Suicide from the Perspective of Islam and Psychology with an Emphasize on the Models Explaining the Relationship between Impulsivity and Suicidal Behaviors

Soraya Ghotbi, Ali Bozorgmehr, Shima Razian


Suicide is the act of taking one's own life which is made within the framework of a voluntarily action by an informed individual. Impulsivity is one of the most reasons for the emergence of suicidal behaviors. Impulsivity takes place without considering the possible consequences of the action and for a fast access to a reward.

The purpose of the present study is to study suicide in the perspective of Islam and psychology with an emphasize on the models explaining the relationship between impulsivity, suicidal behaviors and to discuss each model as well. Due to the multilayer nature of suicide, the research methodology is in documentation-based, analytical and meta-analytical forms.

In order to study the models explaining the relationship between impulsivity and suicidal behaviors, different data bases and with key words such as: impulsivity, impulsive behaviors, suicidal behaviors and as likes were broadly reviewed and upon completion of data collection, the related studies were closely examined.

The research findings indicate that in the perspective of Islam, suicide is in connection with components such as: the weakness of ideological and ethical bases, the lack of positive perception and disappointment with God, the lack of thinking on the belongings, magnifying the hardships and shortages, and considering the life as something meaningless. In psychology, based on the personality model, the impulsive individuals have a greater inclination towards experiencing the provocative and painful incidents. From the viewpoint of idea to practice framework, the forecasting factors of suicide are classified based on the rate of risk of suicidal ideations and also the rate of action risk for suicide.  In the integrated conceptual model, the evaluation of the suicide risk is made integrally and during the treatment process. The model of addiction to suicide, considers the suicidal behaviors as a kind of addiction. The three-step theory states that in the event that the sense of pain is associated with disappointment, and the lack of dependence on life and companions, the individual will make suicidal behaviors. 

The result is that in the perspective of Islam, the growth of awareness and increase of intellectual skills aiming at gaining knowledge and improving the relationship between human and God, reinforcing the basic beliefs and monotheistic doctrine are the most basic and effective steps to deter the suicidal behaviors. In psychology, opposite to the prevailing beliefs, it seems that impulsivity is not considered as a trustable forecaster for suicidal actions and the personality feature of impulsivity does not have a strong and noticeable relationship with suicidal actions.


Islam; Psychology; Impulsivity; Suicidal Behaviors; Elaborating Models

Full Text:



Allah Yazdi Tabatabei , Beirut, Dar Tabarsi , Fazl ibn Hassan, 1408 A.H.,Majmal al Bayan fi Tafsir al Quran , Edited by Hashem Rasuli and Fazl al Marifa , Volume 3, p. 59

Allah Yazdi Tabatabei, Beirut, Dar Tabarsi, Fazl ibn Hassan, 1408 A.H., Majma al Bayan fi Tafisr al Quran, Edited by Hashem Rasuli and Fazl al Marifa, volume 3, p. 59

Anestis, M.D., et al., Reconsidering the link between impulsivity and suicidal behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2014. 18(4): p. 366-386.

Anestis, M.D., et al., Reconsidering the link between impulsivity and suicidal behavior. Pers Soc Psychol Rev, 2014. 18(4): p. 366-86.

Apter, A., et al., Relationship between self-disclosure and serious suicidal behavior. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 2001. 42(1): p. 70-75.

Asgari Reza, Khadri Khanabadi, Abdulreza, Salehi, Seyed Mehdi, 2014, Prohibition of Suicide in the Quran and Tradition and the Quranic Approaches to Prevent from It, The Holy Quran Interdisciplinary Researches, Spring and Summer, Year Five, No. 1, pp. 103-130

Bagge, C.L., A.K. Littlefield, and H.J. Lee, Correlates of proximal premeditation among recently hospitalized suicide attempters. J Affect Disord, 2013. 150(2): p. 559-64.

Bender, T.W., et al., Impulsivity and suicidality: the mediating role of painful and provocative experiences. J Affect Disord, 2011. 129(1-3): p. 301-7.

Blasco-Fontecilla, H., et al., A Cross-Sectional Study of Major Repeaters: A Distinct Phenotype of Suicidal Behavior. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 2014. 16(4): p. 10.4088/PCC.14m01633.

Blasco-Fontecilla, H., et al., Horror Vacui: Emptiness Might Distinguish between Major Suicide Repeaters and Nonmajor Suicide Repeaters: A Pilot Study. Psychother Psychosom, 2015. 84(2): p. 117-119.

