Suicide and Islam

Ahmed Okasha and Tarek Okasha

in Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198570059
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640461 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Suicide and Islam

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This chapter will discuss the historical and philosophical aspects of suicide in Islam. Influences of Islamic culture on the phenomena of suicide and attempted suicide will be emphasized, focusing chiefly on attitudes in Egypt. All studies show that suicide is less prevalent in Islamic societies compared to countries associated with other religions. Here, the reasons for suicide in different Islamic and Arabic countries are evaluated in relation to the sociocultural context.

The cognitive schemata of Muslims follow the phrases of the Koran that humans were created for the main reason of worshipping God, and that life and death issues should be controlled by God and not by self-destruction. This faith can be a factor in preventing suicide attempts, especially in those practising their religious rituals. The phenomenology of psychiatric disorders in Islamic culture is characterized and dominated in its content, whether hallucinations or delusions by religious themes.

Chapter.  6065 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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