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In the Name of God بسم الله

Suicide, Self-Sacrifice, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Aaron Bushnell and Islam

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 بَسْمَلَة,

The Abrahamic religions and the Dharmic religions agree that suicide is (generally) forbidden. "And do not kill yourselves, surely Allah is most Merciful to you." Qurʾān 4:29. Hinduism considers suicide to be spiritually impermissible and abominable. In Judaism, deaths involving suicides are frowned upon and the deceased are buried in separate parts of the cemetery and they may not receive certain mourning rites and burial rituals. All sane belief systems maintain the sanctity of life and an emphasis is placed on the preciousness of life and its preservation. 

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I believe it's important to get under way and kickstart this discussion by stating the obvious. 

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Firstly, we must take into consideration the role that intention, mindset, subjectivity and environment play when attempting to pass judge on any action...intention is something that initiates in the heart and mind of man and the interconnectedness between the three can't be overstated... the acts that the limbs commit are dependent on the condition of the heart and one's state of the mind...regarding intention Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,

إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى

“Indeed, deeds are (judged) by intentions. Every man will be rewarded only for what they intended.” 

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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6 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

There is no accepted suicide.

Salaam...I don't have a problem with the person who says "suicide is forbidden 95% of time"...my problem is with the individual who says "suicide is unacceptable 100% of the time"...Are you of the former opinion or the latter opinion?

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@Abu Nur, also how do you think Allah will judge non-Muslims on Judgement Day? Will He throw all of the kuffar into the Nar (Fire) in your opinion? How will Allah's justice come into play over the unbelievers on Yawm al-Qiyamah in your opinion/estimation?

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Hamas's Statement Regarding Death of 'Heroic' Airman Aaron Bushnell

 https://www.newarab.com/news/hamas-blames-us-death-heroic-airman-aaron-bushnell

Hamas blames US for death of 'heroic' airman Aaron Bushnell who set himself on fire over Gaza
Calling Bushnell an ‘heroic pilot’, Hamas accused the Biden administration of causing his death by supporting Israel’s deadly offensive on Gaza.

Hamas has expressed "heartfelt condolences" to the relatives and friends of US airman Aaron Bushnell, saying the US should be held responsible for his death.

Bushnell, a US airman, set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington as a protest against the war in Gaza.

Hamas expressed solidarity with the pilot's family in a statement published on Telegram on Monday, saying "he immortalised his name as a defender of human values and the oppression of the suffering Palestinian people because of the American administration and its unjust policies".

The statement added that Bushnell had paid with his life to highlight the "massacres and Zionist genocide" against Palestinians.

Who is Aaron Bushnell and why did Hamas issue a statement on him ?
Aaron Bushnell was a US airman who lit himself on fire to protest the war in Gaza
Bushnell’s death on Monday sparked solidarity vigils across the USA
Hamas recognized Bushnell as a defender of the Palestinian cause

The statement also likened Bushnell to US activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to protect a Palestinian home in Gaza from demolition.

Twenty-five-year-old Aaron Bushnell was a serving member of the US military when he set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, on Sunday to protest Israel's war on Gaza, which has already claimed more than 29,000 Palestinian lives. 

"I will no longer be complicit in genocide," Bushnell said in a video livestreamed during his self-immolation.

"I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonisers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal."

Bushnell then repeatedly shouted "Free Palestine!" as flames engulfed him. He was transported to the hospital, but died from his wounds shortly after.

Vigils were held to honour his life in various cities across the US on Monday evening.

Bushnell's self-immolation has sparked controversy after his death with some dismissing it as suicide as the consequence of mental illness, while others described it as a heroic act of protest.

One of the messages posted at a vigil in San Francisco read: "Sane man in an insane world."

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@Abu Nur, also what's your opinion about the Martyrdom Operations carried out by Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah etc.?

