Virtues Of Shahaadah In The Path Of Allah

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“The life of the Ummah is connected to the ink of the scholars and the blood of the martyrs. What is more beautiful than to write the history of the Ummah with both the ink of the scholar and his blood, such that the map of Islamic history becomes coloured with two lines: one of them black, and that is what the scholar writes with the ink of his pen; and the second red, and that is what the martyr writes with his blood. And more beautiful than this is when the blood is one and the pen is one, so that the hand of the scholar, which expends the ink and moves the pen, is the same hand that expends his blood and moves the nations. The extent to which the number of martyred scholars increases, is the extent to which nations are delivered from their slumber, rescued from their decline and awoken from their sleep.

So history does not write its lines except with blood. Glory does not build its lofty edifice except with skulls. Honour and respect cannot be established except on a foundation of cripples and corpses. Empires, noble persons, states and societies, cannot be established except with examples”

ash-Sheikh ash-Shaheed `Abdullah Yoosuf `Azzam – May Allah have mercy upon you Ya Sheikhana! For your blood was not shed in vain after your assassination in 1989.

Shaheed: Lit. A witness, a martyr
Shuhadaa`: Plural of Shaheed – martyrs
Shahaadah: Lit. Testimony, martyrdom

1 – The blood of the Shaheed smells of musk:

“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 colour the colour of blood, and its scent that of musk.” [Muslim and Ahmad]

2 – The Most Beloved of the drops to Allah:

“There is nothing more beloved to Allah than two drops or two marks. The teardrop that falls from the fear of Allah, and the drop of blood shed in the Path of Allah. And as for the marks, then a mark in the Path of Allah, and a mark in an obligation from the obligations unto Allah”. (Hasan, reported by at-Tirmidhi)

“al-Jihad” is the intended meaning of the phrase “in the Path of Allah” as explained by Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani in Fath al-Bari.

About the meaning of “Jihad” Ibn Rushd said: “The word Jihad when it is uttered means to fight the disbelievers with the sword, until they accept Islam, or pay the Jizya (tax) by hand in a state of humiliation”

3 – The Shaheed Wishes to Return to this World:

“Any slave [of Allah] who dies and has been bestowed good from Allah, does not wish to return to the World, even if he is given the World and what it contains; except a Shaheed, due to what he sees from the virtues of Shahaadah [Martyrdom]. So he wishes to return to the World in order to be killed again” – and in another wording – “So that he may be killed ten times due to what he receives from the honour” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Scholars differed with regards to the reasons behind naming a martyr “Shaheed” (lit. a witness). Al-Azhari says, “This is because Allah and His Messenger bear witness that he is in Paradise” an-Nadhr says, “ash-Shaheed (a witness), is alive, so they were named that because they are alive with their Lord”.

It is also said, “Because the angels of mercy bear witness and take his soul”, and “he is from those who will be a witness unto nations”, and “He is witnessed to have Iman and a good end in his outward appearance”, and “because his blood bears witness for him on the Day of Judgment”.

Sheikh ‘Abdullah Azzam says: “They are Shuhadaa` [witnesses] to the fact that this Deen is greater than life, and that values are more important than blood, and that principles are more precious than souls”

4 – Haarithah in the Highest Firdaws:

The Prophet – May the Salaah and Salaam of Allah be upon him – said to Umm Haarithah bint an-Nu’maan – after her son was killed in the battle of Badr – after she asked: “Where is he (i.e. is he in Paradise or the Fire)?” – he replied, “Indeed, he is in the highest Firdaws” [al-Bukhaari]

In another Hadeeth reported by al-Bukhaari:

“Indeed, in Paradise are a hundred levels which Allah has prepared for the Mujahideen in His Path. The distance between each level is that of between the heavens and the earth. So when you ask of Allah, then ask Him for Firdaws, for it is the center of Paradise, and the highest part of Paradise, and above it is the throne of The Most Merciful, from whence, the highest Firdaws, the rivers of Paradise spring forth”

