Poverty drives women of South-Asia to suicide under the ugly rule of Capitalism


In Pakistan, a poverty-stricken mother killed two daughters by poisoning them and attempted to commit suicide afterwards but was rescued according to media reports on 26th October 2014. The tragic incident took place in Ada Riazabad area of Layyah where a woman named Bilquees poisoned to death her two daughters; Muqaddas aged 4 and Ishrat aged 2 years old. The woman reportedly attempted suicide but was rescued. The woman is being treated at a local hospital. She said that her husband was an alcoholic and forced her into prostitution; which forced her to take the extreme measure. A similar incident took place in Lahore earlier this month when a mother – claiming to be sick and tired of poverty – had taken the lives of her two children by strangling one and drowning the other. The homicidal mother claims she couldn’t see her children in misery and took the extreme step.


This incident is yet another addition to the many deaths across the Indo-Pak sub-continent occurring due to poverty driven suicide, hunger or murder. According to the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India Annual Report 2012, there are about 6 suicides per day due to poverty, 5 due to dowry dispute and 129 female suicides per day of which 60 were housewives. In South India, suicide rates amongst young women were reported as 148/100 000, making it one of the highest in the world. Similarly in Bangladesh, a report of Asian Legal Resource Centre stated that 165 women were killed in one year, 77 had acid thrown on them and 11 committed suicide over dowry demands. Dowry is officially prohibited by law. Girls aged 14 to 17 are more likely to commit suicide, and attempt suicide than boys. The Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey reported more than 2200 children committed suicide in one year – or about six per day. Of those six, four were female. Pakistan is no different where extreme poverty drives every other day young men and women to kill themselves and their children, because they are unable to feed and clothe them.

The reality is that the states have completely obliterated themselves from the duty of providing necessities to their citizens, as under the Secular Liberal Capitalism the state is not obliged to fulfill the basic needs of each citizen, rather it satisfies itself to increasing GDPs and stock exchange indicators. This is because Capitalist economic system is a system of disbelief, built on the freedom of ownership, usury and monopoly. According to the basic theory of Capitalism, human needs are unlimited while there are limited resources to fulfil them so it concludes that as needs of all the people will not be fulfilled therefore; production of goods should be increased to fulfil needs of as many people as possible. Hence, Capitalism satisfies itself that a great number of people being hungry, poor and without shelter, is only inevitable. So the states of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh along with the Western world are implementing this flawed man-made system of Capitalism, which has multiplied the issue of poverty worldwide. On the other hand, we know that according to Islam, the human needs are of two types, basic and luxurious, and the resources available on earth are sufficient to secure the basic needs (food, clothing, shelter etc.) of fifty billion human beings. Capitalism’s wrong theory has concealed the reality that starvation, poverty, and economic backwardness, result from misdistribution exasperated by man-made laws and systems. UNDP calculates that an annual 4 percent levy on the world’s 225 most well-to-do people (average 1998 wealth: $4.5 billion) would suffice to provide the following essentials for all those in developing countries: adequate food, safe water and sanitation, basic education, basic health care and reproductive health care.

Islam gives us the solution of this problem as the Islamic state Khilafah is obliged by laws of Allah سبحانه وتعالى to fulfill all the basic needs of each and every one of its citizens, while the Islamic land laws provide the opportunity to masses to become self sufficient in food and housing. Bukhari reported that Rasool Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

من أحيا أرضاً ليست لأحد فهو أحقُّ بها»، ورواه البخاري بلفظ: «من أَعْمَر أرضاً ليست لأحدٍ فهو أحق

‘Whosoever revives a land that belongs to nobody he is more deserving of it’ .and in other narration, ‘whosoever inhabits a land that belongs to nobody he is more deserving of it’.

The Islamic economic system came to secure basic needs, irrespective of market conditions for such products. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

»لَيْسَ لابْنِ آدَمَ حَقٌّ فِي سِوَى هَذِهِ الْخِصَالِ: بَيْتٌ يَسْكُنُهُ، وَثَوْبٌ يُوَارِي عَوْرَتَهُ، وَجِلْفُ الْخُبْزِ وَالْمَاءِ» أخرجه الترمذي

“The son of Adam has no better right than that he would have a house wherein he may live and a piece of cloth whereby he may cover his nakedness and a piece of bread and some water.” (Tirmidhi)

According to this principle, the Islamic State must ensure for all its citizens (Muslims or non-Muslim) of the Islamic State a security which Capitalism will never achieve in the heartless obduracy of the application of its free market. That is why we have never heard in the 1300 years of rule under Khilafah about a woman committing suicide along with her children due to poverty, as people were living a happy and prosperous life under the laws of the Creator Himself. Hence forth, implementation of Islamic Economic System under the Khilafah state is the only solution to eradicate poverty and poverty driven deaths and suicides.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by

Umm Musab

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir