Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. A person may have suicidal thoughts while experiencing mental health problems with a diagnosis of depression, borderline personality disorder, or psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Suicidal thoughts are often the result of feeling like you can't cope when you are faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation e.g. abuse, bullying, financial worries, relationships, cultural / religious pressures etc. Most people who commit suicide don't want to die, they just want to stop hurting or want to escape from their situation.
Suicide and Asian Women
Asian women between the ages of 15 -35 are two to three times more vulnerable to suicide and self-harm than their non-Asian counterparts. Self-harm is often a result of struggling with emotional problems and feeling there is no one to turn to with whom problems can be shared. Read more in theHarming YourselfSection.
Islam and Suicide
Committing suicide is considered a major sin in Islam. Some scholars are rigid on their views on this matter and stating there are no exceptions to this rule. However, in Islam Muslims are only held responsible for sins committed in a sound state of mind. Those who commit suicide are often suffering from severe depression or other mental health issue, which means their reasoning, is impaired. Some religious scholars therefore believe those who are not of sound mind and commit suicide would be excused from committing the major sin of suicide because of their mental health. No one truly knows the state of a person's mental health at the moment of suicide; only God can know this. God will therefore punish if he chooses and forgive if he chooses.
Unfortunately many Muslim do judge those who have committed suicide and even go as far as accusing them of being outside the folds of Islam and stating that an Islamic funeral prayer should not be performed. Such comments can add further stress on families who have to deal with the trauma of losing a loved on. It is also important to remember that only the denial of the essential articles of faith (and not suicide) that takes a person outside the folds of Islam. So even if a person has committed suicide the Islamic funeral rites should be performed as normal. Instead of blaming and critcising those who have committed suicide, Muslim communities should be debating why so many Muslim women are choosing to end their lives. What kind of turmoil are these women going through and how are families and communities contributing to this hopelessness.
Suicide warning signs need to be recognised and taken seriously such as: feeling trapped; feeling hoplessness; talking about suicide; making plans on how to commit suicide; self hatred; feeling like a burden; getting affairs into order; saying good bye; and social isolation. Talking openly to someone about their suicidal feelings can help to save their life.
If you are suicidal, have attempted suicide, or are a suicide survivor, help is out there. However you're feeling at the moment, you don't have to cope on your own. Please contact Muslim Women's Network Helpline and talk to us.
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