Suicide, Islam And How Muslims Are Driving People Away From Islam
Just this boxing day, a Nigerian student by name Aishat Abdul-Ganiu committed suicide. It was sad, especially seeing her pictures and the life in her.
People are committing suicides for varying reasons. Where the world has reached, coupled with social media, is bringing suicide rates so high. In this express life of get rich quick or die trying, super insane beauty standards where you have to eat but have a flat tummy, have this shape or hide, look this way or shut up. It’s getting crazy and crazy. And oh stigmatisation, especially religious stigmatisation!
Then come to our Muslim world where one has to believe in Allah and put their trust entirely in Him. Believing otherwise makes your fellow Muslims look down on you. What happens next? You feel you don’t fit in, lose faith in this beautiful religion because the people who practise it are intolerant. It’s ironic how Allah is forgiving of our sins but not the Muslim community. If you find yourself in a predicament like smoking, drinking, fornicating, you are pushed so far away. People make it seem like the mercy of Allah can never find you. They don’t even try to get close to hear your story and your desire to change. So, who do you even discuss your problems with?
That’s when you end up worldly where life is just life without any God so you have limitless boundaries and that is where the problems start. You become a worshipper of the world and nothing good comes of it because one who chases the world would never be satiated. Things get out of hand and because you do not believe in God anymore, you do not believe in life after death either. And in this sometimes very confusing life with its many questions, faith is what fills in the gap so without it, the gap gets wider and wider. THAT IS WHEN the idea of suicide sounds appealing. To a person who has lost faith in a God, suicide is like a retreat from life, like just going behind the scenes because you have gotten tired of the stage.
Society makes it appear as though everyone is ok even when that’s far from reality. So much so that when you have a problem it appears as though you are the odd one out, the weird one, the only one with a problem. It takes a lot of courage to accept being weird and only a few people accept that but the reality is that we are all weird but wear that societal uniform to fit in. And those who refuse to wear the uniform are embraced with stigmatisation. Who are we trying to deceive but ourselves.
Before we even think of helping a suicide-inclined person, the last thing you should bring up is religion. Yes, you read right. We are talking about someone who is looking at life from a physical point of view and all you can think about using to dissuade their suicidal mind is the topic of heaven and hell? This girl committed suicide and the comment section of the story was just sickening and super unhelpful. What if there are and I know there are suicide-inclined persons reading that? It would just give them no more reason to live because there were a lot of comments condemning the girl and chastising her lack of faith.
Islam is beautiful, it taught us good approaches to get people on track but muslims prefer being judgemental sometimes just to satisfy their ego. That feeling of I’m better than you in faith is killing people. Just reflect on how alcohol was finally prohibited. Allah knew the people had to be given guidance according to their level of faith so in the beginning when they were freshly grasping faith He said they should not take alcohol when its prayer time, gradually till He finally issued the command on not taking it at all. He was teaching us something, that if we want to change a person, we should consider their view of life first yet today we only try to impose beliefs on people while threatening them should they rebel.
Having faith is not that simple as we make it seem. It’s not even a constant thing. Certain circumstances can make you lose faith when you never imagined it possible. There are times your faith is so high you find the Quran and read, pray on time and even wake up at night to pray extra and there are times your faith weakens so much you feel like lead when its time to pray and you go a whole day without dhikr completely. Faith is like a plant that needs nourishing to continue being alive and there are so many factors that threaten its existence. It is very delicate and so if you still have it, be grateful. Having faith does not mean you are powerful or a master of controlling your desire so please do not look down on and insult people whose lifestyle obviously shows they are on a low faith battery. They can charge up and you can get drained, in the end.
The world as you see it when you are religious is way different than how a non-religious person sees it. But the thing is religious persons always want to force their beliefs on people. So if you really want to help someone out of suicidal thoughts, you need to level the playing field, see the world through their eyes, let them know you can relate to the world they see before bringing them to see your world. It is only when one has come back to believing that there is a God that they would believe in your heaven and hell stories otherwise telling someone who has no faith in God about going to hell for committing suicide is like telling them Thor would descend on them with his HAMMER when they commit suicide. Now tell me, would you believe that? Yes, exactly, that is the kind of effect it has on them too.
Many people are going through a lot but the hidden truth is everyone is going through a lot. It’s just that some are very good at hiding it, even those who commit suicide are better at hiding it till that fatal day. However, maybe instead of sharing only the good that’s going on in our lives, maybe we should take time, have a day where we share our struggles, the raw ones whether we are still going through it or overcame it so that the suicide-inclined person would realise they are not alone in their struggles. Some would even realise that the problem they thought they had that was driving them to commit suicide is way smaller than what some people are dealing with. To be honest when you hear the reason some people kill themselves you will realise you are very strong because you have been through 100 times that.
There is nothing you can do for a person who has committed suicide but there is something you can do for those yet to. But, insulting people for committing suicide is not one of them.
One thing on the minds of people who commit suicide is that they are not happy. Who can blame them when we have made happiness seem like a destination that if you don’t reach you can’t attain. “I will be happy when I get my phd, when I get married, when I get kids, when I get that dream job, when I live in that estate, when I drive that car blah blah blah.” If happiness was indeed a destination, suicide rates would be higher among poor people especially those on the streets but its rather the rich who are killing themselves more.
One morning I woke up and started going through my timeline feeling a bit on the low but the first two posts I saw made me realize how much we take for granted. One was a sick person in need of a kidney donor asking that their post be retweeted till at least they get someone who wants to donate. The second was that of someone who had died of cancer and the picture of her big beautiful smile even when she was terminally ill was just so heart breaking. Here are people on the brink of death yet still have hopes and are fighting to stay alive despite life appearing like it has nothing to offer them. So when people commit suicide its super sad but we need to change our strategies of convincing them to live, especially the religious communities.
You might be feeling so down right now and don’t understand why life is not going your way. You have tried all you can and nothing is working. Sometimes it takes sorrow to appreciate joy. Life is about balance. You can’t have joy throughout; you need a blend. There is no one person on this earth who enjoyed life from cradle to grave. Your problem might be different but it doesn’t mean everyone else’s is just a joke compared to yours. Life is precious, be a custodian not one who ends it.