‘Abdul-Muḥsin Āli-‘Ubaykān on Suicidal Acts of “Martyrdom”

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‘Abdul-Muḥsin Āli-‘Ubaykān on Suicidal Acts of “Martyrdom” (1)

Author: ‘Abdul-Muḥsin Āli-‘Ubaykān

Question: What is the ruling of these (suicidal) acts that are referred to today by some as “acts of martyrdom?”
Answer: Referring to these types of acts as “martyrdom” is a lie and totally incorrect. What is correct is that they’re nothing but acts of suicide and of killing others without right…
So, whoever condones these kinds of actions having no proof, such a person talks about Allāh with no knowledge. Any act of worship requires a supporting proof and there is no proof to be found supporting any of these actions. On the contrary, the texts are explicit in the forbiddance of a person just committing suicide – Allāh says:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ

And do not kill yourselves. [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:29]

And he says:

وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ

And do not throw yourselves into destruction by your own hands.
[Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:195]

The prophet himself صلي الله عليه وسلم used to even do battle wearing two coats of armor and used to avoid and forbid people from exposing themselves to destruction and killing. This is what the Companions understood from him صلي الله عليه وسلم As for someone who tries to justify actions like these by referring to unrelated issues (martyrdom) and then considering them as supportive proofs for their permissibility, then that person only follows his own desires, and we seek refuge with Allāh. And Allāh knows best.2


1 This fatwá was taken from a book called “Al-Fatāwā Ash-Shar’iyyah fī Al-Qadhāyā Al-‘Asriyyah,” a collection of various rulings by Muhammad Ibn Fahd Al-Husayn.
2 From a reorded meeting with Shaykh ‘Abd al-Muḥsin Āli-‘Ubaykān prepared by Muhammad al-Ḥuṣayn.