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Wishing for Death due to Harm that Has Come
Question#1010


I have faced so many difficulties in my life that it has made me hate this life. Every time I turned to Allah, I pleaded for Him to take my life away from me at the earliest. This is my wish until now as I do not see any solutions to my problems except death; it is the only thing that can save me from this punishment. Is this behavior forbidden for me?


When a person wishes for death because of something that has afflicted him, he is doing something that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has prohibited. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"None of you should hope for death because of some harm that has come to him. If he has wish such, he should say, 'O Allah, give me life if You know that life is better for me. And give me death if You know that death is better for me."'1

Therefore, it is not allowed for anyone to wish for death because of some harm, hardship or difficulty that has come to him. In fact, he should have patience and expect a reward from Allah for what he is passing through. He should also wait for relief to come, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said,

"Know that victory comes with patience, relief with distress and ease with hardship."2

The one who is afflicted with any affliction should know that those afflictions expiate some of the sins that he has committed. No believer is afflicted with any kind of worry, grief or pain except that Allah expiates sins for him due to that, even the pricking of a thorn. When the person has patience and expects rewards from Allah, he reaches the stage of being among the patient. This stage is a very elevated stage. Allah has stated about its inhabitants,

"And give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say, 'Truly, to

Allah we belong and, truly, to Him we shall return"' (al-Baqara 155-156).

The woman in the question feels that there is no solution for her problems except death. I believe that this is a mistaken view. Death does not solve any problems. In fact, the situation of adversity may get even worse. How many humans die while being afflicted with pain and problems but they had been wronging themselves and did not give their sins and repent to Allah. Then his death is just a quicker coming of his punishment. If he remained alive, perhaps Allah would have guide him to repentance, seeking forgiveness, patience, facing the problem and expecting relief. This all would have been good for him.

Therefore, you, the questioner, must be patient and expect relief from Allah. Allah says in His book,

"So, verily, with the hardship there is relief. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief"

(al-Sharh 5-6).

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, in an authentic narration,

"Know that victory comes with patience, relief with distress and ease with hardship."'

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin

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Footnote

1. The wording in the Arabic text is not quite exact, but this hadith is recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.-JZ

2. Ibn Uthaimin is probably referring to a lengthy hadith recorded by Ahmad. As a hadith by itself, these words, without the words, "Know that," are recorded by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi. According to al-Albani, is an authentic hadith. See al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami al-Sagheer, vol. 2, 1151.