Fatwa ID: 02207
Answered by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun
Assalamu Alaikum, if a believer died by committing suicide, will he necessarily go to hell? Shall he never be able to enter paradise one day? Can no one intercede for him? What if his parents or close ones built a masjid or madrasa etc in his name, or passed on rewards to him via zikr, recitation of Quran Sharif, duas or any other charity or good deeds? Would he not get any benefit from these many things? Would he face torture of the grave and never be relieved from it despite the above measures?
It should be noted that suicide is an extremely detested act in Islam and a major sin. Under no circumstance should a person take his life with his own hands. Allah T'aala says: “and do not kill yourselves” (04:29). Mufti Shafi Uthmani Saheb states in Ma'aarif al-Quran, volume two, page three hundred and eighty one, that this verse refers to the killing of one’s self as well as the killing of one another.
There are many hadiths that state that he who commits suicide will suffer severe torment on the day of judgement.
Thaabit Ibn Dahhak narrates from Rasoolullah that: “…he who kills himself will suffer the torment of Jahannam”
(Sahih al-Bukhari no: 5640)
Hadhrat Abu Huraira narrates from Rasoolullah that: ''whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the fire (of Hell) wherein he will abide eternally forever, and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the fire (of Hell) wherein he will abide eternally forever.''
(Sunan al-Tirmidhi no: 1966)
There are reports that those who committed suicide, Rasoolullah did not lead their Janaazah prayer. Hence Ibn Samura relates than a man killed himself with a broad arrow-head and Rasoolullah said: “As for me, I will not offer his funeral prayer”
(Sunan al-Nasa'ee no: 1938)
However, despite the above narrations, the view of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Muhammad, Imam as-Shafi'ee and majority of the scholars is that the Janaazah Salah will be offered.
(see Fataawa al-Hindiyyah 1/163 and Tabyeen al-Haqaa'iq 3/230)
The reason given was that Rasoolullah did not offer the funeral prayer for that particular person himself to discourage the people from doing something similar, but the Sahabah offered the Janaazah Salah for him instead. Allamah Ibn 'Abidin states:
''It is clear that Rasoolullah refrained from offering the funeral prayer to prevent others from doing something similar just as he refrained from offering the funeral prayer of a debtor. Thus, it is not necessary that the Sahabah should abstain from offering the prayer as their Salah and his Salah is not the same. Allah Ta'aala says “Surely your prayer is a relief for them” (09:103)''
(Radd al-Muhtaar 6/292 Babu Salaatil Janaazah)
Intersession on behalf of such a person will be accepted if the one interceding is amongst those who Allah Ta'aala has chosen to intercede. Rasoolullah says “For the carrier of the Quran, if he acted upon it, and accepted what was halal in it, to be halal and what was haram in it, to be haram, he will be allowed to intercede for ten such members of his family upon whom Jahannam had become wajib”
(Sunan al-Tirmidhi no: 2830, Baihaqi-Shu'ab al-Iman no: 2693)
Therefore, despite the severity of the sin, the person is still a believer and needs forgiveness more than ever hence the funeral prayer will be offered and you may continue to seek forgiveness on his behalf through all of those forms of worship you mentioned in your question as the reward reaped from the worship of the living indeed benefit the dead.
(see al-Bahr al-Raa'iq 22/206 and al-Fataawa al-Hindiyyah 1/166)
Consequently, he is subject to the will of Allah. If Allah wills, he will forgive him, and if he wills, he will punish him on the day of judgement. Whatever Allah Ta'aala decides will happen to him, and ultimately he will be entered into paradise as he was believer.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham