Friday, November 17, 2017 - 29 Safar 1439

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What does Islam state about euthanasia?

What is the ruling in Islam for euthanasia i.e. what ruling do scholars of the religion give when a patient asks the doctor to terminate his life because of excruciating pain or disability or where the doctor himself decides that it is better for the patient to die than to live disabled?

Answer

 

God, Sublime is He, is the most merciful of all with His servants. He is even more merciful to one than one’s own mother, father, and everyone else. He says in His Quran:

And your God is one God, no God but Him the most merciful (Quran 2:163).

My mercy encompasses everything (7:156).

The verses in the Noble Quran which revolve around this meaning are numerous, and the prophetic accounts mention this concept with vibrant clarity.

A man from those who came before you suffered from a sore. When it caused him intense pain, he pulled an arrow from his quiver and lanced it. The blood did not stop flowing before he died. Your Lord said: ‘I have made Paradise forbidden for him’ (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

The body that God gives an individual is not a personal possession. No one is free to dispose of their body as they wish because it is a trust for which they will be held accountable by the Creator (Glory to Him) on the Day of Judgment.

In the Quran, God says:
And do not throw yourselves to destruction and be good for God loves the good ones (2:195).

A patient who asks his physician to end his life in one way or another is considered committing suicide (may God protect us). In their collections of authentic hadiths, al-Bukhari and Muslim related through Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of God said:

Whoever hurls himself off a mountain and kills himself will be [repeatedly] hurled into the flames of Hellfire, where he will abide eternally. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself, will be in the Hellfire eternally; his poison will be in his hand and he will drink from it. Whoever kills himself with an iron blade, the blade will be in his hands and he will stab himself in the stomach in Hellfire eternally (al-Bukhari).

As for a physician terminating the life of a patient for a reason he personally deems justifiable, it is – may God protect us! – the unlawful taking of human life. Our Lord, all praise to Him says:

Whoever kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is hell, and there he will remain: God is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him (Quran 4:93).

Our master, the Messenger of God said:
The blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no deity other than God and that I am the Messenger of God is not lawful [to shed] except for one of three reasons: [taking] a life for a life, a fornicator who has the means to be chaste (Ar. al-thayyib al-zani), and someone who leaves Islam and abandons the majority (of Muslims).

Based on this and in reference to the question: euthanasia in its two forms described in the question is not permissible. It is considered a major sin, as attested in a mass of Prophetic reports. It is incumbent upon physicians to know that there is no obedience to other people in a matter that constitutes a disobedience to God. Whenever a patient asks this of them, they must not accede, nor [are they to] kill another person without right.
God the Almighty knows best.


 

 

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