The different types of shahids (martyrs)

The ‘Ulama have cited three types of Shahids:

1. One who is considered a Shahid in this world as well as in the Hereafter. This is one who dies in combat against the enemies of Islam. A Shahid in this world is one on whom the rules of a Shahid apply, like not being given ghusl (a bath) after his demise. A Shahid in the Hereafter is one who will enjoy the lofty status and rewards of a Shahid in the Hereafter.

2. A Shahid in this world only. In the Hereafter he is not considered a Shahid. This is a person who dies in combat (like the one above) but he had committed a sin in the process, like stealing from the booty, fighting for fame etc. Such a person is considered a Shahid of this world, so he will not receive ghusl, but in the Hereafter, Allah Ta’ala will take such a person to task for his wrong of stealing from the booty etc. Therefore he will not automatically enjoy the privileges of a Shahid in the Hereafter. May Allah protect us.

3. A Shahid in the Hereafter only. This refers to those labelled as Shahids in the Hadith for reasons other than dying in combat against the non Believers. Such a person will insha Allah enjoy the privileges of a Shahid in the Hereafter, but the rules of a Shahid in this world will not apply. For example, a Shahid in this world will not receive ghusl (a bath) but this third type will indeed receive ghusl after his/her death.

Hereunder is a list of twenty five such Shahids that are mentioned in the authentic Hadiths, as cited by Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah):

  1. One who dies in Jihad – الشهيد في سبيل الله
  2. One who dies in a plague – المطعون
  3. One who dies of a stomach ailment – المبطون
  4. One who dies by drowning – الغريق
  5. One who dies in a building collapse – صاحب الهدم
  6. One who died in a fire – من مات في الحريق
  7. One who dies from pleurisy – من مات بذات الجنب
  8. A (woman) who dies in child birth – من ماتت في نفاسها
  9. One who dies from tuberculosis (lung disease) – من مات في مرض السل
  10. One who dies defending his wealth – من قتل دون ماله
  11. One who dies defending his Religion – ودينه
  12. One who dies defending his life – و دمه
  13. One who dies defending his family – و اهله
  14. One who dies whilst claiming his right – و مظلمته
  15. One who falls from his horse or camel and dies – و من وقصته فرسه أو بعيره فمات
  16. One who dies from a snake bite – و من لدغته هامة فمات
  17. One who goes out in Jihad and dies in his sleep – و من خرج في سبيل الله فمات على فراشه
  18. One who dies away from his native country – و الغريب
  19. One who dies at his post at the borders – و المرابط
  20. One who chokes on water and dies – و من شرق بالماء فمات
  21. One who dies by a wild animal’s attack – أو افترسته السباع
  22. One who travels by sea and dies due to vomiting – أو ماد به البحر فأصابه القيء فمات
  23. One who continuously and sincerely asks Allah for Martyrdom but never got the opportunity for it – و من طلب الشهادة بنية صادقة
  24. One who survives a plague and dies by other means – و من صبر في الطاعون فمات بغيره
  25. One who fell from a mountain unintentionally and dies – و المتردي من رأس جبل بغير قصد


The following were added to the above by later Scholars, but not all are from reliable Hadiths:

  1. One who dies loving the family of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) – محب ال بيت النبي
  2. One who dies speaking the truth against an unjust ruler – من نطق عند إمام جائر بكلمة حق
  3. One who dies while occupied in Islamic knowledge – المشتغل بالعلم و مات على ذالك
  4. One who dies in the state of wudu – من مات على وضوء
  5. One who died suddenly – المتوفى فجأة
  6. One who died due to black magic done on him  – من مات مسحورا
  7. One who dies from poisoning – أو مسموما
  8. One who dies of thirst – أو عطشا
  9. One who falls in love, but abstained from an illicit relationship till he died – العاشق المتعفف
  10. One who dies of a mental illness – المجنون
  11. One who is killed unjustly – المقتول ظلما
  12. One who dies a natural death during war  – أو مات في الحرب
  13. A Mudhin who called adhan only for the reward – المؤذن المحتسب
  14. One who dies while bringing food basics to his city to sell it at the market value without regulating the price or cheating – الجالب القوت إلى البلد و يبيع بسعر يومه دون احتكار أو غبن فاحش
  15. One who dies from the effects of the evil eye – من أصابته عين حاسدة فمات من ذلك
  16. One who recites the last verses of Surah Hashr and dies during that day – من قرأ أواخر سورة الحشر فمات في يومه
  17. One who dies and was habitual on Salatud Duha – المواظب على ورده من صلاة الضحى
  18. One who dies and was habitual on nafl fasts – المواظب على الصيام أي النافلة

After citing all of the bove, My Honourable Teacher; Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) writes:

‘One should be careful when applying this noble description [of being Shahid], and not label just anyone as a Shahid.’


Note: All of the above are from the third category of Shahids; A Shahid in the Hereafter only, besides the very first one; One who dies in Jihad – الشهيد في سبيل الله, [as he is from the first and best category.]

(Extracted from: Min Sihahil Ahadithil Qudsiyyah, pg. 295-297)

Check Also

The generosity of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the barakah of ten dirhams

When doing any deed, one’s duty is to ensure sincerity of intention. Allah Ta’ala is the …

When a person passes away – audio

In this audio, my beloved father, Shaykhul Hadith Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) mentions some guidelines …

Iman and its branches – audio

أَلَمْ تَرَ‌ كَيْفَ ضَرَ‌بَ اللَّـهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَ‌ةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْ‌عُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ. …