The Spark that lit the Fuse – Mohamed Bouazizi

I mean no disrespect.

Pardon the distasteful title, it fits in some ways, and is also harshly critical of a 26 year old whose act of self-sacrifice served a much greater purpose, as it quite literally lit up the fire beneath many a nation, and will be viewed as the pivotal point which started the change, and the demand for democracy.

George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush; what do all three have in common, asides from greying (focus on this please) or white hair?

They are FORMER Presidents. Former.

That phrase is indistinct in the Arab World, our leaders either die of natural causes, get assassinated or get deposed. Also, most Arab leaders have vanity in terms of appearance, and wish to portray an outward image of being youthful (i.e. Mubarak, the 82 year old with Jet Black hair, FFS I am 24 and already get a few white hairs here and there). Age = Wisdom

Who would have thought all these truths hid beneath the facade of money and power, smiles and laughter that have been the forefront of so many countries for so long? Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Kuwait (plight of the Bedouns) etc. The list is ever growing.

I place the biggest portion of the blame on Media. It is the media that chooses what image it wishes to convey to the millions and masses abroad, they will show you festive celebrations, but will neglect the downtrodden in society.

However, the main reason behind this post is, Mohamed Bouazizi.

BBC dedicated an article to him, his sister helped bring the truth to light, you can read it here.

So much good (apparently) has come from that single sacrifice, it was the wake-up call for everyone to look at themselves and wonder, do we not deserve freedom? Do we not deserve to have the ability to start a family, and properly provide for them? Do we not deserve to be treated as human beings and not mindless cattle?

But, despite the valor and unselfishness behind this act, Muslims must consider one cardinal rule; suicide is not permitted in Islam.

Wikipedia has dedicated a page to the views of different religions on the notion of suicide (here), the view of the Three Celestial Religions are as follows:

Suicide is forbidden by Jewish law. Judaism has traditionally viewed suicide as a serious sin. It is not seen as an acceptable alternative even if one is being forced to commit certain cardinal sins for which one must give up one’s life rather than sin. Assisting in suicide and requesting such assistance (thereby creating an accomplice to a sinful act) is also forbidden, a minimal violation of Leviticus 19:14, “Do not put a stumbling block before the blind,”.

According to the theology of the Catholic Church, death by suicide is considered a grave or serious sin. The chief Catholic Christian argument is that one’s life is the property of God and a gift to the world, and to destroy that life is to wrongly assert dominion over what is God’s and is a tragic loss of hope.

Islam views suicide as one of the greatest sins and utterly detrimental to one’s spiritual journey. A verse in the fourth chapter of the Quran, An-Nisaa (The Women) instructs; “And do not kill yourselves, surely God is most Merciful to you.” (4:29)

Most Muslim scholars and clerics consider suicide forbidden, including suicide bombings, and often cite the aforementioned verse in the Qur’an as a clear commandment forbidding suicide. Some Shafii scholars even classify suicide as an unpardonable sin, the equivalent of eternal sin in Christianity.

The prohibition of suicide has also been recorded in authentic statements of hadith, (sayings of Muhammad). For example:

Hadith – Bukhari 2:446 Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet 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.”[3]

Also, Hadith – Bukhari 7:670, Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”

No matter the reason, whether you be a deluded fanatical extremist (suicide bombers), or a downtrodden youth, suicide is suicide, and it is unpardoned.

I believe we should all pray that god have mercy on his soul, for it is only through the prayers of the living that the deceased can have respite.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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