My Suicide Letter…

And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (4:29)

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Recently, I came across an article which made my hair stand and gave me goosebumps, as I live just next door: http://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2016/02/preston-has-highest-suicide-rate-in-the-uk/

A horrifying statistic about Preston has emerged in new figures about suicide. Preston has the highest suicide rate in the UK compared to other towns and cities. There are nearly 19 suicides each year in the city per 100,000 people. The figures, which come from the Office of National Statistics, are based on the period from 2012-2014. It also shows the suicide rate in Preston has been rising sharply in the last few years.

The highest level of suicide in UK towns and cities
Preston – 18.6
Middlesborough – 17.6
Hastings – 17.4
Blackpool – 17
Warwick – 16.6

A few points we all need to consider, as we all go through hardship, pain and suffering:

“Allah burdens not a soul more than its scope.” (2:286)

Allah only gives you what you can handle, in simple terms. If you cannot deal with it Allah will not give it to you. Because as Muslims we believe Allah is al-Hakeem (The Wise), al-Aleem (All-Knowing). Allah knows the past and the future.

So why do we feel we can’t cope anymore?

There are numerous reasons to this, first being our sins weigh us down. Excessive sinning leads one to become despondent. Secondly, we have become ungrateful. Instead of counting our blessings, we as humans tend to count our problems more.

“And He giveth you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (14:34)

Suicide is increasing in Britain and in Muslims, but it is a major sin in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that the one who commits suicide will be punished with something like that with which he killed himself.

Why do people commit suicide?

They have had enough of life or they have no hope left that they can carry on. Sometimes Muslims lose hope in Allah SWT and in their religion. They pray, they fast, give charity but Allah’s help doesn’t seem to come or is delayed. This happens to every single one of us in life, some more than others. But is suicide the solution? More importantly, is it permissible to end our own life?

At some point or another we all think about suicide, we all have bad days and ‘very’ bad days. Problems and difficulties are temporary but remember suicide is not temporary. Do you want to commit suicide to end your life or end the problems you have?

Suicide is not the solution AT ALL. A person must remain positive at all times, life is not perfect. Allah did not promise us a perfect life, otherwise this world would be Jannah.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever.” (Tirmidhi)

Life is short and temporary, so are the problems and trials and calamities we face in life. Whether you are currently in a state of bliss or depression, “this time will pass.” Nothing lasts forever, not your happiness nor your sadness. This world does not even last forever, it will surely end.

If you think that nobody cares, or is there for you, then you have a loving Lord. Allah SWT loves you.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)

It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’”  (Agreed upon)

So do not despair in the mercy of Allah, rather turn to him and remember Him. Obey Him and His help will come. If we knew the wisdom behind Allah’s orders and decisions for us, our hearts would burst out of love for Him SWT. We have to understand and accept Allah always does what is best for us.

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein forever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, forever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5442; Muslim, 109.

It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5700; Muslim, 110.

From these Hadith it is apparent that suicide is not permissible in Islam – it is Haram.

Suicide is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam as some people think, rather it is a major sin that is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills He will punish for it. So do not neglect to make du’aa for them and be sincere in doing so; perhaps that may be the means of Allah forgiving them.

It was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3276; Muslim, 113.

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A FEW MORE FACTS:

Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.

Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.

Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it. 

Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic in society. Often, people feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what their experiencing. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide.

Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.

Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.

Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.

Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, many people who kill themselves do suffer from their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.

Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.

Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.

“The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.”

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Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).

 

Key facts (2017)

  • In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
  • In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
  • In Northern Ireland, suicide rates for both men and women are higher than other UK nations – however, rates are not necessarily directly comparable.

Key trends (2017)

  • In the UK, there has been a significant decrease in male suicide. The male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
  • In Scotland, the overall suicide rate decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
  • In Scotland, suicide in young men increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.
  • In Northern Ireland, the suicide rate has remained relatively stable between 2016 and 2017. There was an increase in the male suicide rate and a decrease in the female rate.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, suicide has continued to fall in both men and women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, rates have fluctuated more than in the UK in recent years, but they are currently at their lowest since 1989.