5 – The Souls of the Shuhadaa` in the Hearts of Green Birds:

“Indeed the souls of the martyrs are in the hearts of green birds, and they have lanterns hanging underneath the ‘arsh (the throne of Allaah). They roam around in Paradise wherever they wish, then they return to their lanterns. So, their Lord enquires: “Do you desire anything?” They say, “What can we desire for, when we roam around in Paradise wherever we wish?” And He asks them this three times. When they realize that they will not cease to be questioned, they say, “O Lord! We wish that you return our souls to our bodies, in order that we be killed in Your Path again” When it is realized that they have no need, they will be left alone.” [Muslim]

6 – Special Favours for the Shaheed:

“The Shaheed is granted seven special favours from Allah. He is forgiven (his sins) at the first drop of his blood. He sees his place in Paradise. He is dressed in the clothes of Iman. He is married to the Hoor al-`Ain (beautiful women of Paradise). He is saved from the punishment of the grave. He will be protected from the great fear of the Day of Judgement. A crown of honour will be placed on his head, one jewel of which is better than the whole world and what it contains. He is married to seventy-two of the Hoor al-`Ain (beautiful women of Paradise), and he will be able to intercede for seventy members of his family.” [Saheeh – Related by Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibbaan]

7 – The Shuhadaa` of Uhud:

“When your brothers were killed at Uhud, Allah placed their souls in the hearts of green birds. They frequent the rivers of Paradise, and eat from its fruits, then return to the lanterns under the Throne. When they enjoy the good in their food and drink, and their excellent speech, they say, “We wish that our brothers knew what Allah has prepared for us, so that they will never abstain from Jihad, nor will they refrain from war” So Allah said, “I will inform them of you” So Allah revealed these verses to His Messenger:

“Think not of those killed in the Path of Allah is dead…” (3:169) [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Hakim classified it Saheeh and adh-Dhahabi agreed]

8 – The Shuhadaa` beside the Baariq river:

“The Shuhadaa` are in a green dome beside the river of Baariq, near the gate of Paradise, from which provision comes to them morning and evening” [Saheeh al-Jami 3/235 # 3636]

9 – ash-Shahaadah is better than cities and villages:

“To be killed in the Path of Allah is more beloved to me than that people of cities and villages belong to me” [Ahmad – narrators are trustworthy, and the chain is strong]

10 – The Shaheed does not feel the pain of death:

“The Shaheed does not feel [any pain] from killing, except as one of you feels the prick of a needle” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaa`I and the Sanad is Hasan]

11 – Levels of Shuhadaa`:

“The best of the Shuhadaa` are those who fight in the frontlines, and do not turn away their faces until they are killed. They will be thrown into the highest rooms of Paradise, and Allah will laugh at them. And when your Lord laughs at a slave in a certain instance, then there is no account for him” [Ahmad with Saheeh chain (Saheeh al-Jami 1118)]

12 – There are three types of those killed:

“There are three types of those killed. A Mu`min man (a firm believer), who makes Jihad with his wealth and his self in the Path of Allah until he meets the enemy and fights them until he is killed. Then that is the Shaheed who has been tested[to be] in the camp of Allah under His Throne. The Prophets are not better than him, except by the level of Prophethood.

And a man who oppresses his soul with sins and errors, who makes Jihad with his self and his wealth in the Path of Allah, until he meets the enemy and fights until he is killed. Then that is Mumasmasatun (a purifier) that expiates his sins and errors. Indeed, the sword wipes away errors. And he enters [Paradise] from any of the gates of Paradise he wishes. For indeed [the Paradise] has eight gates, and the Hell has seven gates, and some [of the gates] are better than others.

And a hypocrite man, who makes Jihad with his self and his wealth, until he meets the enemy and fights in the Path of Allah until he is killed, then indeed he is in the Hellfire. Verily, the sword does not wipe off an-Nifaaq (hypocrisy)” [Ahmad with Hasan chain, and Ibn Hibbaan classified it Saheeh]

13 – Which killed person is the best?

