Hunger strike – Admonition By Imaams (Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz and Nasiruddeen Al-Albaanee)

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] was asked: “We often hear about hunger strike that leads to death; what is Islam’s ruling on this?”

Answer: This does not have a basis (in Islam). This is something by way of which the enemies seek support for their filthy goals. This conduct does not have a basis (in Islam) and it is not permissible if it leads to harm or death. This is what we believe regarding this affair. This (i.e. hunger strike) was adopted from the enemies of Islam and we do not know of a basis for it (in Islam). (1)

Imaam Al-Albaanee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] was asked: At present, in relation to modern methods, they utilize it to draw people’s attention to a specific issue, such as a hunger strike, civil disobedience, refraining from work, standing still at particular hour as sign of mourning and the like, among other things that have been initiated. What is the Islamic ruling on such behaviour?

The Shaikh responded: I do not believe in the legitimacy of all this behaviour due to two reasons: Firstly, and that is the most most important thing, these methods are from the ways of the nations that do not have a path prepared for them through the divine revelation, which if employed would lead to the desired goal. The Muslims are not like those people because we have the Sharee’ah that has not left out anything, except that if act upon it we’ll be happy in the worldly life before the hereafter. Secondly, these methods, in addition to being a habit of the unbelievers, do not benefit and will never benefit the Muslims even if they remain throughout their lives, while they adhere to them and refrain from employing the divine legislated means that are stipulated by texts. This is my answer to this question.

Questioner: May Allah reward you.

The Shaikh: And you.

Questioner: We elaborate a little on hunger strike.

Shaikh: Go on please.

Questioner: I mean, in reality this includes destruction of the body which Allaah [Glorified and Exalted be He] gave to the human being, so now it means that hunger strike in particular, for whatever reason, includes destruction.

The Shaikh: Refraining from food and drink – undoubtedly – is two types, as it is considered one of the medical methods through which some people treat some of the diseases. Of course, this type is not mentioned in your question.

Questioner: Yes.

The Shaikh: Oh, so then the hunger strike intended in the question is the one that is pursued until a negative effect appears on the person’s body, so that the oppressors sympathize with him by releasing him or comfort him with something, or what is similar. This type of refraining from food and drink is tantamount to self-starvation. All these means are not legislated in the Sharee’ah, together with the fact that it is tantamount to exposing oneself to harm if not death. (2)


[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Silsilah Al-Hudaa Wan-Noor  0156]

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