What is the ruling on muslin sisters in prisons, that if its better for them to commit suicide or allow the kuffar to rape them?

Would it be better they commit suicide than allowing the kuffar to commit zina with them?

This is very common in Syria and Iraq with shias committing these atrocities on our sisters. What is the ruling on this?




In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh.


While we acknowledge the sensitivity of modest women in such a predicament, we are still bound to maintain our rationale and follow the guidelines of Sharī‘ah.


There are two issues:

  1. 1.Chastity, and the other:
  2. 2.Life


While chastity is the core of the life of a chaste woman, her life is also dear to her.



We understand the emotional ordeal of a raped woman. However, even in extreme situations, the fuqahā’ have not given permission for a Muslim to deliberately take his or her own life.



In the event that fire is thrown by enemies on a ship, and a Muslim on the ship entertains no hope of survival in neither the fire nor the water, he must endure death from the fire and may not deliberately plunge himself into the water, according to the view of Imām Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybānī. The reason is that if he threw himself in the water, he would die by his own action. Whereas, if he was killed in the fire, that would be by the action of the enemy.



According to Imām Abū Hanīfah and Imām Abū Yūsuf, the person in this situation is given both options, of staying on the ship and suffering death from the fire, and jumping off the boat and drowning in the water. Their reasoning is that the person in this situation no longer has any real “choice” or volition, as the fire on the ship has ruined his ability to make a decision. Hence, his action of diving into the water would not be regarded as his own action, but something he was compelled to do because of the enemy attack, and hence the action would be attributed to the enemy.[1]


What becomes clear from this discussion is that even in extreme situations, the ‘ulamā’ do not allow a Muslim to take his life by his own hands.



Hence, in the situation in reference, there can be no Shar‘ī justification for a woman to deliberately take her own life.



Life is a trust and amānah from Allah Ta‘ālā, and a Muslim must honour the trust. He may not do with it as he pleases. Allah Ta‘ālā says in the Qur’an:

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ عُدْوَانًا وَظُلْمًا فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَارًا وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللّهِ يَسِيرًا  

“Do not kill yourselves. Verily, Allah is ever-compassionate with you. And whosoever does this, out of transgression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire.” (4:29-30)


Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, describing the gravity of the punishment of a person who takes his own life:


من تردى من جبل فقتل نفسه فهو في نار جهنم يتردى فيها خالدا مخلدا فيها أبدا. ومن تحسى سما فقتل نفسه فسمه في يده يتحساه في نار جهنم خالدا مخلدا فيها أبدا. ومن قتل نفسه بحديدة فحديدته في يده يتوجأ بها في بطنه في نار جهنم خالدا مخلدا فيها أبدا

“Whoever throws himself off from a mountain and kills himself, he will be in the Fire of Jahannam, throwing himself therein eternally, with a permanent abode therein. And whoever sips poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will sip it in the Fire of Jahannam eternally, with a permanent abode therein. And whoever kills himself with a sharp instrument, his sharp instrument will be in his hand which he will drive into his belly in the Fire of Jahannam eternally, with a permanent abode therein.” (Sahīh al-Bukhārī and Sahīh Muslim; Mishkāt al-Masābīh, 3453)



However, when threatened with rape, the woman has every right to defend herself against the attacker. She may use any means at her disposal to stop the attacker from raping her, even by attacking him and wounding him in self-defence.


Moreover, the prisoners should adopt all measures to make their plight heard, so that pressure is put on the governments by international groups and human rights organisations to penalise the perpetrators.  



And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] وَإِذَا كَانَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ فِي سَفِينَةٍ فَأُلْقِيَتْ إلَيْهِمْ النَّارُ لَمْ يُضَيَّقْ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ أَنْ يَصْبِرَ عَلَى النَّارِ أَوْ يُلْقِيَ نَفْسَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ أَمَّا إذَا كَانَ يَرْجُو النَّجَاةَ فِي أَحَدِ الْجَانِبَيْنِ تَعَيَّنَ عَلَيْهِ ذَلِكَ لِأَنَّهُ مَأْمُورٌ بِدَفْعِ الْهَلَاكِ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ بِمَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَيْهِ وَذَلِكَ فِي الْمَيْلِ إلَى الطَّرِيقِ الَّذِي يَرْجُو النَّجَاةَ فِيهِ وَإِنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو النَّجَاةَ فِي الْجَانِبَيْنِ يُخَيَّرُ لِاخْتِلَافِ أَحْوَالِ النَّاسِ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَصْبِرُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ فَوْقَ مَا يَصْبِرُ عَلَى النَّارِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَكُونُ صَبْرُهُ عَلَى الدُّخَانِ وَالنَّارِ أَكْثَرُ عَلَى غَمِّ الْمَاءِ وَإِنْ كَانَ لَا يَرْجُو النَّجَاةَ فِي وَاحِدٍ مِنْ الْجَانِبَيْنِ فَعَلَى قَوْلِ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ وَأَبِي يُوسُفَ رَحِمَهُمَا اللَّهُ تَعَالَى يَتَخَيَّرُ وَعَلَى قَوْلِ مُحَمَّدٍ - رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى - لَيْسَ لَهُ أَنْ يُلْقِيَ نَفْسَهُ فِي الْمَاءِ لِأَنَّهُ لَوْ صَبَرَ عَلَى النَّارِ كَانَ هَلَاكُهُ بِفِعْلِ الْعَدُوِّ وَلَوْ أَلْقَى نَفْسَهُ كَانَ هَلَاكُهُ بِفِعْلِ نَفْسِهِ فَيَتَعَيَّنُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّبْرُ لِذَلِكَ وَلِأَنَّهُ إنَّمَا يَجُوزُ لَهُ أَنْ يُلْقِيَ فِي نَفْسِهِ الْمَاءَ لِدَفْعِ الْهَلَاكِ وَذَلِكَ عِنْدَ رَجَاءِ النَّجَاةِ فِيهِ فَإِذَا كَانَ لَا يَرْجُو النَّجَاةَ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِعْلُهُ دَفْعًا لِلْهَلَاكِ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ وَهُمَا يَقُولَانِ أَنَّ طَبَائِعَ النَّاسِ تَخْتَلِفُ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَخْتَارُ غَمَّ الْمَاءِ عَلَى أَلَمِ النَّارِ فَهُوَ بِالْإِلْقَاءِ يَدْفَعُ أَلَمَ النَّارِ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ لِعِلْمِهِ أَنَّهُ لَا يَجِدُ الصَّبْرَ عَلَيْهِ فَكَانَ فِي سَعَةٍ مِنْ ذَلِكَ لِأَنَّهُ مُضْطَرٌّ وَمَنْ اُبْتُلِيَ بِبَلِيَّتَيْنِ يَخْتَارُ أَهْوَنَهُمَا عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ هُوَ وَإِنْ أَلْقَى نَفْسَهُ مَدْفُوعٌ بِفِعْلِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ فَقَدْ أَلْجَئُوهُ إلَى ذَلِكَ وَأَفْسَدُوا عَلَيْهِ اخْتِيَارَهُ فَلَا يَبْقَى فِعْلُهُ مُعْتَبَرًا بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي إضَافَةِ الْفِعْلِ إلَيْهِ فَلِهَذَا يُخَيَّرُ وَاَللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِالصَّوَابِ (المبسوط، دار المعرفة، ج. ١٠ ص. ٧٦-٧)


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