Suicide in the Muslim World

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Authors: Farooq Mohyuddin
Page Range: 273-279
Published in: International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, Volume 1, Issue 3 (2008)
ISSN: 1939-5965

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Table of Contents

Suicide is a cause of significant mortality and morbidity around the world. There has been research on the various risk factors and protective factors for suicide. One protective factor that has been of interest is the possible negative correlation between religion, religiosity/moral objections to suicide and suicide rates. There are several reports that the rate of suicide is lower in Muslim majority countries (Islamic countries). The various hypotheses about the lower suicidal rate include the impact of the Quran’s injunction against suicide, the prospect of an eternal life in hell, the social integrative and regulative benefits of religion, and underreporting of suicide due to stigma/criminal penalties. Despite the disagreement on the causal factors many of the studies have suggested that Muslims are at a lower risk for suicide compared to other populations. Some of this data comes from studies of Muslims in countries with mixed religious population. Scarcity of research about the incidence of suicide in Muslim majority countries precludes a definitive conclusion. This is a preliminary review of the subject with a key objective of pointing out directions for future research and the clinical implications. We will discuss the state of current knowledge about Islam as a possible protective factor against suicide.

Keywords: Muslims, suicide