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Explain how Islamic teachings about the sanctity of life affects a Muslim's attitude towards Euthanasia and Suicide

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Introduction

Explain how Islamic teachings about the sanctity of life affects a Muslim's attitude towards Euthanasia and Suicide "Do not take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for a just cause." (Surah 17:33) Muslims believe in the Sanctity of Life. This means that all life is a gift from Allah and therefore should be cherished and looked after. No human has the right to take away a life that has been given by Allah. As with all medical ethics issues, euthanasia and suicide are not referred to in the Quran but Muslims have developed rules about them by focusing on the Sanctity of Life. In guidance about these issues, Muslims also look towards the Hadith (statements or accounts attributed to Muhammad's life) and the Sunnah (example of Muhammad). Therefore euthanasia and suicide is considered haram in Islam. Muslims also believe that euthanasia and suicide involve committing the ultimate sin, Zulm. "...be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity... Such are the people of truth, the Allah- fearing." (The Quran) Muslims believe that Allah is omnipresent (everywhere), omnibenevolent (all loving) and omnipotent (all powerful). Therefore they believe in Al-Qad'r (predestination) - Allah has planned our life. Moreover, Muslims believe that Allah is Immanent as well as being transcendent. ...read more.

Middle

Also a woman is in a lot of pain when giving birth, but then is blessed with a child. This is shown in this quote: "And verily the hereafter will be better for thee than the present" (The Quran) Muslims believe that Allah has given all humans free-will so they can choose whether to keep their Iman (faith) while they suffer. Muslims believe that God is omnibenevolent (all loving) and merciful, and does not give us more pain than we can bear. This is shown in the Sunnah- Muhammad lived his whole childhood in suffering, due to the untimely deaths of his family members, but he did not take his life. Allah also wants people to follow the right path, but do so willingly because they love and want to obey Allah, not because they are forced to, and he wants us to choose how we act and respond to each challenge. Furthermore, Muslims believe that if we deliberately choose to act against our consciences and do evil instead of good, it's our own fault and we have to pay the penalty. Therefore if Muslims do commit euthanasia or suicide, they will have to pay the price. "One burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another. ...read more.

Conclusion

People who commit suicide will have to relive the pain they suffered in Jahannam. "And do not kill yourselves; surely Allah is most Merciful to you." (The Quran) Muslims should care for those who are ill. Instead of putting their ill relatives in hospices/nursing homes, Muslims would take care of them at home as it is considered to be far more important, sacred, creative and rewarding then any place 'outside'. If someone commits suicide the family and the Ummah have failed because it is their duty to take care of everyone within the Ummah. So if the Ummah were doing their duty properly, the person would not have committed suicide. Some Muslims may argue that passive euthanasia (where treatment is withdrawn to let nature take its course) is acceptable in Islam because they believe that it is Allah's will whether the person shall live or not. Muslims would use the word Inshallah (if Allah is willing) as he is omnipotent. Euthanasia and suicide are haram in Islam because it is against Allah's will. If you commit any of these sins, it is believed that you will spend eternity in Jahannam reliving the pain over and over. It is considered to be Zulm, the ultimate sin. Although some Muslims may argue that passive euthanasia is acceptable. ...read more.

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