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There were only 2 of those operations done by Shia in Lebanon that I know of. One was in Tyre and it was a man who drove a truck full of explosives into the Israeli Intel headquarters in Tyre. That was I think in 1982. The other was another truck bomb against and American base in Beirut in 1983. 

I could be wrong about this but I don't think Hezb ever claimed responsibility for either of those and at that time Hezb was a brand new organization and the structure was not really solid. At that time I. Lebanon there were many different Shia militia groups and some were actually fighting with each other. 

The specifics of those operations is not really well known. When I hear people talking about those they say that those brothers got special permission from the Marjaa to do those operations and that they were given permission because at that time the people of Lebanon were being invaded and they had no other way to defend themselves as the government of Lebanon and the Lebanese army were both in the pocket of US/Israel so they were cooperating with the Invaders against the mumineen. 

To my knowledge suicide or even suicide operations are almost always haram. The only exception that I know of is if u get special permission from a marjaa taqleed and they will only give this permission under very specific and special circumstances like what existed in Lebanon in 1982/83

Also in 1982 when Israel first invaded Lebanon a large percentage of the people in Lebanon supported this Invasion including a large percentage of the Shia. The reason is that they considered the PLO to be big troublemakers in Lebanon and Israel said they only came to deal with the PLO and then they would leave. Of course when the people in Lebanon realized Israel was lying and the were planning on occupying Lebanon the opinions of the Shia and the Lebanese people completely changed and most of us are familiar with what happened after that. 

The situation in Lebanon in 1982/83 was completely different than it is today vis a via the relationship between Israel / US and Lebanon and the circumstances on the ground and opinions of the people. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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3 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

There were only 2 of those operations done by Shia in Lebanon that I know of. One was in Tyre and it was a man who drove a truck full of explosives into the Israeli Intel headquarters in Tyre. That was I think in 1982. The other was another truck bomb against and American base in Beirut in 1983. 

I could be wrong about this but I don't think Hezb ever claimed responsibility for either of those and at that time Hezb was a brand new organization and the structure was not really solid. At that time I. Lebanon there were many different Shia militia groups and some were actually fighting with each other. 

The specifics of those operations is not really well known. When I hear people talking about those they say that those brothers got special permission from the Marjaa to do those operations and that they were given permission because at that time the people of Lebanon were being invaded and they had no other way to defend themselves as the government of Lebanon and the Lebanese army were both in the pocket of US/Israel so they were cooperating with the Invaders against the mumineen. 

To my knowledge suicide or even suicide operations are almost always haram. The only exception that I know of is if u get special permission from a marjaa taqleed and they will only give this permission under very specific and special circumstances like what existed in Lebanon in 1982/83

The argument I've been hearing all my life is that suicide is an absolutely forbidden act under any and all circumstances...there is no justification for taking one's own life ever ever ever!!!...regardless of the suffering...regardless of the agony one must possess the fortitude to withstand immense pain...the Mujahedeen could have fired at the enemy with Kalashnikov rifles until their own lives were taken in the process...so why fight in this style? They weren't under immediate duress to take their own lives...the operations were calculated, premediated, coordinated actions

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21 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

Hezb was a brand new organization

Salaam, are we really going to play this game akhi? It was fledgling Hezb so it doesn't count? It was Hezbollah that carried out those attacks...make no mistake about it

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Come on brother. Your old enough now to know that there are very few absolutes in life. Also there are three points to be considered here. 

1. I am willing to accept that Hezb did those ops. That's not a big deal to me. I only made the point because to be historically accurate it is not 100 percent clear to me that it was them given the circumstances at the time. Anyway I don't want to dwell on this

2. There was no such thing as cars / trucks being driven remotely as there is now. So if u wanted to do a truck bomb, the only weapon at the time they had to accomplish the mission, there was no other option but to keep your hands on the wheel until impact which meant you would be killed in the process. This is a military operation in which there is a high likelihood that the person carrying out the mission would die, but their intention is not to die but to complete the mission. This is not suicide, IMHO, because their intention is not to die, although they know there is a high probability of that happening. So maybe that is why it was allowed by marjaa. Allah alim. 