The Prophet – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – was asked: “Which killed person is the best?” He replied, “The one whose blood flows and whose limbs are cut [with the sword] in the Path of Allah”. [Ahmad, Abu Dawud and the narrators are trustworthy]

14 – Master of the Shuhadaa`:

“The master of the Shuhadaa` is Hamzah Ibn `Abdul-Muttalib, and a man who stands up to a tyrannical ruler, and orders him [with good] and forbids him [from wrong], due to which [the ruler] kills him” [Hasan, reported by al-Haakim and adh-Dhiyaa`]

15 – The Soul of the Martyr Eats from the Fruits of Paradise:

“Verily, the souls of the Shuhadaa` are in the hearts of green birds, that eat from the fruits of the Paradise” [Saheeh, reported by at-Tirmidhi from Ka’b Ibn Malik, and it is also in Saheeh al-Jami #1555]

16 – “Bury the killed in the places where they fought” [Saheeh, reported by the four from Jaabir, and it is also in Saheeh al-Jami # 247]
17 – “There are five (deaths) due to which a person is a Shaheed:

The one killed in the Path of Allah is Shaheed, the one who drowns in the Path of Allah is a Shaheed, the one who dies due to stomach illness in the Path of Allah is a Shaheed, the one who dies of plague in the Path of Allah is a Shaheed, and the woman who died in childbirth is a Shaheedah” [Saheeh, reported by an-Nisaa`i from `Uqbah Ibn Naafi’. Also found in Saheeh al-Jami #3249]

18 – “Whoever sincerely asks Allah for Shahaadah:

Allah raises him to the levels of the Shuhadaa`, even if he dies on his bed” [Saheeh, reported by Muslim and the four from Sahl bin Haneef. Also in Saheeh al-Jami’ #6152]

Seeking martyrdom with sincerity means making preparation for it as Allah said: “If they really intended to go out [in Jihad] they would have made some preparation” (9:46)

19 – “One who falls down from his beast then he is a Shaheed”

[Saheeh, at-Tabarani from Uqbah bin Nafi’. Also in Saheeh al-Jami #6212]

Also, in the Hadeeth of Umm Haraam bint Milhaan, “she went out [for Jihad] with her husband, `Ubaadah bin as-Saamit, on the first naval expedition by the Muslims lead by Mu’awiyah. When they turned back from their expedition, returning home, and anchored at ash-Shaam, her beast was brought near to her so that she may mount, but she fell and died.” [al-Bukhari]

This Hadeeth is also a proof for the fact that the ruling of the one returning from Jihad is the ruling of the one going to Jihad.

20 – “One who is killed defending his wealth is a Shaheed:

One who is killed defending his blood is a Shaheed, one who is killed defending his religion is a Shaheed, and one who is killed defending his family is a Shaheed” [Saheeh, reported by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nisaa`i and Ahmad from Sa’eed bin Zaid. Also in Saheeh al-Jami’ #6321]

This is known in Fiqh as “Repulsing the Aggressor”. An “Aggressor” is the one who assaults the honour, lives and wealth.

The scholars from the four schools of Fiqh have agreed upon the obligation of repelling the aggressor who assaults the honour. As for the aggressor assaulting life and property, then it is obligatory – according to the majority – to repel him, which agrees with the correctly chosen opinion of the Maliki and Shafi’i Math-hab, even if it results in killing of a Muslim aggressor.

Al-Jassas said, “We do not know if any difference, in a case where if a man raises his sword against a person to kill him without right, that the Muslims are obliged to repel him” Ibn Taymiya says, “As for the aggressive enemy, who assaults the religion and the worldly life, nothing becomes an obligation after Iman, than repelling him”

21 – “One who is killed repelling oppression is a Shaheed”

[Reported by an-Nisaa`i and adh-Dhiyaa` from Suwaid bin Muqrin. Also in al-Jami’ #6323]

This is also explained in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah and reported by Muslim: that a person came to the Prophet – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – and said, “O Messenger of Allah, What if a person comes who wants to take my property?” He replied, “Then don’t give him your property” The man said, “What if he fights me?” He replied, “Fight him back” The man said, “What if he kills me?” He replied, “Then you are a Shaheed” The man said, “What if I kill him?” He replied, “He is in the Hellfire”.

