to excuse him and allow him entrance to Paradise because of his Islām and Īmān, or He may choose to punish him based on the severity of his disobedience.  Then, once purified Allāh will make him exit the Fire and enter Paradise.     

The ḥadīths from the Messenger (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) about this have come by way of tawātur (convincingly large numbers of chains), that some people who enter the Fire because of their sins will then be taken out of the Fire through (various) intercessions, or only by His Mercy without any other intercession, Glorified and Exalted.  All of this is authentically established from the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace).1

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ Ibn al-ʿUthaymīn:

Shaykh Ibn al-ʿUthaymīn (may Allāh have Mercy on him) was asked, "Should someone who committed suicide be washed and prayed over?"

He responded by saying:

Someone who commits suicide - and Allāh's Refuge is sought - has killed himself intentionally without right.  His act of suicide was a manifestation of his foolishness since he thought that by killing himself he could escape the trials and difficulties he was facing.  However, he has only moved on to more difficult, more severe trials.  He is like someone who wanted to get out of the heat, so he went into a Fire!

It has been authentically established that the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank, and that of his family, and grant them peace) said that "Whoever kills himself with something will be punished by that thing in the Hellfire khālidan mukhalladan abadan 2."

Refuge with Allāh is sought!  Whoever kills himself with a knife (or other metal object) will be in the Hellfire cutting himself with it. Similarly, whoever dies by poisoning himself will poison himself in the Fire of Hell!  Whoever jumps off a mountain or a building will repeat that in the Fire of Hell khālidan mukhalladan abadan! 2.

So suicide is not a solution, nor does it provide any relief from sadness and distress!  It only makes the person's bad situation even worse.

However, if a Muslim commits suicide, he is to be washed, shrouded, and prayed over.  But if the tribal leader, local judge, or elder - whoever makes important decisions - in the area decides not to pray over him, that is a good thing, since the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) refused to pray over a man who killed himself with a knife (or the metal head of a spear or arrow).  However, the other people pray over him and supplicate for him to receive Mercy.  This is because he was not an apostate due to his act of suicide, rather he commmitted a horrible major sin (less than apostacy).  We ask Allāh for good situations (free of strife)!

In summary, people who commit suicide are to be washed, shrouded, prayed over, and buried in the Muslims' graveyards, so long as they were Muslims.  And if the local leader decides not to pray over someone (who committed suicide) so that others would be take an admonition (about the severity of the crime), this is a good thing, following the example of the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and that of his family and grant them peace).

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān:

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān (may Allāh preserve him) was asked, "Is it allowed for the Muslims to pray over someone who committed suicide?"

He responded by:

It is obligatory to establish the janāzah (prayer) for every Muslim, even for someone who has committed suicide.  That is because his act of suicide was a major sin, yet it does not expel him from the religion.  Someone who has committed suicide is a sinner who has all the rights of the other Muslims, like being prayed over, forgiveness being sought for him, and being washed, shrouded, and buried in the Muslims' graveyards.3

Endnotes:

http://www.ibnbaz.org.sa/mat/10374

2 [TN] khālidan mukhalladan abadan: a very scary phrase from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) which seems to indicate and even emphasize eternal punishment in the Hellfire forever, yet the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah understood that eternal punishment was not intended in this ḥadīth, despite the strength of the wording used.  They comibned this ḥadīth with the rest of the textual evidence which prove that a sinful Muslim will not remain in the Fire forever.  

Two pieces of evidence are key here.  Firstly, the generality of the Qur’anic verse (which means): " Verily Allāh forgives not that partners be set up for Him, yet He forgives what is less than that for whomever He wishes" [4:48]  This is confirmed for the issue of suicide specifically by a ḥadīth in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (#113) that gives details about someone who committed suicide and was forgiven by Allāh, and the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) even made a special supplication for him.

An-Nawawee said, "This ḥadīth explains the other ḥadīths before it that might indicate from their wordings at first glance that someone who commits suicide and other major sinners are to remain forever in the Fire." (Sharḥ Muslim, 2/131) 

Refer to: http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?forum=31&topic=10828

http://www.sahab.net/forums/showthread.php?p=443004

Posted by request of the translator: Mūsá Richardson

Source: www.salafitalk.net

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Tags: Al-‘Uthaymīn, Ibn Bāz , Al-Fawzān, Death, sins, Suicide

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