Blasco-Fontecilla, H., et al., The Addictive Model of Self-Harming (Non-suicidal and Suicidal) Behavior. Vol. 7. 2016.

Brezo, J., et al., Identifying correlates of suicide attempts in suicidal ideators: a population-based study. Psychol Med, 2007. 37(11): p. 1551-62

Bryan, C.J. and M.D. Rudd, Advances in the assessment of suicide risk. J Clin. Psychol., 2006. 62(2): p. 185-200.

Burke, T.A. and L.B. Alloy, Moving Toward an Ideation-to-Action Framework in Suicide Research: A Commentary on May and Klonsky (2015). Clinical psychology: a publication of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association, 2016. 23(1): p. 26-30.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V. 2013, Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Dixon-Gordon, K.L., et al., A Preliminary Examination of the Role of Emotion Differentiation in the Relationship between Borderline Personality and Urges for Maladaptive Behaviors. J Psychopathol Behav Assess, 2014. 36(4): p. 616-625.

Elmi, Ghorban, Shavarani, Masoud, 2012, Function of Islamic Beliefs and Rituals in Reducing the Suicidal Bed Ground, Islamic Philosophy and Theology Quarterly, Mirror of Knowledge, Years Ten, No. 32, pp. 163-189

Gharati, Mohsen, 2007, The Quranic Questions and Answers, Cultural Center for Lessons from the Quran, Volume 2, p. 115

Golab Baksh, Maryam, Kazemi Afshar, Hajar, 2014, Suicide, Encyclopedia of the World of Islam, Volume 16

Gratz, K., R. Levy, and M. Tull, Emotion Regulation as a Mechanism of Change in an Acceptance-Based Emotion Regulation Group Therapy for Deliberate Self-Harm Among Women with Borderline Personality Pathology. Vol. 26. 2012. 365-380.

Hashemi Rafsanjani, Akbar, 2004, The Quran Culture, A Key to Access to the Holy Quran Subjects and Concepts, Qom, Bustan-e Kitab , Volume 11, p. 350

Hilario, B.-F., et al., Are Major Repeater Patients Addicted to Suicidal Behavior? Adicciones, 2014. 26(4).

Hosseini Tehrani, Mohammad Hossein, 1427 A, H, The Quran Heaven Light, Holy Mashhad, Allameh Tabatabei , volume 1, p. 163

Jafarzadeh, Jafar, Ari, Mahmoud, Abulhoseini, Ali Abkar, Alitabar Firuzjaei, Mohammad Bagher, 2007, Evidence of Prohibition of Suicide and its Position in Penal Laws of Iran, Islamic Jurisprudence and Laws Researches, No., 49, pp 57-70

Joiner, T., Why People Die by Suicide. 1 ed. 2007, USA: Harvard University Press.

Kessler, R.C., G. Borges, and E.E. Walters, Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of general psychiatry, 1999. 56(7): p. 617-626.

Klonsky, E.D. and A. May, Rethinking impulsivity in suicide. Suicide Life Threat Behav, 2010. 40(6): p. 612-9.

Klonsky, E.D. and A.M. May, Differentiating suicide attempters from suicide ideators: a critical frontier for Suicidology research. Suicide Life Threat Behav, 2014. 44(1): p. 1-5.

Klonsky, E.D. and A.M. May, The Three-Step Theory (3ST): A New Theory of Suicide Rooted in the “Ideation-to-Action” Framework. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 2015. 8(2): p. 114-129.

Klonsky, E.D., A.M. May, and C.R. Glenn, The relationship between nonsuicidal self-injury and attempted suicide: converging evidence from four samples. J Abnorm Psychol, 2013. 122(1): p. 231-7.

Kreitman, N. and P. Casey, Repetition of parasuicide: an epidemiological and clinical study. Br J Psychiatry, 1988. 153: p. 792-800.

Lane, S.D. and D.R. Cherek, Analysis of risk taking in adults with a history of high risk behavior. Drug Alcohol Depend, 2000. 60(2): p. 179-87.

Lee, Y.S., S. Suchday, and J. Wylie-Rosett, perceived social support, coping styles, and Chinese immigrants' cardiovascular responses to stress. Int J Behav Med, 2012. 19(2): p. 174-85.

Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher, Bihar al Anwar, Dar al Ehya al Torath, Volume 64, p. 236

Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher, Bihar al Anwar, Dar al Ehya al Torath, Volume 64, p. 236

Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher, Bihar al Anwar, Dar al Ehya al Torath, Volume 64, p. 237

Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher, Bihar al Anwar, Dar al Ehya al Torath, Volume 64, p. 237

Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher, Bihar al Anwar, Dar al Ehya al Torath, Volume 64, p. 237

Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher, 1403 A.H., Bihar al Anwar, Moasesat al Vafa, Volume 56, p. 7

Maloney, E., et al., Impulsivity and borderline personality as risk factors for suicide attempts among opioid-dependent individuals. Psychiatry research, 2009. 169(1): p. 16-21.

Mann, J.J., et al., Toward a clinical model of suicidal behavior in psychiatric patients. Am J Psychiatry, 1999. 156(2): p. 181-9.

Marty, M.A., D.L. Segal, and F.L. Coolidge, Relationships among dispositional coping strategies, suicidal ideation, and protective factors against suicide in older adults. Aging Ment Health, 2010. 14(8): p. 1015-23.

May, A.M. and E.D. Klonsky, Assessing motivations for suicide attempts: development and psychometric properties of the inventory of motivations for suicide attempts. Suicide Life Threat Behav, 2013. 43(5): p. 532-46.

Mohammadi Ray Shahri, Mohammad, Mizan al Hikmah, Volume 2, p. 5

Mohammadi Ray Shahri, Mohammad, Mizan al Hikmahj, Volume 6, p. 575

Mynatt, S., Repeated suicide attempts. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv, 2000. 38(12): p. 24-33.

Nock, M.K., et al., Suicide and suicidal behavior. Epidemiol Rev, 2008. 30: p. 133-54.

Reynolds, B., et al., Dimensions of impulsive behavior: Personality and behavioral measures. Personality and individual differences, 2006. 40(2): p. 305-315.

Rezaei Isfahani, Mohammad Ali, 2008, The Interpretation of the Affectionate Quran, Qom, The Quran Commentaries and Sciences Researches, Edition 1, volume 4, p. 106

Rothmann, S. and P. van Rensburg, Psychological strengths, coping and suicide ideation in the South African Police Services In The North West Province. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology; Vol 28, No 3 (2002) DO - 10.4102/sajip. v28i3.64, 2002.

Rudd, M.D. and T.E. Joiner, Jr., An integrative conceptual framework for assessing and treating suicidal behavior in adolescents. J Adolesc, 1998. 21(4): p. 489-98.

Rudd, M.D., T. Joiner, and M.H. Rajad, Relationships among suicide ideators, attempters, and multiple attempters in a young-adult sample. Journal of abnormal psychology, 1996. 105(4): p. 541.

Sareen, J., et al., Anxiety disorders and risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts: a population-based longitudinal study of adults. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005. 62(11): p. 1249-57.

Smith, A.R., et al., An examination of environmental and genetic contributions to the determinants of suicidal behavior among male twins. Psychiatry Research, 2012. 197(1-2): p. 60-65

Smith, P.N., et al., The acquired capability for suicide: a comparison of suicide attempters, suicide ideators, and non-suicidal controls. Depress Anxiety, 2010. 27(9): p. 871-7.

Suicidology, A.A.o., Risk factors for suicide and suicidal behaviors. Portal of American Association of Suicidology, 2013.

The Holy Quran

Trull, T.J., et al., Borderline personality disorder and substance use disorders: a review and integration. Clin Psychol Rev, 2000. 20(2): p. 235-53.

Victor, S.E., C.R. Glenn, and E.D. Klonsky, Is non-suicidal self-injury an “addiction”? A comparison of craving in substance use and non-suicidal self-injury. Psychiatry research, 2012. 197(1): p. 73-77.

Weiss, N.H., T.P. Sullivan, and M.T. Tull, Explicating the role of emotion dysregulation in risky behaviors: A review and synthesis of the literature with directions for future research and clinical practice. Current opinion in psychology, 2015. 3: p. 22-29.

Whiteside, S.P. and D.R. Lynam, The five factor model and impulsivity: Using a structural model of personality to understand impulsivity. Personality and individual differences, 2001. 30(4): p. 669-689.

Witte, T.K., et al., "Impulsive" youth suicide attempters are not necessarily all that impulsive. J Affect Disord, 2008. 107(1-3): p. 107-16

Witte, T.K., et al., "Impulsive" youth suicide attempters are not necessarily all that impulsive. J Affect Disord, 2008. 107(1-3): p. 107-16

Wyder, M. and D. De Leo, Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study. Journal of affective disorders, 2007. 104(1): p. 167-173.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.