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1. Islam: A Brief Introduction  


2. Performing Islamic Prayers


3. Three Levels of Faith: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan 


4. The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Qur'an Is His Message to Humanity 


5. Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an


6. Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth


7. Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise

The Relationship Between the Spiritual and the Physical in Islamic Teachings  


9. Mind, Self, Soul, Spirit, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective 


10. Heart-Mind Relationship in the Holy Qur'an


11. Worshippers By Choice Or Forced Slaves?  


12. Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran 


13. Introduction to Islamic Law, Shari'a, Prohibition, Don't Do, Do, and No Commands in the Holy Quran


Articles with Islamic Perspective:


Health Care Crisis in the US: An Islamic Perspective


"Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns: An Interactive Lecture


Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews

Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days

Food: Islamic Rules and Teachings  


Are Muslim women second-class citizens  


The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf


Links to Islamic Topics 2007-2010


Links to Islamic Topics 2007


Links to Islamic topics 2006


Links to Islamic topics 2005


Links to Islamic topics 2004


Links to Islamic topics, 2003


2002 Links to Islamic topics





God's Message of Guidance to Humanity


Suicide and Mass Shooting:

An Islamic Perspective


By Hassan Ali El-Najjar *


A Friday Khutba (Speech) at the Dalton Islamic Center

25th of January, 1434, 13th of Rabi' Al-Awwal, 2013





I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent *




Yesterday was 12th of Rabi' Al-Awwal, the annual anniversary of the birth of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammed, peace and blessings be upon him (pbbuh).


While Muslims don't celebrate this event in a structured way, they observe it with prayers and remembrance of his teachings, with reaffirmation to follow them.


As a start, Islamic teachings strictly prohibit both individual suicide and suicide mass killing of innocent people.


When Allah, praise to Him, decided to create life on Earth, He made sure that there is enough sustenance to all of His creations, particularly humans. Thus, there is no justification for individual suicide because of poverty or fear of poverty as a result of failure.


Allah, praise to Him, also instructed us to be merciful, compassionate, and beneficial to each other. This means that nobody should be left alone or behind, particularly if they are overwhelmed by problems and crises. The support, care, and compassion they receive from their families, relatives, friends, communities, and society as a whole will help them to survive these problems or crises, and start all over, instead of ending their life tragically.


Moreover, Allah, praise to Him, instructed us to treat each other with respect, fairness, and good faith. This means that we should not discriminate against, abuse, put down, make fun of, scorn, or mock each-other.


A whole lot of individual suicides and suicide mass shootings in the US is as a result of the feelings of loneliness in facing problems, or as a revenge against perceived or real mistreatment.




The United States has been experiencing very high rates of individual suicides as well as suicide mass shootings, mainly related to firearms. These rates are the highest in the world, exceeding their counterparts in any other society on Earth, by hundreds of times (In 2010, there were 38,364 suicides, and in 2011, there were 32,163 fire-arms related deaths). [1]


More important than the availability of firearms and assault weapons used in these mass shootings is the absence of culture of peace, mercy, compassion, and community. This is a result of the promotion of the culture of violence, aggressiveness, winning by any means, and advancing selfish personal interests on the expense of others.


The solution should start with the promotion of a culture of peace, mercy, and compassion instead of the current culture of violence. At the same time, weapons should be restricted to law-enforcement personnel, as is the case in other societies around the world.


Allah, praise to Him, described Himself as the Peace, the Merciful, the Compassionate, and the Beneficent to all.[2] These are His characteristics that He wants us to imitate as much as we can for our own good and benefit in this life and in the Hereafter. He also described His Messenger, Muhammed (pbbuh), as "mercy" to His creations in the worlds, particularly humans, as stated in verses 21: 107, 34: 28, 17: 105, and 25: 56).


( 21: 107).


ٰ   ( 34: 28).


ۗ   ( 17: 105).


  ( 25: 56).


And We have not sent you, (O Muhammad), except as a mercy to the worlds (Al-Anbiya, 21: 107).


And We have not sent you except comprehensively to humankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know (Saba', 34: 28).


And with the truth We have sent it (the Quran) down, and with the truth it has descended. And We have not sent you, (O Muhammad), except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner (Al-Issra', 17: 105).


And We have not sent you, (O Muhammad), except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner (Al-Furqan, 25: 56).


Verses in the Holy Quran Prohibiting Killing of Oneself or Others


Allah, praise to Him, strongly prohibited the killing of oneself (suicide), or anybody else, or children for fear of poverty, as stated in verses 6: 151, 17: 33, 2: 195, and 4: 29 because the killing of one innocent soul is for God equal to the crime of killing all people, as stated in 5: 32.  



