Volume 4, Book 52, Number 46 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “The example of a Mujahid in Allah’s Cause– and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause—-is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”
Shahaadah in Arabic has several meanings: definitive news, being present, seeing something, openness, and dying for the sake of Allaah.
In Islamic terminology it refers to those Muslims who die fighting the kuffaar and because of the fighting. With regard to the Hereafter, it may refer to other things as well, as we shall see below.
See: al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (26/214, 272).
Martyrs are of different types.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It should be noted that martyrs are of three types:
1 – The one who is killed in a war against the kuffaar by any means of fighting. He comes under the heading of martyrs who are rewarded in the Hereafter and he comes under the rulings on martyrs in this world, i.e. he should not be washed and the funeral prayer should not be offered for him.
2 – The one who is given the reward of the martyr but does not come under the rulings on martyrs in this world. This refers to those who die of stomach diseases, the plague, being crushed under a falling wall, those who are killed defending their wealth and others who are mentioned in the saheeh ahaadeeth as being described as martyrs. Such a person should be washed and the funeral prayer should be offered for him, but in the Hereafter he will have the reward of the martyrs, but it will not necessarily be the same as the reward for those in the first category.
3 – Those who steal from the war booty etc, who it says in the reports cannot be regarded as martyrs if they are killed in a war against the kuffaar. Such a person comes under the ruling of martyrs in this world, so he should not be washed and the funeral prayer should not be offered for him, but he will not have the full reward in the Hereafter. End quote.
Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim (2/164).
Degrees of martyrs:
The status of the martyr is high indeed, coming after the Prophets and Siddeeqs in status.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah(may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then they will be in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As‑Siddeeq رضى الله عنه ), the martyrs, and the righteous.” [al-Nisa’ 4:69]
These are the four degrees of Allaah’s slaves: the best of them are the Prophets, then the Siddeeqs, then the martyrs, then the righteous. End quote.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (2/223).
Allaah has made Paradise of varying levels or degrees, of which the Mujaahideen (those who strive in jihad) will have one hundred degrees, as it was narrated in al-Saheeh from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), therefore the martyrs are not all of the same status, rather they vary in status.
Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after listing the martyrs other than those who are killed in battle:
We have compiled from excellent sources more than twenty types…
Ibn al-Teen said: All of these ways of dying are painful. Allaah has favoured the ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by making it a means of purifying them from sin, increasing their reward and causing them to attain thereby the status of the martyrs.
I (Ibn Hajar) say: It seems that those mentioned are not all of the same status. This is indicated by the report narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh from Jaabir, and by al-Daarimi, Ahmad and al-Tahhaawi from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Hubshi, and by Ibn Maajah from ‘Amr ibn ‘Anbasah: that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked: What type of jihad is best? He said: “The one whose horse is killed and whose blood is shed.” End quote.
Fath al-Baari (6/43, 44).
In the saheeh Sunnah there are reports from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which indicate this difference in status among the martyrs.
It was narrated from Nu’aym ibn Hammaar that a man asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Which of the martyrs is best? He said: “Those who, when they took up their position in the ranks, did not turn their faces away until they were killed. They will be in the dwellings on high in Paradise, and their Lord smiles upon them, and when your Lord smiles upon a slave in this world, he will not be brought to account.”
Narrated by Ahmad (21970); classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2558).
It was narrated that ‘Utbah ibn ‘Abdin al-Sulami said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The slain are of three types: (the first is) a believing man who fought with his life and his wealth for the sake of Allaah, and when he met the enemy he fought them until he was killed. That is the proud martyr who resides in the tent of Allaah beneath His Throne; the Prophets are no better than him except by virtue of their being Prophets. (The second is) a believing man who committed some sins, but he fought with his life and his wealth for the sake of Allaah, and when he met the enemy he fought until he was killed. His sins are erased, for the sword erases sins, and he will be admitted through whichever of the gates of Paradise he wishes, for it has eight gates, and Hell has seven gates, and some of them are better than others. (The third is) a hypocrite who strove with his life and his wealth, and when he met the enemy he fought for the sake of Allaah and was killed. He will be in Hell, for the sword does not erase hypocrisy.”
Narrated by Ahmad (17204). Its isnaad was classed as jayyid by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb(2/208), and as hasan by al-Albaan in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1370).
It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Hubshi al-Khath’ami that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked: What type of jihad is best? He said: “The one who strives against the mushrikeen with his wealth and his life.” It was said: What kind of death is noblest? He said: “The one whose blood is shed and his horse is killed.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (1449) and al-Nasaa’i (2526); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1318).
It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The leader of the martyrs is Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and a man who stood up before a tyrant and enjoined good and forbade evil, and he killed him.” Narrated by al-Haakim and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (374).