Who is a Martyr?

Mosque of the Martyrs in Baku

Jabir ibn `Utayk reported that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “There are seven kinds of martyrs besides those killed in wars, defending the cause of Allah:

  • A person who is killed in an epidemic
  • A person who is drowned
  • A person who has bedsores, causing fever and cough resulting in his death
  • A person who dies of a stomach disease
  • A person who dies in fire
  • A person who dies under falling debris [in a disaster]
  • A woman who dies during childbirth.”

(Ahmad, Abu-Dawud and Nasaï reported this hadith, based on sound authority.)

Abu-Hurayrah also reported that God’s messenger (Pbuh) asked: “Who do you consider to be a martyr?”

They said: “O Allah’s prophet, he who is killed fighting for the cause of Allah.”

The prophet (peace be upon him) said: “[If this is so] then very few in my community will be martyrs!”

They asked: “Who else are they, O Allah’s messenger?”

He said:

“He who is killed fighting for Allah’s cause is a martyr, he who dies in the cause of Allah is a martyr, he who dies in an epidemic is a martyr, he who dies from a stomach disease is a martyr, and he who dies of drowning is [also] a martyr.” (Reported by Muslim.)

Also, Sa`id ibn Zayd reported that the prophet (pbuh) said:

“He who is killed while guarding his property is a martyr, he who is killed while defending himself is a martyr, he who is killed defending his religion is a martyr, and he who is killed protecting his family is [also] a martyr.” (Reported by Ahmad and Tirmidhi. The latter considers it a sound hadith.)

*by Daud Matthews

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