As far as I know, suicide is haram in Islam. So, is there any possible situation mentioned somewhere when it's allowed?

I am asking this question because people who kill themselves to save a nation or piece of land they are called martyr. I do not understand why?

I would like to have an answer with some hadees and Quraan reference, so that I can share that answer with confidence.

3 Answers 3


People who kill themselves, supposedly to save some land or some other people, are not martyrs. A martyr is someone who is killed while struggling for a cause, not kills himself for this cause.

Killing yourself means voluntarily destroying the creation of Allah swt. It is the only act of war one can make which is not directed at the oumma, some people or the quran but against Allah himself. It is saying to him "I don't want the life you gave me"

Killing yourself for a cause means you are more interested in the status of martyr itself than your cause. It is the purest hypocrisy.


Essentially user5751924's answer, but expanded with textual sources.

You are not referring to suicide per se, well you could be, but the jurisprudence does not define it to be suicide at least to how I understand it.

Sourcing from Book 23, Hadith 118, Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Funerals (Al-Janaa'iz):

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ الَّذِي يَخْنُقُ نَفْسَهُ يَخْنُقُهَا فِي النَّارِ، وَالَّذِي يَطْعُنُهَا يَطْعُنُهَا فِي النَّارِ ‏"‏‏.‏

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire."

Clearly this implies willingness to end's ones own life, intent has importance, a person does not (usually) unwillingly stab himself, etc. I would posit this is the traditional concept of suicide for most people, you have the intent for death.

When you use the phrase, "people who kill themselves to save a nation or piece of land" this does not fall into any concept promote by hadith (Sunni or Shia for that matter) nor the Qur'an. A martyr defined by textual sources, is someone who ends up dead due to the result of something noble. It is not defined as someone who seeks death in order to be labeled a martyr, by willingly killing themselves. It screams semantics here, what you describe does not mean what you think it means.

Sourcing from Book 16, Hadith 38, Jami` at-Tirmidhi, The Book on Blood Money:

"‏ مَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ مَالِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ دِينِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ دَمِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ أَهْلِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ ‏"

"Whoever is killed over his wealth then he is a martyr, and whoever is killed over his religion, then he is a martyr, and whoever is killed over his blood, then he is martyr, and whoever is killed over his family, then he is martyr."

Perhaps it is the amount of novels that glamorize death, such as the final scene where the protagonist is forced into a dichotomous system of saving the other important figure at the cost of themselves. However, in such novels the protagonist generally speaking does not seek death from the start, it just becomes the inevitable ending based on the given events. The hadith above works in the same manner, it does not call for a person to set their eyes on letting their life end by dying for their religion, rather if it happens that they end up dying, they are a martyr.

First hadith quotation source: https://sunnah.com/bukhari/23/118

Second hadith quotation source: https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/16/38

  • Very well explained. So in simple word if the enemy attacks and someone tie bombs with their bodies to stop the enemy. They are not martyrs. Right ? Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 7:04
  • In simple words yes according to the textual sources, but it is important to keep context in mind. Also culturally they maybe considered a martyr, just not under Islamic semantics.
    – Opcode
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:49

In one condition it is allowed, if someone is going to launch atom bomb that would take millions of lifes. Then one can plan an attack to stop it, but only to safe a disaster. Its my opinion.

Where as in other wars, I believe victory and defeat is part of life. And as a muslim one must not kill himself, because when someone does that, it means he has no hope in Allah. He rather believes in his own self. Which is shirk, so always be hopeful that even if you loose a war, one day you will be victorious. If not in this world than in the next life.

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