ۖ ۖ ۖ ۖ ۖ ۖ ۚ ٰ   ( 6: 151).


Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason" (Al-Ana'am, 6: 151).


ۗ ۖ   ( 17: 33).

And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly - We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in (the matter of) taking life. Indeed, he has been supported (Al-Issra, 17: 33).


ۛ ۛ   ( 2: 195).


And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good (Al-Baqara, 2: 195).



ۚ ۚ  ( 4: 29).


O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (or one another). Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful (Al-Baqara, 2: 29).   


ٰ ٰ ۚ ٰ ( 5: 32).


Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors (Al-Ma-ida, 5: 32).


Explanation of Individual Suicide and Suicide Mass Shooting


First, Allah, praise to Him, has taught us to avoid the conditions and circumstances that may lead individual suicides and suicide mass killing by firearms or other weapons or means, as stated in many verses of the Holy Quran.


The incapable, weak-minded should not be allowed to be in a position to cause us harm, by allowing them to have control over our financial resource. By generalization, they should not be allowed to have access to weapons, which they may use to harm themselves and others, like in many incidents of suicide mass shootings in the United States.


Verse 4: 5 of addresses the financial harm, commanding us: 


 ( 4: 5).


And do not give your wealth to the (incapable) weak-minded (Al-Nissa, 4: 5). 



The Messenger of Allah, Muhammed (pbbuh) warned us even against pointing a weapon against anybody, let alone using it. In a Hadith narrated by the Companion Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:


"None of you should point a weapon against his brother, lest the Shaytan (Satan) should move his hand, then he will fall in the Fire hole" (as a result of harming or killing the other person). (Sahih Muslim, 4742 2617).




Second, people should not succumb to the whispering of Shaytan (Satan), who frightens people with poverty, making them feel hopeless and helpless. There has to be social support on all levels to give people hope for improvement in their life.


Allah, praise to Him, promised that His sustenance is enough for everybody, we just need to try again, try different things, and manage our resources wisely. Nobody is required to do more than his/her capabilities, as stated in verses 2: 268, 2: 286, and 65: 7.


ۖ ۗ   ( 2: 268).


Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing (Al-Baqara, 2: 268).



ۚ ( 2: 286).


Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned (Al-Baqara, 2: 286).



ۖ ۚ ۚ ( 65: 7).


Let whoever has wealth spend from his wealth, and whoever whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except (according to) what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease (Al-Talaq, 65: 7).




Third, people should be treated with respect and not to be subjected to psychological or verbal abuse, or what is known as bullying. We should not ridicule, scorn, mock, insult, use offensive nicknames, or slander people. Otherwise, the victims may be pushed to avenge themselves against the perpetrators, which may result in killing themselves, the perpetrators, and other innocent bystanders.


These meanings are stated in verses 104: 1, 49: 11, 2: 212, 9: 79, and 37: 12-14.


( 104: 1).


Woe to every scorner and mocker (Al-Humaza, 104: 1).


ٰ ٰ ۖ ۖ ۚ ٰ   ( 49: 11).


O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers (Al-'Hujurat, 49: 11).


ۘ ۗ ( 2: 212).


Beautified for those who disbelieve is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe. But those who fear Allah are above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account (Al-Baqara, 2: 212).


ۙ   ( 9: 79).


Those who slander the contributors among the believers concerning (their) charities and (slander) the ones who find nothing (to spend) except their effort, so they ridicule them - Allah will ridicule them, and they will have a painful punishment (Al-Tawbah, 9: 79).


﴿١٢﴾ ﴿١٣  ( 37: 12-14).  


But you wonder, while they mock, (12) And when they are reminded, they remember not. (13) And when they see a sign, they ridicule (Al-Safat, 37: 12-14).




Fourth, Allah, praise to Him, strongly prohibits oppression (committing injustice) against other people, and transgression against them, as this leads to hatred, revenge, and instability of society.


There many verses in the Holy Quran, which states prohibition of oppression and transgression, as 8:25, 18: 59, 25: 19, 27: 11, 4: 148, 7: 33, 16: 90, 5: 2, and 2: 190.



ۖ   ( 8: 25).


And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty (Al-Anfal, 8: 25).


ٰ ( 18: 59).


And those cities - We destroyed them when they wronged, and We made for their destruction an appointed time (Al-Kahf, 18: 59).


( 25: 19).


And whoever oppresses (commits injustice) among you, We will make him taste a great punishment (Al-Furqan, 25: 19).


  ( 27: 11).


Otherwise, he who wrongs, then substitutes good after evil - indeed, I am Forgiving and Merciful (Al-Naml, 27: 11).


ۚ   ( 4: 148).