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Fireproof!

fire

Ibnul Jawzi (Rahimahullah) narrates that a pious person once mentioned:

I once entered Egypt where I found a blacksmith who would extract iron from his furnace using nothing but his bare hands! He would then place the iron on his anvil and turn it with his hands without apparently experiencing any pain whatsoever.

On witnessing this extraordinary spectacle, I thought to myself, “This must most definitely be a very pious man if the fire does not harm him!” With this in mind, I drew close to him and greeted him with salaam to which he replied. I thereafter addressed him in the following words, “O my master! I beseech you in the name of that Being who favoured you with this miracle to please make du‘aa for me!” On hearing my request, the blacksmith began to cry and exclaimed, “My brother! By Allah! I am not the pious person that you think me to be!” To this exclamation, I replied, “O my brother! This miracle which I witnessed from you is something which only the pious people are able to carry out.” The blacksmith answered, “There is a strange incident behind the miracle you speak of.” At my request, the blacksmith thereafter recounted the following incident:

I was once sitting in this business of mine, in a state of intense preoccupation, when I suddenly realized that there was a woman before me. On glancing at her, I beheld a face which possessed beauty the like of which I had never seen before. The woman addressed me and pleaded saying, “O my brother! Do you have anything to give us for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala?” I was, by this point, captivated by her sight and infatuated by her beauty. I therefore replied, “Why don’t you accompany me to my home where I will give you something that will see to your needs?” On hearing my suggestion, she looked at me in silence for some time and eventually turned and departed from my business. After some time had passed, however, she returned and submitted, “Dire necessity has forced me to accept your offer.” I therefore locked my business and proceeded home with her.

When we reached my residence, she begged me saying, “I have children whom I have left in extreme starvation. Please give me something that I can take to them! I will return to you thereafter.” After making her promise and vow that she would return, I gave her some dirhams and watched as she left to see to her children. When she returned, I ushered her into my home and turned to lock the door. “Why are you locking the door?” she asked. “I fear the people.” I replied. “And why do you not fear the Lord of all the people?” she enquired. “He is Forgiving and Merciful.” I retorted. I then advanced towards her and found that tears were streaming down her cheeks in torrents and she was trembling, just as palm leaves tremble beneath the force of a gale. “Why are you trembling and crying?” I asked. “Out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala.” she answered.

The woman then turned to me and pleaded saying, “If you leave me for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, I will stand guarantee that Allah Ta‘ala will neither punish you with fire in this world nor in the next.” When I heard her say this, I was shaken and instantly stood and gave her all that I owned saying, “I have left you out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala!”

A while after she had left, I fell asleep and had a dream in which I saw a woman wearing a crown of red rubies who had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen. She said to me, “May Allah Ta‘ala reward you well on our behalf.” Who are you?” I asked. “I am the mother of the girl whom you left out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. May Alah Ta‘ala never punish you with fire, neither in this world nor the next.” I next said to her, “Please tell me who she is and which family she is from.” To this the woman replied, “She is from the family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” It was then that I remembered the verse of the Qur’aan in which Allah Ta‘ala mentions: “Allah only intends to keep (all sorts of) filth away from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to make you pure through a perfect purification.”

When I awoke from my sleep, I found that the fire of this world could not harm me. I have hope that the fire of the Hereafter will not harm me as well. (Al-Mawaa‘iz wal Majaalis libnil Jawzi RH pg. 219)

blacksmith

Lessons:

1. The way to extinguish the fire of Jahannum is for us to extinguish the fire of our nafs and desires.

2. If we introduce a person to an evil habit or sin, we will have a share of the burden to bear every time he commits it. On the other hand, if we are instrumental in assisting someone to abstain from sin or change their lives for the better, we will continue to receive reward so long as that person is benefiting from our advice and encouragement.

3. We do not know which action or which person’s du‘aa will be the means of drawing the special mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. As such, we should never consider any good action to be insignificant or risk losing the du‘aa of any person. 

4. A person who wishes to commit a sin should fear the punishment of Allah Ta‘ala as His forgiveness is for those who sincerely repent and wish to change their lives.

5. A believer should meditate, for a few minutes daily, over the reality that Allah Ta‘ala is watching him at all times.

6. The family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the greatest of all Royal Families. Hence they should be shown the absolute greatest level of respect and honour that should be shown to people.

13 Dhul Qa’dah 1437