What Islam Says About A Hunger Strike

Question: Assalamu Alaikum,

What does Islam say about a person who goes on a hunger strike?


Answer: AssalamuAlaikum,

It is not permissible for someone to go on a hunger strike in Islam.

According to the teachings of Islam, the human body is a ‘trust’ given by Allah, and it is compulsory for a person to take care of his body and protect it from destruction. Therefore, in Islam, it is essential for one to consume food and drink that is sufficient to nourish one’s body and protect it from harms, and it will be sinful for one to starve himself and remain hungry, thus causing destruction to his body.

In Raddul Mukhtar, it is written,’ If one leaves out eating and drinking until he destroys himself, then he has committed a grave sin’. (Raddul Mukhtar Vol. 9 Pg 488).(Kitabul Fatawa Vol. 6 pg. 264 Zam Zam Publishers Karachi).

Therefore, according to the teachings of Islam, going on a hunger strike is not a praise worthy or commendable deed. Instead, it is a sinful action which has been strictly condemned and prohibited in Islam.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.