3. The definition of suicide, the way I think of it is a deliberate act where the intention of that act is to end ones own life. Given that definition, that is always haram and again Allah alim

Edited by Abu Hadi
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Also given that definition what Bushnell did might not have been suicide and I just thought of this. If his intention was not to kill himself but just to do an extreme act of protest and then he died in the process then it's not suicide 

BUT and here's a big but

I still think it was foolish as there were many other ways he could have done his protest which would have been more effective and where he wouldn't have had to take such a high risk of injuring / killing himself and again Allah alim and Allah will judge him based on the complete picture of the situation which only He(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has. 

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19 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

I am willing to accept that Hezb did those ops

Did the Hezb ever publicly or privately deny the US Marine barrack attacks? It's commonly understood among friend and foe alike that the precursor elements of Lebanese Islamic Jihad, Foundation of the Oppressed on Earth and Revolutionary Justice Organization went on to formulate Hezbollah 1 - 2 years later...other names were used during the formative years as nom de plumes 

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1 minute ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Did the Hezb ever publicly or privately deny the US Marine barrack attacks? It's commonly understood among friend and foe alike that the precursor elements of Lebanese Islamic Jihad, Foundation of the Oppressed on Earth and Revolutionary Justice Organization went on to formulate Hezbollah 1 - 2 years later...other names were used during the formative years as nom de plumes 

I agree but you need to understand how completely crazy and chaotic things were at that time in Beirut. I know people who lived in Beirut at that time and they all emphasize that it was a complete madhouse. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Salaam...I don't have a problem with the person who says "suicide is forbidden 95% of time"...my problem is with the individual who says "suicide is unacceptable 100% of the time"...Are you of the former opinion or the latter opinion?

I never heared such a thing as halal suicide or acceptable suicide. Qur'an is clear that no one can kill themselves. 

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2 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

@Abu Nur, also how do you think Allah will judge non-Muslims on Judgement Day? Will He throw all of the kuffar into the Nar (Fire) in your opinion? How will Allah's justice come into play over the unbelievers on Yawm al-Qiyamah in your opinion/estimation?

His punishment is Justice and His forgiveness is Grace. And His grace is not limited only to muslims. We have narrations that some non muslims will also be saved. 

Edited by Abu Nur
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Yes it is 100% forbidden especially to us Muslims because Allah has made it clear for us what we can and cannot do in this dunya very straightforward. However Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) wont judge us the same way as non muslims (with zero to limited knowledge about what they can and cannot do in this dunya) so keep that in mind, 

Allah knows best

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10 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Salaam...I don't have a problem with the person who says "suicide is forbidden 95% of time"...my problem is with the individual who says "suicide is unacceptable 100% of the time"...Are you of the former opinion or the latter opinion?

95+% is a good way to think about it. Good systems of law need a to have an ability to reasonably deal with challenging exceptions. I think the marjaiyyah should take a closer look, for example, at euthanasia or medical assistance in dying for people with the sort of hopeless terminal illness that leads to weeks or months of agony at the end. Like, is that really what the creator of the universe had in mind in warning against self-harm? To make these unfortunate people savor every last drop in those cases? 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Salaam, are we really going to play this game akhi? It was fledgling Hezb so it doesn't count?

@Abu Hadi, I remember I was discussing the topic of Islam and suicide with a friend a few years ago and I was giving him my perspective...he gave me a 40 minute lecture on how suicide is forbidden under any and all circumstances etc. etc. (the typical mumbo-jumbo)…then I mentioned the Hezb and their 1982 martyrdom bombing attack of Israeli military headquarters in Tyre during the First Lebanon War...the Hezb claimed responsibility for the explosion and identified the martyrdom operator as 17-year-old Ahmad Qasir (may Allah grant him Jannah al firdous)…A small monument was erected in his honor near Ba'albek)...he (my friend) did a 180 degree shift and responded with, "Oh well....ur...um...I mean they wanted to send a strong message to the Zionists" :rolleyes:

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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18 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

I never heared such a thing as halal suicide or acceptable suicide.