Allah does not like the public mention of evil except by one who has been wronged. And ever is Allah Hearing and Knowing (Al-Nissa, 4: 148).


  ( 7: 33).


Say, "My Lord has only forbidden immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed - and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know." (Al-Afal, 7: 33).


ٰ ٰ ۚ   ( 16: 90).


Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded (Al-Na'hl, 16: 90).


ٰ ۖ ۚ  ( 5: 2).


And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression (Al-Ma-ida, 5:2).


ۚ ( 2: 190).


Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors (Al-Baqara, 2: 190).



How should victims of injustice behave?


Victims of injustice are encouraged to seek legal means of getting justice against perpetrators, as this is good for them and for society as a whole, as stated in verse 179 of Surat Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2) of the Holy Quran.


( 2: 179).


And there is for you in legal retribution (saving of) life, O you (people) of reasoning, that you may become righteous (Al-Baqara, 2: 179). 


Society has to make sure that victims of oppression and transgression are satisfied by bringing their oppressors to justice. Otherwise, victims may take the law of retribution and punishment of transgressors into their hands (as what happens in some cases of mass shooting).


While the surviving victims or their families have the right to bring the perpetrators to justice, they will be rewarded for their patience and forgiveness, as we read in verses 37-43 of Surat Al-Shoura (Chapter 42) of the Holy Quran. 





ٰ ﴿٣٨




ۖ ۚ ﴿٤٠


ٰ ﴿٤١


ۚ ٰ ﴿٤٢


ٰ ﴿٤٣﴾  ( 42: 37-43).


And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive, (37)


And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend. (38)


And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves, (39)


And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. (40)


And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged - those have not upon them any cause [for blame]. (41)


The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment. (42)


And whoever is patient and forgives - indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination. (43(Al-Shoura, 42: 37-43).




Some Relevant Hadiths (Sayings) of the Prophet (pbbuh)




- -  4685  2586 :



" ."


In a Hadith narrated by Al-Nu'aman Bin Basheer, may Allah be pleased with him (mabpwh), the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"In their compassion and solidarity, believers are like the body. If one organ complains (of sickness or injury), other organs express their solidarity with sleeplessness and fever" (Sahih Muslim, 2586 4685).


- -

 40 -



" ."


In a Holy Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"O My worshippers! I have prohibited oppression, then do not oppress one-another."


(Al-Muntaqa, Sharh Mawti' Malik, Al-Biyou').


- - 4995

- 105 - :


" ."



In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (mabpwh), the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand people are safe, and the believer is the one whom people trust on their blood and wealth." (Sunan Al-Nissa-i, 4995).




- - 7046



" .


In another Hadith narration by Abdullah Bin Amr (mabpwh), the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand people are safe, and the muhajir (who leaves for the sake of Allah) is the one who leaves behind what Allah has prohibited" (Musnad Ahmed, 7046).


- - 21511



" ."


In a Hadith narrated by Mu'adh Bin Jabal (mabpwh), the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"People are pushed to the Fire on their noses or faces because of what their tongues committed (of lies or verbal abuses)"  (Musnad Ahmed, 21511).


- - 2418

- 530 - :


" ӿ . "


" .


In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (mabpwh), the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"The bankrupt among my Ummah (Community of Muslims) is the one who comes on the Day of Resurrection with his/her (assets of) prayer, fasting, and zakat (charity). However, his/her record will include insulting and slandering of people, consuming their wealth illegally, shedding their blood, or beating them. He/she will sit down and they (his/her victims) start taking rewards of his/her good deeds. If his/her good deeds finish and still there are other victims who demand compensation, then he/she start taking punishment in the Fire, instead of them for their sins."  (Sunan Al-Tirmidhiy, 2418).


- - 2310

( 863 ):


"   ."


In a Hadith narrated by Abdullah Bin Omar (mabpwh and his father), the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim, in that he does not oppress him or make him submissive. Whoever helps his brother in satisfying his need, Allah will help him satisfy his own need. Whoever helps a Muslim out of a hurdle (or a crisis), Allah will help him out of his hurdle (or crisis) on the Day of Resurrection. And whoever protects a Muslim from public humiliation, Allah will protect him from public humiliation on the Day of Resurrection" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 2310).



" " - :


" ."


In another narration, the Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) said:


"A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim, in that he does not oppress him, or let him down, or lie to him, or despise him" (Bahjat Quloob Al-Abrar).


- -  4742 2617 -



" ."


