June 22, 2024

In the Name of Allah—the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Is Mercy-Killing Allowed in Islam?

Is Mercy-Killing Allowed in Islam?

Euthanasia
is the act of intentionally ending the life of a person who is suffering from a
terminal illness or unbearable pain, often through the administration of lethal
drugs. It is also referred to as assisted dying or mercy killing. Euthanasia
can be voluntary, where the person who wishes to die makes a conscious decision
to end their life, or non-voluntary, where a decision is made on behalf of a
person who is unable to express their wishes, such as a person in a coma or
with severe dementia. Euthanasia is a controversial and heavily debated issue,
with arguments for and against its legalization and use. Let me explain: 
Is Mercy-Killing Allowed in Islam?

Euthanasia, or
intentionally ending the life of a person who is suffering from a terminal
illness or unbearable pain, is not allowed in Islam. Islamic teachings consider
human life to be sacred, and the taking of a life, whether one’s own or
another’s, is generally prohibited. Islam teaches that life is a trust from God
and that every person has a duty to preserve and protect their own life as well
as the lives of others.

Furthermore, Islamic teachings emphasize the
importance of providing comfort and care for the sick and those in pain and
encourage the use of palliative care and pain relief to alleviate suffering.

The
Quran places an immense emphasis on the sanctity and preservation of human
life and repeatedly emphasizes the value and importance of human life in
Islam. In addition to the verse mentioned earlier, the Quran provides further
guidance on the importance of preserving life and avoiding harm to others.

Allah Almighty says, in Surah
Al-Mayedah
(5:32):

Whoever
kills a person, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a
life, it is as though he has saved all mankind.”

Allah Almighty says, in Surah
Al-An’am
(6:151):

And do not take
the life which Allah has forbidden, except in the course of justice
.”

This verse emphasizes the importance
of preserving life and prohibits the taking of life except in cases of
legitimate self-defense or as part of the legal system of justice. Islam
recognizes the inherent value of every human life and promotes the principle of
justice as a means of protecting and preserving human life.

The Quran also prohibits suicide and
self-harm, stating in Surah An-Nisa (4:29):

And do not kill yourselves
[or one another]. Indeed, Allah is merciful to you.”

This verse emphasizes the importance
of valuing and preserving one’s own life, as well as the lives of others.
Suicide and self-harm are considered major sins in Islam, as they go against
the fundamental principle of valuing and preserving human life.

there are several
Hadiths that speak about the prohibition of suicide in Islam. Here are a few
examples:

Imam Bukhari
brings this Hadith in the Book of Medicine:

Narrated
Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet () said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a
mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and
abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills
himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in
the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills
himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and
stabbing his `Abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide
eternally forever
.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 5778]

This Hadith clearly prohibits suicide
and describes the severe punishment that awaits those who take their own lives.
It emphasizes the gravity of the act of suicide and the eternal consequences
that result from it.

It
is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) that
the Messenger of Allah () observed: “He who killed himself with steel (weapon) would be the
eternal denizen of the Fire of Hell and he would have that weapon in his hand
and would be thrusting that in his stomach forever and ever, he who drank
poison and killed himself would sip that in the Fire of Hell where he is doomed
forever and ever; and he who killed himself by falling from (the top of) a
mountain would constantly fall in the Fire of Hell and would live there forever and ever.”
[Sahih Muslim: H#109a]

This Hadith is a direct prohibition of
suicide and emphasizes the mercy and compassion of Allah towards his
followers. It encourages Muslims to value and preserve their own lives and to
avoid taking their own lives.

Overall, these
Hadiths demonstrate the gravity and severity of suicide in Islam and emphasize
the importance of valuing and preserving human life. Suicide is considered a
major sin in Islam and is strongly discouraged.

Islamic teachings also promote the
concept of patience and enduring hardship as a means of gaining reward and
spiritual growth. Therefore, while Islam prohibits euthanasia, it encourages
care and comfort for the sick and those in pain and emphasizes the importance
of accepting God’s will and finding spiritual strength in times of difficulty.

 

There are several
Hadiths that speak about the importance of patience during times of illness and
suffering, and the rewards that come with it. Here are a few examples:

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with them):

No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow,
nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick
he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for
that.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari: H# 5641]

This Hadith emphasizes that even minor
hardships and afflictions can be a means of expiating sins, and encourages
Muslims to be patient during times of suffering.

