in the middle-eastern countries: Introducing
the new emerging pattern and a framework
Professor Mohsen Rezaeian
Social Medicine Department
Occupational Environmental Research
Rafsanjan Medical School
Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences
Islamic countries are confronted with
a huge increasing dilemma, with increased
rates of suicide attempts among adolescents
and young married females, and increasingly
using fatal methods. This trend should
be dealt with as soon as possible.
The present article tries to firstly
explain the root causes of such trend
and secondly to provide a framework
for prevention of suicide among adolescents
and young married females.
Key words: Islam, Suicide,
Middle-eastern countries are confronted
with a dilemma. On one hand the general
rate of suicide is low within these
countries. This partially reflects
the view of Islam in prohibiting suicide.
However, on the other hand these countries
are facing an upsurge in suicide rates
among adolescents and young married
Evidence suggests that suicide is
soaring among young people in Islamic
countries despite the fact that Islam
is against suicide. Unfortunately,
evidence further indicates that young
people in these countries are carrying
out suicide attempts using fatal methods
such as self-immolation and hanging.
Why is this dilemma happening in the
middle-eastern countries and how can
we prevent it? In this article I will
try to respond to these two important
questions. Nevertheless, first let
us to take a closer look at the view
of Islam on suicide.
The view of
Islam on suicide
There is a verse in the holy Koran
which says that: "you should
not kill yourself, because god is
kind to you". This verse and
other similar verses prohibit Muslims
from committing suicide. In fact,
suicide is seen as an unforgivable
sin in the Islamic faith. Muslims
should always rely on God. No matter
how miserable life is there is always
a hope that God sees our life and
supports us whenever the time is appropriate.
Moreover, Islam is against the root
causes of suicide and Muslims learn
how to be patient in their lives and
therefore, the soaring suicide rate
among adolescents and young married
females especially who are using fatal
methods are completely against Islamic
values. So, why is this happening?
among youngsters is soaring in the
There could be several reasons for
this trend. Firstly, it might be possible
that Islamic countries are not successful
in passing Islamic values and principles
to their new generation. Secondly,
it might also be possible that youngsters
see that some Islamic countries only
adopt Islamic law as a shell and they
do not apply the core of Islamic values.
For example, Islam is not only against
suicide but also against poverty as
one of the root causes of suicide
and a vast majority of other health
problems. Islam carries out its plan
against poverty by fair distribution
of wealth within the community. Therefore,
if an Islamic country follows Islamic
law, values and principles the poverty
should be eradicated in this country.
Nevertheless, there are a vast majority
of Islamic countries within the middle-east
that suffer from poverty. This happens
despite the enormous wealth that these
countries inherited by selling their
natural resources such as oil and
gas. Therefore, youngsters especially
males carrying out suicide act using
fatal methods such as hanging and
self-immolation to show their protest
against the unfair economic situations
in their societies.
Similarly, the inferior position of
females based on traditional cultures
of some middle-eastern countries might
have a great impact on soaring suicide
among young married females. Based
on such traditions, the root of which
dates back before Islam, females have
an inferior position in the society
and husbands may even beat their wives.
Some other traditions might allow
marrying very young girls to middle-aged
or old men or even allow a husband
or his family members to maltreat
a young married girl. It is important
to realize that none of these traditions
are acceptable by the Islamic values
and principles. Nonetheless, such
traditions will lead young married
females towards depression, mental
problems and eventually suicide using
fatal methods such as self-burning.
How we can prevent
suicide within the middle-eastern
If Islam is against suicide it is
because Islam has laws and rules against
the root causes of suicide. For example,
as it has mentioned earlier, Islam
combats poverty. All financial laws
of Islam are aimed at the fair distribution
of wealth within the community. Similarly,
if Islam is against suicide it is
because Islam well recognizes other
root causes of suicide such as mental
illnesses, drug and alcohol addictions.
Based on this recognition, Islamic
countries were amongst the first countries
which developed hospitals for mentally
ill people and scientifically studied
and treated mental illnesses. Besides,
drug and alcohol abuses are also prohibited
under Islamic laws.
In the same way, if Islam is against
suicide it is because Islam also well
recognizes the rights of adolescents,
females and minorities in the society.
Under Islamic laws no one should be
able to maltreat other members of
society including vulnerable groups
such as children, elderly, minorities
and females. The problem is that sometimes
these kinds of maltreatments which
have rooted in traditions rather than
faith are considered as Islamic values
and laws. Therefore, it is highly
important to distinguish between traditions
and true faith in Islamic countries.
To sum up, if Islamic countries would
like to solve the current dilemma
of having high suicide rates among
adolescents and young married females
using fatal methods, they should battle
with the root causes of such trends
including: poverty, ignorance, not
recognizing the rights of females
and minorities, mental illness, illiteracy,
etc. Moreover, if Islamic countries
follow pure Islamic values and principles
rather than traditions and cultural
issues, they will become successful
in their battles against suicide and
its root causes.
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