The Messenger of Allah, Muhammed (pbbuh) warned us even against pointing a weapon against anybody, let alone using it. In a Hadith narrated by the Companion Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:


"None of you should point a weapon against his brother, lest the Shaytan (Satan) should move his hand, then he will fall in the Fire hole" (as a result of harming or killing the other person). (Sahih Muslim, 4742 2617)




Allah, praise to Him, wants us to be as peaceful, merciful, compassionate, and beneficial as we can, in order for the human society to prosper and progress, and for people to live in peace and happiness. The way to achieve that is for them to respect each other, to have mercy and compassion towards each other, and to be beneficial to each other.


They should be taught that the human life is sacred. It should not be taken out for fear of poverty or loss of hope. The weak-minded should not be allowed to have access to weapons, by which they may cause harm to others. And when innocent people are killed, perpetrators should be brought to justice to the satisfaction of victims and their families. Absence of justice may lead the victim's family to take the law into their hands, which is harmful to society, as a whole.


A common observation about mass killing of others is that it is perpetrated as a revenge against bullying in schools, places of work, neighborhoods, or in society at large. Victims who receive ridicule, mockery, slander, scorn, insults and offensive nicknames. They feel helpless as authorities usually are not successful in preventing these transgressions or punishing the perpetrators. This feeling may trigger acts of revenge, such as mass shooting, in which innocent people are killed or injured as bystanders, students, or coworkers.


A culture of peace, mercy, and compassion needs to be promoted in society, by all agents of socialization. It should start at the family, but extends to schools, work, media, and places of worship, to replace the prevalent culture of violence, selfishness, and arrogance.


May peace of Allah be upon you! 







* The Arabic text of the Holy Quran used in this article, and other articles by this author, is from The translation of the verses mentioned in this article is mainly from the Sahih International version but the author is solely responsible for the changes he introduced in the translation.


The Arabic text of the Hadiths mentioned in this article, and other articles by this author, is from the official Saudi Arabian government website but the translation of these Hadiths is the sole responsibility of this author.


[1] In the United States, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

     (See the years 1999-2011 below).


2011: 32,163
2010: 31,672
2009: 31,347
2008: 31,593
2007: 31,224
2006: 30,896
2005: 30,694
2004: 29,569
2003: 30,136
2002: 30,242
2001: 29,573
2000: 28,663
1999: 28,874






  • Number of Suicides in the U.S. (1993-2010)
Number of Suicide Deaths
Rate per 100,000
1993 31,102 259,918,595 12.0
1994 31,142 263,125,826 11.8
1995 31,284 266,278,403 11.8
1996 30,903 269,394,291 11.5
1997 30,535 272,646,932 11.2
1998 30,575 275,854,116 11.1
1999 29,199 279,040,181 10.5
2000 29,350 281,421,906 10.4
2001 30,622 285,081,556 10.7
2002 31,655 287,803,914 11.0
2003 31,484 290,326,418 10.8
2004 32,439 293,045,739 11.1
2005 32,637 295,753,151 11.0
2006 33,300 298,593,212 11.2
2007 34,598 301,579,895 11.5
2008 36,035 304,374,846 11.8
2009 36,909 307,006,550 12.0
2010 38,364 308,745,538 12.4






Facts and statistics about violence, criminal victimization, and violence-related deaths, particularly with relation to the availability of weapons in the United States:


Violent and abusive behavior continues to be a major cause of death, injury, stress, and fear in the U.S.


About 3 out of 10 Americans say they or another member of their household was victimized by crime in the past year, with about 1 in 5 saying that they personally were victimized.


According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partnerrelated physical assaults and rapes every year in this country.


Less than 20% of battered women sought medical treatment following an injury (National Organization for Women, 2009).


The National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that are not reported to the police, found that 232,960 women were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006.


In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice, 2005).


Of all the women murdered in this country, about 1 in 3 were killed by an intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice, 2006b).


Nationwide, an estimated 794,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect

in 2007.


Suicide took the lives of more than 33,000 people in 2006 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009b).


In 2001 there were 29,573 firearm-related deaths in the United States. In the same year, 56% of all homicides and 55% of all suicides were by firearms (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005).


The rate of gun homicides in America per 100,000 people is almost 7 times higher than in Canada, 28 times higher than in England and Wales, and 198 times higher than in Japan. In 19992000 when the United States recorded 10,828 gun homicides, Canada had 183, Germany 103, England and Wales 73, Australia 65, Switzerland 36, Sweden 33, Austria 27, Japan 27, and New Zealand 3, according to the  Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, 2005.


Source: "Marriages and Families: Intimacy, Diversity, and Strengths," By David Olson, John DeFrain, and Linda Skogrand. McGraw Hill, 7th Edition (2011).


[2] Learn more about God's Names and characteristics in "Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran."



* Dr. Hassan Ali El-Najjar is a native speaker of Arabic. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology.


Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.