“I’ve got depression since childhood. Sometimes it just gets too hard to live and I feel like finishing it off. The only thing that stops me from killing myself is the fear of eternal hellfire.”
“I get these flashing images where I see myself cutting my wrist. I know it’s from Shaytan.”
“Life is too hectic. But then I remind myself that Allah (swt) gave this burden to me, which means that He knows I have the capacity to bear it, even if I myself don’t realise it.”
Can good Muslims get suicidal thoughts? Of course they can. These thoughts are whispered by Shaytan, or come from a tormented heart. As long as we don’t act on them, they can’t harm our souls.
“A man came to the Prophet (SAW) and said: Messenger of Allah! One of us has thoughts of such nature that he would rather be reduced to charcoal than speak about them. He said: Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great. Praise be to Allah Who has reduced the guile of the devil to evil prompting.” (Abu Dawud 5112)
If a Companion of the Prophet (SAW) could have such evil thoughts, then so can any righteous Muslim.
The Prophet (SAW) also said,
“Allah has forgiven my followers the evil thoughts that occur to their minds, as long as such thoughts are not put into action or uttered.” (Bukhari 5269)
How to Tackle It
Allah (swt) gave us a simple formula for seeking help: having patience and praying to Allah.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient…. And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.’ Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. “ (2:153, 155-57)
When a calamity strikes us, this phrase reminds us that none of it is permanent – neither our grief, nor the people who hurt us, nor our own selves, nor the world around us. Everything in this world will perish, even pain. We belong to Allah, and we will soon return to Him. What’s the point of ending up in His displeasure by trying to quicken what’s going to happen anyway? We can’t quicken death, because it’s already destined, whether we take it in our own hands or not.
Never give up on Allah’s love. When we’re depressed, our view is constricted, and we can only see the negative things in our lives. Remind yourself of the positive things and thank Allah for each of them. It is scientifically proven that expressing gratitude lifts your mood.
“O my sons, go and find out about Joseph and his brother and despair not of relief from Allah . Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.“” (12:87)
The Messenger of Allah (swt) said: “None of you should wish for death. Either he is a doer of good, so perhaps he may do more good, or he is an evil-doer but perhaps he will give up his evil ways.” (Nasa’i 1818)
Remember, everything that happens to a Muslim is good for him, and Allah has given you the strength to bear any calamity that comes your way. Believe in yourself.
“The life of this world is nothing but a game and a distraction; the Home in the Hereafter is best for those who are aware of God. Why will you not understand?” (6:32, Abdel Haleem)
Destiny of One Who Commits Suicide
Allah (SWT) says:
“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” (4:29)
The Prophet (SAW) said, “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.” (Bukhari 1365)
The Prophet (SAW) said, “None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him; but if he has to wish for death, he should say:
اللَّهُمَّ أَحْيِنِي مَا كَانَتِ الْحَيَاةُ خَيْرًا لِي، وَتَوَفَّنِي إِذَا كَانَتِ الْوَفَاةُ خَيْرًا لِي
“O Allah! Keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and let me die if death is better for me.’ ” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5671)
**If you are experiencing any suicidal thoughts, please go see a licensed counselor and keep praying to Allah SWT to stop these thoughts from coming to you, Insha’Allah.