Praise be to Allaah.
Suicide is a major sin for which Allah warns of a grave
punishment. The one who kills himself with something in this world will be
punished with it in the Hereafter. See the answer to question no.
Whatever befalls a Muslim of physical disease, such as
cancer, or mental disease such as depression that he cannot bear, that does
not make it permissible for him to kill himself. See the answer to question
A Muslim may be affected by mental or physical illness that
affects his mind to such a great extent that he does not know what he is
saying or doing. If this results in him killing himself, he will not be with
the sinners who have fallen into the major sin of suicide. Rather he will be
excused because there was an impediment to his being accountable, namely his
loss of reason.
Based on that, if what happened to your family friend of
post-traumatic distress affected her mind, and she did not know what she was
saying or doing, then she comes under the ruling on those who are affected
by insanity, and she will be excused and not regarded as sinning by having
killed herself, because the Pen has been lifted and her bad deeds are not
recorded when that is the case. So she is included in the words of the
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “The Pen has been lifted
from three: from the sleeper until he awakens, from the child until he
reaches puberty and from the insane person until he comes to his senses --
or until he comes round.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4403), al-Nasaa’i (3432)
and Ibn Maajah (2041). Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh
In al-Mawsoo‘ah al- Fiqhiyyah (16/99) it says,
With regard to (fiqhi) terminology, the fuqaha’ and
usooliyyeen defined it in various ways, such as:
It is mental disorder, in such a way that the person cannot
do or say things properly, except rarely.
And it was said that insanity is loss of the ability to
distinguish between right and wrong or to recognize their consequences.
The author of al-Bahr al-Raa’iq defined it as loss of
the ability to understand issues from all angles. End quote.
But if that psychological pressure on your family friend did
not affect her mind and it was no more than psychological pressure, and she
knew what she was saying and doing at that time, and was able to distinguish
between good and bad, and between right and wrong, then she is not excused
for killing herself; rather she is accountable for her actions. We ask Allah
to forgive her, to comfort her family in their loss and to reward them for
And Allah knows best.