FROM SUICIDE TO PERDITION

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Principles of Life | Al-Risala January 1988

The New Delhi edition of Indian Express (28 January 1987) carried the following account (along with three pictures) of the suicide of a criminal offender:

Escape Through Death

The Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Mr. R. Budd Dwyer, who was convicted by a federal court of conspiracy for bribery, points a pis­tol into his mouth (top), pulls the trigger (center) and slumps on the floor (bottom) during a news conference in his office in Harrisburg. U.S.A., before he could be sentenced last Thursday. (AP)

The newspaper headline called it an ‘Escape Through Death’ but a more accurate headline would have been ‘Escape from a Minor to a Major Punishment’.

Death is not the end of our existence. It is merely the doorway leading from one life to the next. It ushers us into a period in which we reap the results of our trial on earth. An individual may reduce the duration of this testing period, but it is not within his power to save himself from entering the world of retribution after death. If only man were to fully comprehend this, his entire way of living would undergo a drastic change. He would immediately forsake the path of license for that of discipline. Instead of committing suicide, he would engage in the most thorough self-appraisal. Then, instead of fearing the wrath of his fellow men, he would fear the wrath of the Almighty.