Thursday, April 8, 2010

Committing Suicide In Islam|Islam-The Straight Path|Islamic Teachings|Quranic Guidance

What does Islam say about committing suicide? Is it permissible to take one's own life and to ascribe it to any course or reason whatsoever?

Before the advent of Islam in Arabia,the Arabs used to indulge in all sorts of evil practices imaginable. Apart from the wholesale abuse of women and the burying of their female babies...Alive! They killed and murdered each other over any nonsensical issue they could find. Mass suicide was not an unheard of thing amongst those Arabs who had lost a son or wealth or anything that made them feel life was not worth living anymore. Therefore Allah revealed the following verses in Al Quran: "Suicide is forbidden. "O ye who believe!... [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire..." (Qur'an 4:29-30).

But can there be anything more traumatic, crushing, or heart-wrenching than to see someone you love dearly hanging from a rope in your garage? Can there be a more pitiable sight than to see a father on his knees, sobbing like a baby, his fists banging the concrete till blood spurts all over the floor?

Let me then tell you the story about Tariq (not his real name) and the events that led to his demise in this very sad manner. And, let me also convey to you- as a Muslim- the importance of keeping a close watch on your children and to teach them about the Straight Path of Islam- about the Quran and its instructions,and, that there is no problem so big that you have to take your own life while searching for answers.

Tariq was a good-looking young man who lived with his parents and sister Mariam in Plumstead, one of the more affluent areas of Cape Town, where everyone kept to themselves.

His father, Ebrahim, a builder, prided himself on giving his family everything they needed, as well as the finer things in life, and, as was customary in every Muslim family, he sent his children for Islamic teachings and Quran studies, but this was only up to a point, because he believed in earning a living by doing an honest day's work and it was merely through hard work and sacrifice that he had managed to come out on top and provide for his family the way he did. Tariq was a briliant student, Ebrahim knew. And,he was not going to let anything come between his son and his academic aspirations, if he could help it. Of course, Islamic teachings and Quran guidance was also important, he admitted. But Tariq was still young and Ebrahim felt sure that with the strict up-bringing he had given to both his children, Tariq would not just simply stray from the Straight Path of Islam! Besides, Islamic teachings and Quranic activities could still be obtained once his children had completed their academic studies.

Tariq's mother, Fatima, on the other hand, was a good-natured woman, always smiling, and always ready to lend a hand at functions, although her husband never approved of her mixing with the ordinary folk.

Tariq attended a well-known college in the upper echelons of Newlands, where emphasis was placed on A-Grade passes. Students were encouraged to participate in all kinds of extramural activities, as well as all the major sporting codes. Parents had to attend Parent/Teacher Associations meetings, and no one was allowed to abstain without a valid reason.
Students who did not excel were kept behind in detention classes where a specialist in education methodology worked with them intensely. No one left these remedial sessions without emerging a better person. Students who showed a propensity to complacency and laziness were not tolerated for very long. Either you toed the line or you were dealt with in a no-nonsense fashion. The parents would be called in and the student disciplined there and then; if the behaviour or attitude did not change in a given time, the child would be expelled. No one questioned the school's motives – it aimed to turn out leadership material. The parents paid too exorbitant a fee to complain

So it stands to reason that Tariq, being A-Grade material was not afforded a lot of time for Islam and Quranic activities. His ambition was to become a nuclear physicist and his parents spared no expense in getting him all the extracurricular tuition he needed. Tariq did not disappoint them.

When he turned nineteen, he was already doing his Honours Degree in physics, and the speculation was rife that he was going to complete his training at NASA in America, because his understanding of atomic structures and quantum physics was at a very high level.

He kept mostly to himself. And, as has been said before, he never attended Madressa(Islam religious and cultural school) or any institution where Islamic learning and Quranic Guidance was offered. He wasn't a very spiritual person as such. His parents allowed him the freedom to busy himself with his own devices, to them he was a good child.

His sister, Mariam, was his confidante. He loved her and she loved him. If he shared anything with anybody it would be her. She was two years younger, but acted as if she were older. No one could say anything bad about Tariq, or she would would have it out with them. She protected him fiercely.

Then, about four months before Tariq committed suicide, Mariam noticed that her brother wasn't as close to her as usual. He never came to her room to chat to her, or even ask her to wash and blow-dry his hair as he always had. She noticed, however, that he always seemed neat and tidy, and took special care in the way his clothes were ironed.

She cornered him and questioned him about his new habits. She asked him directly if there was a woman in his life, and who was she? Was she pretty? Was it someone she knew?

He had answered her vaguely, she recalled afterwards. He had said that she was imagining things, and that there was no one he was seeing. But she had found out soon enough, and so had their parents, that there was a girl in his life and she was much older than he. In fact she had been married before and had two children: a girl aged 7 and a boy aged 5.

Her name was Nadia, and she was very pretty. Tariq was head over heels in love with her.

