What does Islam say about hunger strikes (against oppression), which can cause death?


While we all completely condemn all forms of oppression and tyranny (inshAllah); some individuals often protest against oppression through hunger strikes where they leave two options: death or the acceptance of their certain demands. I wanted to know what Islam’s position on hunger strikes is (in this case, against oppression), given that it can ultimately cause death.


Causing serious harm to the body without a compelling reason is forbidden in Islam. The Almighty Allah says: و لاتلقوا بایدیکم الی التهلکۀ [do not throw yourselves into destruction (2:195)]. Therefore, hunger strike, if it causes a serious harm to the body, is not allowed except if by doing so, the person hopes to free himself say from a prison, or save his life or the life of others.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei