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20 November 2017 CE | 01 Rabbi al-Awwal 1439 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation


Calling Someone a Shaheed


Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The Shuhadaa (martyrs) are five: The one who dies in a plague, the one who dies of a stomach ailment, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed to death, and the martyr in the path of Allah.” [The Book of Jihad: Sahih Bukhari]

In addition to the five categories mentioned in this hadith, other ahadith add to the list of Shuhadaa, those who die because of burns, pneumonia, or childbirth. “In the path of Allah (fee sabeel Allah)” is a synonym for Qitaal.

While apparently anyone who dies in one of the above mentioned ways is a Shaheed, in reality only Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) knows what beliefs the person died upon and what his deeds were that people do not know about. Thus, someone who was actually a soldier of Allah may not be known to the people as such, while someone who apparently died “in the path of Allah” (subhana wa ta’ala) may not be a Shaheed.

Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A man may seem to the people as if he were doing the deeds of the people of Paradise, while in fact he is from the people of the (Hell) Fire, another may seem to the people as if he were doing the deeds of the people of Hell (Fire), while in fact he is from the people of Paradise.” [The Book of Jihad: Sahih Bukhari]

So one should say, “So and so is a Shaheed in accordance with that which is apparent, may Allah accept his martyrdom.” To call someone a Shaheed is to rule Paradise for them and deciding who enters Paradise is not for us. We hope for Paradise for the doer of good and we fear Hell Fire for the wrong doer.

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