The loss of any life ‘before its time’ is an irreplaceable tragedy.
“HARA-KIRI a noble act even today” is undertaken for honour. In my humble opinion a person who becomes dishonoured should work their utmost to correct what they did wrong. This will make the society stronger, learning from its mistakes, correcting faults. Japanese society has many great assets which were evident by the noble way they acted when the tsunami devastated many parts of the country, based on a sense of self honour, but suicide is a step too far. This is especially so when someone is told by another to kill themselves.
Having the right mind frame to begin with determines which societies have those who commit suicide. Samurai do it for honour [see above post]; those who have nothing to live for do it for relief of their suffering.
Dr Saab wrote “I think suicide is chickening out of one's responsibilities and in most cases a gross violation of human rights, especially of the surviving family.”
I 100% disagree. A coward knows their limitations, a hero does not. I cannot find a verse of the Quran that says it is a sin to kill yourself so I cannot condemn those who do so. Furthermore, no one takes their own life on a whim, they must have some form of psychological problem that drives them to this course and cowardice is not one of them.
4:92 quoted by Sister Helen says:-
4:92 It is not conceivable that a believer will slay another believer unless it be by mistake.
5:32 quoted by Dr Saab has the same about not killing another but taking the life of another denies them their existence. You have no right to deny someone else this gift of life so that is why it is condemned in the strongest of terms. I cannot equate suicide with killing another because it is not denying another their life. As I mentioned above, man was created weak so that is why we need to create strong societies who support each other and so stop anyone from even thinking about suicide.
I have just read in an interesting book called Idioms in the Bible Explained and a Key to the Original Gospels [Paperback] George M. Lamsa. In this it is said that people in the east do not commit suicide. He was addressing those communities who had a strong sense of belief in God, Who is responsible for everything. Some call it destiny/fate while I see it as everything has been created for a purpose to do its job so good and bad happens to us because of this cause and effect. When we believe this then whatever befalls us is just another ‘test’ from God which we should accept and get on with our lives. Killing ourselves would be denying God. [Test does not mean God deliberately alters normal events like causing a flood or runs someone over with a car when this would not have happened had He not done this].
Are there more suicides in atheistic societies? What about where family life has deteriorated due to divorce, single parents or where social cohesion is destroyed by secular values?
Maybe that is why it is so important to have a Higher Authority which we accept; secularism fails to provide man with the ‘spiritual’ needs of their existence, so life can become “not worth living”.
I have looked elsewhere and came up with two verses from the Bible:-
Ecclesiastes 7:17b "Do not be a fool--why die before your time?"
Job 7:15-16."So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity"
Job was the one person who would be most likely to commit suicide, but he perservered.
But I also found this:-
2:217 They ask you about fighting in any Month of Security. Say, “Fighting in the prescribed Months of Security is a great transgression. (2:194). However, repelling men from the way of God, and rejecting His command of peace in those Months and turning people away from the Masjid of Security and the Prescribed Way of Life, and evicting its people from there, are greater offenses in the Sight of God. PERSECUTION IS A CRIME FAR GREATER THAN KILLING.”
If someone is physically or mentally persecuted, then this is far worse than death [even at their own hands].