Tried to commit suicide because of bad memory
Fatwa No: 81819

  • Fatwa Date:1-8-2000 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 1, 1421
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I have been married for some years and have children, and I am working. When I go for prayer, I can't remember anything. I read the Qur'an every day, but I cannot remember even a word. Even in school, I went to special education because I have such a bad memory. They took me to a doctor (psychologist). I tried to kill my self many times, but I could not.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Under no circumstances is the Muslim allowed to commit suicide or even to try to do it because committing suicide is among the major sins. Allaah Says (what means): {And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you} [Quran 4: 29].

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa salla, says: "Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the Hellfire 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 Hellfire 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 Hellfire wherein he will abide eternally forever ". [Bukhari and Muslim].

Not being able to memorize anything or to perform the prayers as you wish is out of your will and you should not be scolded for it as it is a trial that you should try to bear patiently. Allaah Says (what means): {Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning.} [Quran 39: 10].

Indeed Islam is based on simplicity and easiness; it is exempt from hardship as Allaah Says (what means): {and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship.} [Quran 22: 78] Allaah Says (what means): {So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can} [Quran 64: 16]. Allaah Says (what means): {Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.} [Quran 2: 286]. Know also that the Muslim should learn to memorize the Al-Faatihah [Quran 1], as no prayer can be valid without it. So if you can recite the Al-Faatihah and can not recite any other Surah with it, you can pray with the Al-Faatihah, as reciting the Surah is not an obligation. If the person can not recite the Faatihah from his memory, he should then read it from the Mus-haf and try his best to memorize it. If the person fails to memorize the Fatiha despite all attempts, there still be a way for him to pray correctly:

1. He should perform all prayers in congregation, as many scholars believe that the person who prays in congregation is not obliged to recite the Al-Faatihah loudly or silently. Also, praying in congregation helps one overcome the problem of not knowing the number of Raka'as (units) one has prayed.

2. He can say, instead of Al-Faatihah, Subhanallah wal-Hamdulillah wa La ilaha Illallah wa-Allahu Akbar, wala Hawla wala Quwwata Illa billaah.

As narrated in (the Hadeeth of ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Awfa who said: "A man came to the Prophet and said: 'I can not take (memorize) anything of the Quran, so please, what could be sufficient for me. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Say Subhanallah wal-Hamdulillah wa La Ilaha Illallah wa-Allahu Akbar, wala Hawla wala Quwwata Illa billaah.

3. If the person can not say the above then he can repeat what he has been able to memorize as stated.

4. If the person can not say anything of the above he should then stand up for a period, long enough for the Al-Faatihah to be recited, and completes his prayer. All these suggestions, as you may have noticed, are very easy to practice. We advise you, however to keep on saying the mention al Allaah especially the supplications of the morning and evening, eating, entering one's house etc.

Allah Knows best.

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