The martyr is given seven special favors and privileges from Allah. Once the first drop of his blood is shed, all of his sins are forgiven. Before he dies, the martyr can see the beauty of his palace in Paradise. The martyr will not be tested in the grave, nor will he be punished in the grave. The martyr will not feel fear on the Day of Judgment. A crown of honor will be placed on his head, which has jewels that could illuminate the Earth from their brilliance. The martyr will marry the most beautiful women of Paradise. The martyr will be able to intercede for seventy members of his family, who can be rescued from the punishment of the Hellfire and will enter Paradise in honor of the martyr.
In an authentic Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no one is injured in the Path of Allah – and Allah knows best who is truly wounded in His Path – except that he comes (with his wound) on the Day of Resurrection, its color the color of blood, and its scent that of musk.” (Sahih Muslim)
It is no wonder that we read in the Islamic literature that to die a martyr is the dream of many righteous men and women in Islam, who aspire to the highest ranks in Paradise.
To die a martyr does not mean that one must raise a sword, stand in the front lines of a battle, and fight. Loss of life and bloodshed are not the goals of a Muslim.
Peaceful and noble people, those who lived upright lives, who worshiped Allah sincerely and stayed away from what Allah has forbidden them, have let out their last breaths in this world as martyrs, even though they never even carried a weapon.
There are so many ways that a believing Muslim can be granted the honor of dying a martyr.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “He who truthfully asks Allah for martyrdom, Allah will raise him to the high status of the martyrs, even if he dies on his bed.” (Sahih Muslim)
From among the martyrs are the one who dies of plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who dies of a fire, and the one who drowns. Scholars have classified cancer as one of the diseases in which its victim dies a martyr. The one who is crushed under a collapsing building and dies is a martyr. The patience and suffering that one endures through the diseases mentioned above or the calamities as fire or drowning or being crushed under the rubble makes these believing Muslims deserving of the honor of martyrdom.
Women are martyrs too.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr; he who dies of plague is a martyr; a woman who dies due to pregnancy and a woman who dies during delivery, her baby will drag her into Paradise with the umbilical cord.” (Musnad Ahmad)
If you were to die defending your family from an attacker, defending your wealth from an armed robber, or defending yourself from an assailant, you would die a martyr.
A man once asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), “O Prophet of Allah, what about if a man came to me asking for my money (meaning to take it by force)?” The Prophet said, “Don’t give him your money.” So the man said, “What if he fights me?” The Prophet said, “Fight him (back).” The man asked, “What if he kills me?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Then you are a martyr.” (Sahih Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “Whoever is killed defending himself is a martyr, whoever is killed defending his family is a martyr, whoever is killed defending his property is a martyr.” (At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)
To be a martyr in Islam, how you live your life is just as important as how you die.
Some habits and rituals of worship, if performed on a daily basis, can give us exactly what we are seeking, martyrdom, sometimes without even leaving our home. Take the following examples.
“Whoever recites the Divine Names in the last three verses of Surat al-Hashr after the dawn or after Maghrib then dies that day or that night, dies a martyr” (At-Tirmidhi)
If you haven’t already memorized those three verses and are not in the habit of saying them every morning and every evening, then that is the next thing on your to-do list.
To always be in a state of purification is another good habit to develop.
The Messenger of Allah once said to Anas, his servant boy, “My son, if you are able to always be on ablution, then do so, for the angel of death when he seizes the servant’s soul while the latter is in ablution, he records martyrdom for him.”
It was reported in a weak chain that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “If death comes to the student of knowledge while he is thus engaged, he dies as a martyr.” (Al-Bazzar)
The one who calls to prayer is also given the status of a martyr.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The muezzin who expects reward is like the bloodied martyr and when he dies and is buried the worms leave him alone.” (At-Tabarani)
To die a noble, honorable death, one must live a noble, honorable life.