Salaam...Being excessively greedy for life is a Yahudi quality...the Yahud run from death at any and all costs...this is Jewish extremism and Muslims are supposed to be the moderate (balanced) nation...Muslims aren't supposed to behave like the Yahud...we (Muslims) love life and appreciate Allah's gift (life, existence etc.)...but we (Muslims) believe in honor and dignity as well...if the Zionists had me boxed in and I was outnumbered and weaponless and they were going to gangrape me or sadistically sodomize me and/or torture me you better believe I would jump off a mountain and plummet to my death or burn myself alive like Aaron Bushnell (may Allah grant me the courage)…"And you will surely find them (Jews) the most greedy of people for life - [even] more than those who associate others with Allah. One of them wishes that he could be granted life a thousand years, but it would not remove him in the least from the [coming] punishment that he should be granted life. And Allah is Seeing of what they do." 2:96 <<<<< We are not supposed to behave like this

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20 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

I am willing to accept that Hezb did those ops.

The first 'suicide' operations were started by Lebanese leftist 'militants'...then it was adopted and perfected by Shi'i Islamist guerillas (Muqawama)...lastly it spread to Sunni/Salafist crackpots who butchered it like they butcher everything else

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47 minutes ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Salaam...Being excessively greedy for life is a Yahudi quality...the Yahud run from death at any and all costs...this is Jewish extremism and Muslims are supposed to be the moderate (balanced) nation...Muslims aren't supposed to behave like the Yahud...we (Muslims) love life and appreciate Allah's gift (life, existence etc.)...but we (Muslims) believe in honor and dignity as well...if the Zionists had me boxed in and I was outnumbered and weaponless and they were going to gangrape me or sadistically sodomize me and/or torture me you better believe I would jump off a mountain and plummet to my death or burn myself alive like Aaron Bushnell (may Allah grant me the courage)…"And you will surely find them (Jews) the most greedy of people for life - [even] more than those who associate others with Allah. One of them wishes that he could be granted life a thousand years, but it would not remove him in the least from the [coming] punishment that he should be granted life. And Allah is Seeing of what they do." 2:96 <<<<< We are not supposed to behave like this

This have nothing to do with suicide.

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20 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

To my knowledge suicide or even suicide operations are almost always haram.

Some Muslim scholars (including some Shi'i clerics) disallow or forbid martyrdom operations / suicide bombings as a form of legitimate jihad

20 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

their intention is not to die but to complete the mission. This is not suicide

Lol...their intention is to kill themselves and take as many enemies along with them as humanly possible (Sampson-style)…there's a 99.99999999% chance they'll die when they detonate the button on the explosive vest or truck...there's been one or two instances where the belt or vest blew off and miraculously the operator survived

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

This have nothing to do with suicide.

Salaam...Define 'suicide' please

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Salaam...Define suicide please

Wa Aleikum Salaam

Intentionally causing one's own death. Imagine a person who is in pain dying, he takes a sword and kill himself saying "I don't have intention to kill myself but because I'm dying anyway I will just ease the pain and proceed faster". This kind of people will burn in Hell Fire. I know there are some Muslims who believe that assistance of killing those who are anyway dying should be accepted, when it is actually utterly wrong.

People with mental issues and have no control over themselves but leads to suicide is different thing, and only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) will judge them in Day of Judgement.

Edited by Abu Nur
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From Sahih Bukhari, I need to find the hadith in our books later:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim. "This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire." When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt (the Prophet's statement), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allah has made your statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. "The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man.

