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Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn: A Happy Life Is Only Through Belief in Al-Qadar and the Resilience of Muslims Compared to Others (Suicide Rates)

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Sunday, Sep 03 2023
Filed under Aqīdah

Speaking of the principle regarding al-Qadar (Divine Decree) and al-Sharʿ (Divine Legislation) and the necessity of belief in both of them, the Shaykh (رحمه الله) said:[1]

Reliance upon Allāh (عز وجل) and seeking aid from Him is not possible except with belief in al-Qadar, and happy life does not occur except through belief in al-Qadar. For this reason, you will find the unbelievers and sinners, when affairs become tight during the calamities that occur to them, they commit suicide because they do not have the blessing of belief in al-Qadar.

Muslims, by virtue of belief in al-Qadar (Divine Decree)—[which is the knowledge that Allāh, the Creator of the Heavens and Earth knows, wills and brings into existence through His creative power, all that has been and is to be, and that He is Creator of all causes and their effects, of all ways and means and that there is no power nor might save through the decree of Allāh]—they are the most resilient in the face of hardships and calamities. As a whole, they see goodness in all things that come to them, revolving between gratitude for favours and bounties and patience upon calamities and hardships.

The Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:[2]

عَجَباً لأمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لأِحَدٍ إِلاَّ للْمُؤْمِن: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْراً لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خيْراً لَهُ

How amazing is the affair of the believer. There is goodness for him in all of his affair(s) and this is not for anyone except the believer. If prosperity meets him, he expresses gratitude [to Allāh] and that is good for him. And if adversity befalls him, he endures it with patience, and that is good for him.

In confirmation of the above, in the paper “A Global Perspective on the Epidemiology of Suicide[3], the authors note how most of the suicides in the world in terms of numbers are in China (Communism, Atheism) and India (Polytheism). The highest rates are found in Eastern Europe in countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Hungary.

In general, the pattern is that communist, atheist countries have the higher suicide rates. This suggests that these ideologies and beliefs are unnatural, inhumane and inherently destructive and that any happiness is only apparent and superficial.

They state:

…the highest rates are currently reported in Eastern Europe, however the largest number of suicides are found in Asia.

Given the size of their population, almost 30% of all cases of suicide worldwide are committed in China and India alone, although the suicide rate of China practically coincides with the global average and that of India is almost half of the global suicide rate. The number of suicides in China alone is 30% greater than the total number of suicides in the whole of Europe, and the number of suicides in India alone (the second highest) is equivalent to those in the four European countries with the highest number of suicides together (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine).

A comparison of suicide rates according to the prevalent religious denomination in countries brings to light a most remarkable difference between countries of Islam and countries of other prevailing religion. In Muslim countries (e.g. Kuwait) where committing suicide is most strictly forbidden, the total suicide rate is close to zero.

The total suicide rate is markedly highest in Atheist countries (e.g. China) which included in this analysis countries where religious observances have been prohibited for a long period of time (e.g. Albania).

They provide the following figure:

You can download and read the paper here:

A Global Perspective on the Epidemiology of Suicide
View PDF File
(3 pages)

In the UK, data from the ONS shows that Muslims have lowest suicide rates:

1. Sharh Taqrīb al-Tadmuriyyah (Muʾassasat al-Shaykh, 1437H) p. 447.
2. Reported by Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ (no. 2999)
3. Suicidologi, 2002, Arg. 7 nr. 2

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