Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,
Suicide. Articulating the words itself sends shivers down my spine. I cannot fathom how someone can be driven to take their own life but then again, I am not in their shoes, how could I possibly know?
Last weekend, I received a devastating news about a death of this young lady whom I vaguely know but have spoken to her a couple of times before. We used to have regular Islamic lectures in Uni and she wouldn’t miss them. Always seated in the front row, she would ask the Imaam endless questions about Islam. I would describe her as soft spoken and quiet but warms up when she knows you better.
She attended community iftaar (an event held for non-Muslims to experience fasting and breaking fast together with the Muslim community) for those years I have been living here. Last year she shared her experience as a non-Muslim fasting for the first time. When someone asked her if she would be embracing Islam soon, she simply replied that she was still studying about other religions; still searching for the truth.
When I learnt about her suicide, I was dumbstruck. It was unclear as to why she decided to take her own life but some sisters had said that in search for the truth, it made her depress as she couldn’t decide what to believe in. It never occurred to me that she could possibly be in that state of mind. One of the few things that kept recurring in my head was the lecture Br. Yeshua Evans gave about how ‘Bible led him to Islam’. At the end of it, he mentioned that as Muslims we have the responsbility to teach others about Islam and ultimately call them to this haqq. I wondered how different the outcome would have been if either one of us sisters had reached out to her. Allaah guides whom He wills but have we fulfilled this responsbility of teaching others about Islam? Or even simply clearing their misconceptions about Islam? I know I haven’t ..
I guess another image that kept replaying in my head when I heard the news was that on Yawm al-Qiyamah, those who commit suicide will keep reenacting their death on that day. Nauzubillah min zalik.. May we be protected from dying in su’ul khatimah. I wish I could make dua for her but… we can’t..
Suicide has indeed becoming quite prevalent in our society. People taking their lives like it has no value when Allah has given it to us for a purpose in this Dunya. I fear hitting rockbottom one day and not being able to pull myself up again. The feeling of lowliness can induce someone to be suicidal. A friend whom I was close to, attempted suicide as she found it difficult to live anymore. It was all so surreal that fateful night when it happened- she started to convulse just as we arrived so we had to rush her to the ER. The whole scenario remains fresh in my memory even after years later..
A reminder for myself and all of you that when faced with difficulties..
1) Being constant in dhikrullah
Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. [13:28]
2) Remind yourself that our Prophets (may Allah be pleased with them) suffered great trials themselves. There are ample examples in Qur’an of the hardships they were faced with.
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were shaken.” [2:214]
3) Pray. Whenever Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam was faced with any difficulties, he would rush to pray and seek solace in it.
“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the prayer…” [2:153]
4) Every hardship that we face, Allah promised us that there will be ease.
“Verily, with hardship there is relief” [94:6]
5) Have patience.
And the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu): “..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity… And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.” [Tirmidhi]
6) It is qadaa’ & qadar . Remember the hadeeth, ‘The pens have lifted and the inks have dried…’
“No calamity befalls on earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees – before We bring it into existence.” [57:22]
7) Last but not least, I use this reminder when any evil befalls me is that, Allah knows what’s best for me no matter situation I’m in..
But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. [2:216]
Allahu Alam. May Allah give us the best in this Dunya and Akhirah. May He keep us steadfast in this Deen and increase our eemaan in difficult times. May we be of those who are firm in our eemaan even when evil befalls us. Ameen