The sanctity of human life is a basic value as decreed by God even before the
times of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. Commenting on the killing of Abel by his
brother Caine (the two sons of Adam), God says in the Quran: "On that account
We ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone slay a person -unless
it be for murder or spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he slew
the whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the
life of the whole people" (Quran 5:32). The Quran also says: "Take not life
which Allah made sacred otherwise than in the course of justice" (Quran
6:151 and 17:33). The Shari'a went into great detail in defining the
conditions where taking life is permissible whether in war or in peace (as an
item of the criminal law), with rigorous prerequisites and precautions to
minimize that event.
Is there a Right to Suicide?
Not in Islam. Since we did not create ourselves we do not own our bodies. We
are entrusted with them for care, nurture and safe keeping. God is the owner
and giver of life and His rights in giving and in taking are not to be
violated. Attempting to kill oneself is a crime in Islam as well as a grave
sin. The Quran says: "Do not kill (or destroy) yourselves, for verily Allah
has been to you most Merciful" (Quran 4:29). To warn against suicide Prophet
Mohammad said: "Whoever kills himself with an iron instrument will be
carrying it forever in hell. Whoever takes poison and kills himself will
forever keep sipping that poison in hell. Whoever jumps off a mountain and
kills himself will forever keep falling down in...