22 – Desiring Shahaadah:

“By Him in whose Hand is my soul, were it not for some men amongst the believers, who disliked to be left behind me, and for whom I cannot provide any means of conveyance, I would certainly never remain behind any unit setting out for a military expedition in the Path of Allah. By Him in whose Hand is my soul, I would love to be killed in the Path of Allah, then be brought back to life again, then killed, then be brought back to life then killed, and then be brought back to life then killed” [al-Bukhari from Abu Hurairah]

Likewise, it is authentically reported about the Shaheed that he “would desire to return to this world, and be killed 10 times due to what he sees from honour”.

23 – “A Military expedition in the sea is better than ten military expeditions on land

And the one who traverses is as if he has traversed all the valleys. A seasick person is like the one covered with his blood” [Saheeh, related by al-Hakim from Ibn `Amr]

24 – “Every sin of a Shaheed is forgiven except debt” [Related by Muslim from Ibn `Amr]

As al-Qurtubi stated about the Shaheed who is barred from entering Paradise, that his soul is beside the river at the gate of Paradise, called “Baariq”, in a green dome from which provision comes to them morning and evening – and Allah knows best.

There comes an important question: Which of the two obligations overrule the other? Should he go in the Path of Allah? Or should he work until he pays off his debts and then go?

Here we say – may Allah give us ability: When a hand span of Muslim land is attacked, Jihad becomes an individual obligation, whereby a debtor may leave without the permission of his creditor, just as a boy may leave without the permission of his father, and this is a matter of agreement amongst the Salaf and the Khalaf of this Ummah.

Similarly, the debtor should evaluate the situation. If he is not able to pay off the debt, then he should leave and not wait to pay off the debt. And if the debtor is able to pay off the debt, then he should further evaluate the situation, and if he thinks that after paying off the debt, the creditor will use the payment for Jihad in the Path of Allah, then it is obligatory to pay off the debt, in order to achieve two benefits: paying off the debt, as well as aiding Jihad. This is how Ibn Taymiya has issued fatwa in al-Fatawa al-Kubra 4/183.

Ibn Taymiya also says: “It is obligatory upon the women to make Jihad with their wealth if they have this bounty, and similarly with the wealth of children. For if the enemy attacks, then to repel their harm upon the religion, lives and honour is obligatory by consensus”

25 – The Shaheed who did not bow down to Allah once:

“On the authority of Abu Hurairah: Amr ibn Uqaysh had given usurious loans in pre-Islamic period; so he disliked to embrace Islam until he took them. He came on the day of Uhud and asked: Where are my cousins? They (the people) replied: At Uhud. He asked: Where is so-and-so? They said: At Uhud. He asked: Where is so-and-so? They said: At Uhud. He then put on his coat of mail and rode his horse; he then proceeded towards them. When the Muslims saw him, they said: Keep away, Amr. He said: I have become a believer. He fought until he was wounded. He was then taken to his family wounded. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh came to his sister: Ask him (whether he fought) out of partisanship, out of anger for them, or out of anger for Allah. He said: Out of anger of Allah and His Apostle. He then died and entered Paradise. He did not offer any prayer to Allah.” [al-Haafidh said in al-Isaabah – its chain is strong, narrated by the group from Ibn Ishaaq]

26 – A Shaheed killed by his own weapon:

On the authority of Salamah bin al-Akwa’ who said: On the Day of Khaibar, my brother fought very fiercely, but he was hit by his own sword and killed. So the companions of the Messenger of Allah – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – said after having doubts about him [Salamah’s brother], “The man died due to his own weapon” So the Prophet – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – said, “He died while making Jihad, as a Mujahid” Ibn Shahaab said: I then asked Salamah Ibn al-Akwa’s son, so he narrated to me from his father the like of it, except that he also said: The Messenger of Allah – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – said, “They have lied! He died while making Jihad, as a Mujahid, so he will be rewarded twice”