Their parents were devastated and barred Tariq from ever seeing Nadia again. They even went so far as to confiscate his motorcycle, and everywhere he went he was under their supervision.

They discovered to their shock and horror that the girl was pregnant, and Ebrahim wasted no time in making his intentions clear. There would be no further relations between his son and "this woman," as he called her; he, Ebrahim, would see that the child had everything, and he would also pay for the woman's confinement. That, of course, was if it could be proven that his son was the father of the child.

Ebrahim relayed this to the woman and she refused, saying that she was not a prostitute. She genuinely loved Tariq with all her heart, and that was why she was pregnant with his baby. She would raise the child as a good Muslim, she had said tearfully, and she would make sure that he followed the true Path of Islam and its Teachings- not someone who made money his God!

Needless to say Ebrahim wasn't very pleased with her and it had taken all his willpower and self-control not to assault her there and then. But in some ways he had felt relieved. He hadn't told anyone about this conversation, and had simply said, when questioned about the girl's response, that she was rude and didn't know how to speak to older people. At least, he told his wife, Tariq could now concentrate on his studies once again, and that was all that mattered. The sooner they could get him into NASA the better. He, Ebrahim, would go to the ends of the earth to achieve that. He felt that perhaps the events of the past few months were a sign for him to work harder on his son's future. But that was all going to change, he promised his wife. Tariq was going to make a great name for himself and his family. Ebrahim was going to make sure of it.

Tariq then began to disappear from his room regularly at night. He would wait till everyone was asleep and then slip out his bedroom window. He was like someone possessed.

Mariam caught him sneaking in at about two o'clock one morning, his face all flushed. She did not dwell on the thought, but she knew he was heavily involved with Nadia. His eyes portrayed his inner feelings more than any words could express.

She asked him what he was going to do for the future, because she knew that their father was planning to get him off to America as soon as he possibly could. What if he became aware of Tariq's nightly escapades?

Tariq smiled secretively and had said that nothing was going to stop him seeing Nadia. He planned on marrying her, and nobody was going to come between them. Nobody! He said it so ominously that she had felt a cold hand gripping her throat. And when she had asked him about his studies, he shrugged, and lifted his hands dismissively. She wanted to tell him that their father had threatened to disown him if he persisted in seeing this woman. What would he do for money then? But seeing the look in his eyes, she kept quiet, and slowly turned away from him.

She wished her uncle Salie, A Muslim Priest- and someone well versed in the scriptures of the Quran, as well as Islamic Teachings, could have been here now and not in Egypt. She wished he could have been here to speak to Tariq; Tariq respected him a lot.

Tariq suddenly grabbed her arm and she became frightened at the forcefulness of his grip.

"Tariq!" she said, pushing him back. "Are you mad?"

She couldn't really speak out as she wanted to, for fear of waking their parents, but it seemed as if her brother was past caring. He gave her that sinister smile again and released her arm. He said out loud as if he intended for their mother and father to hear, "Nobody is going to stop me marrying Nadia. Nobody!" Mariam looked round, almost expecting to see their father in the hallway. But there was no one. "Nobody, Mariam!" Tariq added, "Only Death!" And there was so much determination in his voice that she felt very alarmed and told her mother everything the next day.

Fatima first replied that Tariq was a good Muslim boy and wouldn't do something so foolish as to commit suicide. After all, she assuaged, Tariq knew Islam forbade the act of suicide(if, of course, that was what he had meant by "Only Death!")but after Mariam had insisted that they tell Ebrahim, and together get professional help for her beloved brother, the mother conceded, and spoke to Ebrahim.

The father's response was everything the two females had not expected. He immediately summoned Tariq and bundled the youngster into his car despite the desperate pleas of both Fatima and Mariam. He was going to sort this thing out once and for all, he shouted as he drove off, and he would show everyone who was boss around his house.

He returned some time later, with Tariq, and told the two worried females that he had been to see Nadia and promised her that if she did not leave his son alone, he would not only disown the boy, but would make sure that Nadia regretted her actions for as long as she lived. He, Ebrahim, would not tolerate her nonsense any longer! He had been so smug and self-assured that Mariam burst out crying and ran to her room. Fatima said nothing, but anyone could have seen the pain on her face as she silently stared at her husband.

Ebrahim was too confident that he had done the right thing to listen to anybody else's opinion. He himself had been involved in many puppy-love affairs when he was young, he recalled, and if his father had allowed him to marry any of the girls that he had fallen in love with, at first sight... Heaven knows! He hated to think what would have happened to him.

Later, as he looked at the lifeless body of his beloved son, one could only imagine what was going through his mind. Was he thinking of all the injustices he had done to everyone he had dealings with, or was he thinking of how wrong his son was to do this to him? Was he perhaps thinking of who was to blame for this, or was he blaming himself?

It proves, that as a Muslim one cannot live your life away from Allah and His Divine Commands. You have to follow the Teachings of Islam and the Quran.

No comments:

Post a Comment