ISLAM condemns suicide including martyrdom under the guise of religion, said a lecturer from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).
In an interview to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Ustazah Norasiah Hj Amai yesterday said suicide is a grave sin in Islam as taking one’s life is considered an act of ingratitude and defiance against Allah SWT.
“Some scholars claim killing yourself for the sake of religion is allowed, but that is a minority view. Most scholars agree all forms of suicide are forbidden in Islam,” she said.
Based on rulings of the Quran and hadith, Muslims who commit suicide are punished in hell for eternity.
However, Ustazah Norasiah pointed out the doors of repentance will remain open for those who seek forgiveness from Allah SWT.
“Tendency to sin, such as contemplating suicide, is an indication of weak faith,” she said, advising Muslims to strengthen their relationship with Allah SWT through prayers.
Noting the complex nature of suicide motives, she urged people with suicidal thoughts to seek professional help. She also called on the community to reach out and offer support to suicidal individuals who have become disconnected from others.
“We shouldn’t isolate or berate them, because that is only going to drive them closer to the edge,” remarked the UNISSA lecturer.
According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, connectedness is crucial for individuals who may be vulnerable to suicide.
Studies show social isolation can increase the risk of suicide while having strong human bonds can be a preventative measure.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 800,000 people die by suicide globally every year. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death for youth aged between 15 to 29.
Although suicide rates in Brunei are not made public “as it is a sensitive issue”, Ustazah Norasiah believed a number of cases and attempts have occurred in the country.
She further said there is a need to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
“We have an obligation as Muslims to prevent this tragic loss of life. Awareness starts at home, so parents must teach their children that suicide is not the way out,” she said.
Observed every September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day is aimed at spreading the message that “suicide prevention is a realistic goal and governments worldwide should work together to find solutions to this growing health problem”.
Suicide should not be seen as an inevitable cause of premature deaths throughout the world, said the WHO in a statement.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, September 9, 2015