[Extracted by Bukhari and Muslim and it is also found in the summarised Sunan Abi Dawud #2427]

On the authority of Abu Salaam – the Ethiopian – narrates about a man from the companions of the Prophet – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – so he says: We attacked a area from the Juhayna [tribe], so a man from the Muslims sought after a man from the tribe [to fight him], and he struck him but erred and injured himself with the sword. So the Messenger of Allah – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – said, “Your brother! O Muslims! [i.e. save him!]”, so the people rushed to him but found him dead. So the Messenger of Allah – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – wrapped him with his garment and his blood, prayed over him and then buried him. So the people said: O Messenger of Allah, is he Shaheed? He replied, “Yes! And I am a Shaheed for him [i.e. I bear witness to his martyrdom].”

[Abu Dawud and al-Mundhiri remained silent, thus it is Hasan. Also found in al-Mukhtasar #2428]

27 – It should not be said that so and on is a Shaheed:

This is how Imaam al-Bukhari titled the chapter for the Hadeeth: Amongst the companions of the Messenger of Allah – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – was a man who would not leave any isolated or detached person except that he would chase him and strike him with his sword. So they said: No one performed better than us today the way such person surpassed us. So he said – may the Salaah and the Salaam of Allah be upon him – “As for him then verily he is in fire”.

At the end of the Hadeeth, the person commits suicide.

As for the statement of al-Bukhaari: “It is not said that such and such is Shaheed”, then Ibn Hajr said commenting on his words, “Meaning, in absolute sense”

The meaning of the words of al-Bukhaari and Ibn Hajr is that we do not rule about the one killed on the battlefield that he is Shaheed and that he will enter Paradise. This is because entry into Paradise is a matter that rests on the intention of the one killed, and that is only in the knowledge of Allah. It is also a principle of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah that we do not rule a person to be either in Paradise nor Hellfire.

As for calling the one killed in the battlefield a “Shaheed” in order to apply the legal rulings of a Shaheed, based on a strong speculation, hence, not wrapping him in a shroud, nor washing him, nor praying over him, then this case has been supported by the vast majority of the Salaf and the Khalaf.

Thus, Ibn Hajr states, “Due to this reason, the Salaf practiced calling martyrs of Badr and Uhud and others “Shuhadaa`”, intending by it, the apparent ruling based on a strong speculation – and Allah knows best” [Fath al-Bari 6/90]

In fact, some of the Muhadditheen, such as Ibn Katheer would use the phrase “Istush-hida” (meaning “became Shaheed”) for some who did not even die in a battle. So he says about al-Fadhl bin al-`Abbas in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah [4/96]: “Istush-hida (He became Shaheed) due to a plague epidemic”. Likewise, he says about al-Haarith bin Hishaam [4/95] “Istush-hida bish-Shaam” (meaning, `he became Shaheed in Shaam’)

Ibn Kathir also says about an-Nu’maan bin Muqrin al-Muzani [4/123]: “[`Umar] al-Faarooq sent him is a leader over the forces to Nahaawand. So Allah bestowed in his hands a great conquest, and Allah established him in that land, and established him as an authority over those servants, and through him Allah established the Muslims there until the Yawm at-Tunaad (lit. the Day of Calling – meaning the Day of Resurrection), and He granted him victory in this world, and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth, (i.e. Day of Resurrection). And He granted him, after seeing how he loved the magnificent Shahaadah, which is the desired objective. So he became from those, about whom Allah, the Most High said in His clear Book, which is the straight path, “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers, their lives and their properties, and in return for them is Paradise” [at-Tawbah]

Adopted from the works of ash-Sheikh ash-Shaheed ‘Abdullah Azzam