Oh Allah, As For His Hands, Forgive Them

Dear Suicidal Sister/Brother

If you are having suicidal thoughts please talk to someone. It might appear as though suicide is the only solution and no one cares but there are good sincere people in the world that are not only good listeners but will genuinely help you. They care. Allah listens and He cares. He is al-Rahman al-Rahim, the Most Merciful the Exceedingly Kind. Many amongst us would have gone a long time ago leaving behind shattered partners, parents, children, and friends but are living meaningful lives helping others simply because they sought and accepted help and were given support by people who cared. Your death is not just one death. It is the death of your family and friends. It is the death of the community.

 

Allah has something to say to you:
So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief” (Quran, 94: 5-6). “And never give up hope of Allah’s soothing Mercy” (Quran, 12:87). “And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him” (Quran, 65:3). “Do not kill [or destroy] yourselves, for surely Allah has been Most Merciful to you” (Quran, 4:29). “Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Quran, 39: 53).

 

Dear Family Member/Friend of the Above

Whilst you are reading this post there is someone in the world that has just become a victim of suicide. It is an epidemic. Approximately one million people die each year from suicide, which is one death every 40 seconds (WHO). Please don’t take clinical depression and other mental illnesses lightly. Recognise the signs and take them seriously. It’s difficult for a person contemplating suicide to get help themselves and may claim they don’t need it. If you know someone in need of help please either help them or seek professional help for them. You might just save a life. Think about that! Furthermore, not all conditions are Jinn-related. Provide both authentic Islamic traditional healing (Ruqyah) AND medical assistance. Don’t ignore the latter. Also, please be kind, honest, respectful, and non-judgemental to people around you. Tell and show your loved ones that you unconditionally love and care for them whilst they are alive. Don’t wait to say it in a eulogy as the world hears then but not the deceased.

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ”Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will relieve him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter… Whoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this life and the Hereafter. Allah is in the aid of the servant as long as the servant is in the aid of his brother” (Sahih Muslim).

 

Dear Muslim Community

Despite the relatively low rates of suicide in the Muslim community, it still occurs. And when it does, it unfortunately brings shame, guilt, and social isolation to the family. They are already grieving, don’t shame them. Suicide is complex. Educate yourselves about causes, signs, and ways to help. Raise awareness.

 

Allah says, “Indeed, those who like that immorality [sin] should be spread [or publicised] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter” (Quran, 24:19).

 

The Prophet is reported to have said: “Do not rejoice over the misfortune of your brother, lest Allah have mercy upon him and inflict you with trials” (al-Tirmidhi). It is also said, “Whoever shames his brother for a sin will not die until he does it too” (ibid. Of questionable authenticity).

 

Dear Respected Imams/Religious Leaders

Kindly review your religious positions on leading the funeral (Janazah) prayer of a suicide victim and offering spiritual bereavement support for the family. In a recent case brought to my attention, every Imam (senior and junior) approached in the city (of many Imams and Islamic seminaries) refused to lead the funeral prayer. The family was forced to invite an Imam from another city.

 

Dear Deceased Victim of Suicide

We are sorry we couldn’t help you. We failed you. Please accept our apologies. Nonetheless, we pray for you by asking Allah to forgive you. The Prophet prayed for someone like you. After Tufayl ibn ‘Amr and his friend migrated to Medina, the friend committed suicide by cutting his fingers. Tufayl saw him in a dream looking well and happy but with his hands covered. Tufayl asked him, “How has your Lord treated you?” The man said, “He has forgiven me due to my emigration to His Prophet”. Tufayl retorted, “Why do I see your hands covered?” He replied, “I was told that ‘we would not fix what you yourself damaged’”. Tufayl informed the Prophet of his dream to which the Prophet exclaimed, “O Allah, as for his hands, forgive them” (Sahih Muslim).

 

I have personally lost a few friends and acquaintances to suicide (one just two days ago). A few years ago, one of my young student’s father committed suicide during the month of Ramadan before Fajr in the Masjid.

 

We ask Allah to make it easy for those amongst us contemplating suicide, forgive and show mercy to victims of suicide, and grant relief to families of victims, Aameen.

 

Mahmood Hasan Koli
Imam, Masjid Khadijah Peterborough

 

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