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19 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Salaam...Being excessively greedy for life is a Yahudi quality...the Yahud run from death at any and all costs...this is Jewish extremism and Muslims are supposed to be the moderate (balanced) nation...Muslims aren't supposed to behave like the Yahud...we (Muslims) love life and appreciate Allah's gift (life, existence etc.)...but we (Muslims) believe in honor and dignity as well...if the Zionists had me boxed in and I was outnumbered and weaponless and they were going to gangrape me or sadistically sodomize me and/or torture me you better believe I would jump off a mountain and plummet to my death or burn myself alive like Aaron Bushnell (may Allah grant me the courage)…"And you will surely find them (Jews) the most greedy of people for life - [even] more than those who associate others with Allah. One of them wishes that he could be granted life a thousand years, but it would not remove him in the least from the [coming] punishment that he should be granted life. And Allah is Seeing of what they do." 2:96 <<<<< We are not supposed to behave like this

Even in the cleanest case, as a tactic of a soldier against other soldiers, it’s going to only be a few situations where it’s not too problematic. E.g. Trench warfare, an enemy tank is closing it, you’re going to get captured or killed, you have a grenade left, you take out the tank as it passes over. Or the same, you’re out of bullets and the soldiers are about to fall on your position. 
Maybe those cases.

Even for soldier vs soldier, it gets problematic when it’s getting into guerilla tactics, sneaking up to do it in civilian clothes. In that case, the problem is it blurs the lines between military and civilian, and makes the other guy paranoid and increase the chances civilians get hurt if someone is twitchy on the trigger and gets the wrong signals from somebody’s behavior. When your tactics get more bystanders killed, it becomes problematic. 

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Posted (edited)

@Abu Nur, @Abu Hadi, We should start with a simple definition of terms...in English, suicide is defined as the following: the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally...simple, straightforward...does the 7th century Arabic or Islamic definition differ from this? Last night I spent 2 - 3 hours reading online about Islam's stance on suicide and also Islam's stance on martyrdom operations (from every conceivable angle)...I read excerpts by Imam Khomeini, Shaykh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi , Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and even Ibn Taymiyyah...they all allow suicide when combating an enemy and where the one engaging in the act is free from a depressive mental state...the condemnable aspect of the action (i.e. suicide) is listening to the waswas of Shaytan and allowing oneself to go to an extremely dark place and become consumed by negativity, grief, despair, gloom, sorrow, hopelessness etc. I agree that we must fortify against the whisperings of Satan...the newspaper Al Raya conducted an interview with al-Qaradawi in April 2001, and he declared that martyrdom (or "suicide") bombings conducted by Palestinians against Israelis "are not suicide operations. These are heroic martyrdom operations, and the heroes who carry them out don't embark on this action out of hopelessness and despair but are driven by an overwhelming desire to cast terror and fear into the hearts of the oppressors." <<<Imam Khomeini and Shaykh Fadlallah expressed similar sentiments...it seems like the Islamic definition of suicide takes into consideration a person's mindset whereas the modern English definition does not

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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@Abu Nur, @Abu Hadi, Also what's the daleel used by Islamic scholars for the justification of martyrdom operations from Qur'an and authentic Sunnah? 

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30 minutes ago, kadhim said:

Even in the cleanest case, as a tactic of a soldier against other soldiers, it’s going to only be a few situations where it’s not too problematic. E.g. Trench warfare, an enemy tank is closing it, you’re going to get captured or killed, you have a grenade left, you take out the tank as it passes over. Or the same, you’re out of bullets and the soldiers are about to fall on your position. 
Maybe those cases.

Even for soldier vs soldier, it gets problematic when it’s getting into guerilla tactics, sneaking up to do it in civilian clothes. In that case, the problem is it blurs the lines between military and civilian, and makes the other guy paranoid and increase the chances civilians get hurt if someone is twitchy on the trigger and gets the wrong signals from somebody’s behavior. When your tactics get more bystanders killed, it becomes problematic

Interesting perspective...

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