Ayesha
(May Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying: “A believer does not receive (the trouble) of
running a thorn or more than that but Allah elevates him in rank or effaces his
sins because of that.”

[Sahih Muslim: H#2572b, Sahih al-Bukhari:H#5640]

This Hadith
emphasizes the rewards that come with enduring hardship with patience and
faith. Muslims are encouraged to view suffering as a means of spiritual growth
and an opportunity to gain reward from Allah.

In conclusion, the Quran places a
great emphasis on the sanctity and preservation of human life. Saving a life is
considered one of the most important deeds in Islam while taking a life
without just cause is strictly prohibited. The importance of seeking medical
treatment and caring for the sick is also emphasized in Islamic teachings. When
it comes to suffering and illness, Muslims are encouraged to be patient and
seek Allah’s help and acceptance. Hardships and afflictions can be seen as
opportunities for spiritual growth and a means of expiating sins.

FAQ 

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on mercy killing or euthanasia:

  1. What is mercy killing or euthanasia?

  • Mercy killing or euthanasia refers to intentionally ending the life of a person who is suffering from a terminal illness or severe disability, in order to relieve their pain and suffering.

  1. Is mercy killing allowed in Islam?

  • No, mercy killing or euthanasia is not allowed in Islam. Islam places a great emphasis on the preservation of human life and prohibits the taking of life, except in cases of justice.

  1. Is mercy killing legal in all countries?

  • No, mercy killing or euthanasia is not legal in all countries. It is legal in some countries under certain conditions, such as when a person is suffering from a terminal illness and has given their consent to end their life.

  1. What are the different types of euthanasia?

  • There are two main types of euthanasia: active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia refers to actively taking steps to end a person’s life, such as administering a lethal injection. Passive euthanasia refers to withholding or withdrawing treatment that would prolong a person’s life, such as turning off a life support machine.

  1. What are the ethical issues surrounding mercy killing?

  • The ethical issues surrounding mercy killing are complex and often debated. Some argue that it is a compassionate and merciful act that relieves a person’s suffering, while others argue that it goes against the sanctity of human life and can lead to abuse and a devaluation of life.

  1. What are the alternatives to mercy killing?

  • There are many alternatives to mercy killing, such as palliative care, hospice care, and pain management. These options focus on relieving a person’s pain and suffering while allowing them to maintain their dignity and quality of life until the natural end of their life.

  1. How can one show compassion towards a terminally ill person without resorting to mercy killing?

  • One can show compassion towards a terminally ill person by providing them with emotional and spiritual support, offering practical help with tasks, listening to their concerns, and ensuring they receive appropriate medical care and pain management.
  • 8.    What does it mean when a patient is in a terminal condition?

    ·        A patient is considered to be in a terminal condition when their
    illness or injury is so severe that it is not possible for them to recover and
    they are likely to die soon.

    9.    Is it permissible to stop medication for a patient in a terminal
    condition?
    condition?

    ·        Yes, if a number of medical experts determine that there is no
    hope for the patient’s recovery, it may be permissible to stop the medication.

    10.    What is life support and when is it used?

    ·        Life support refers to the use of medical equipment to support or
    replace the functions of a person’s organs when they are unable to do so on
    their own. It is used in cases of severe illness or injury where the patient is
    unable to breathe, circulate blood, or perform other necessary bodily
    functions.

    11.    Is it permissible to switch off life support for a patient in a
    terminal condition?

    ·        It may be permissible, with due consultation and care, to decide
    to switch off the life support machine if a patient is in a terminal condition
    and there is no hope for their recovery.

    12.    Can a patient be intentionally induced into death?

    ·        No, under no condition is it permissible to intentionally induce
    death to a patient. This is considered a violation of the sanctity of human
    life and goes against Islamic teachings.

    13.    What are the alternatives to inducing death for a terminally ill
    patient?

    ·        The alternatives include providing palliative care, managing the
    patient’s pain and symptoms, and offering emotional and spiritual support to
    the patient and their family. These options focus on maintaining the patient’s
    dignity and quality of life until the natural end of their life.

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