Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 235
Martyrdom without Fighting

 

1353.   Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The martyrs are of five kinds: One who dies of plague; one who dies of disease of his belly; the drowned; one who dies under the debris (of construction, etc.), and one who dies while fighting in the way of Allah.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  The Hadith mentioned four categories of people, besides those who were slain on the battlefield, whom Allah will, by His Special Grace, give on the Day of Judgement an award similar to martyrs on condition that they are true believers and practising Muslims. In some other Ahadith, certain other persons have also been mentioned who will be given the status of martyrs by Allah. There is no contradiction in these Ahadith for the reason that first of all the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was told about five categories of martyrs which were disclosed by him. Subsequently Almighty Allah added some more people to them which were also mentioned by him. The real Shaheed is one who voluntarily gives his life for the sake of Allah provided that he wholeheartedly fights on the battlefield.

 

1354. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whom do you reckon to be martyr amongst you?'' The Companions replied: "The one who is killed in Allah's way.'' He said, "In that case, the martyrs among my people would be few.'' The Companions asked: "O Messenger of Allah! Then who are the martyrs?'' He replied, "He who is killed in the way of Allah  is a martyr; he who dies naturally in the Cause of Allah is a martyr; he who dies of plague is a martyr; and he who dies of a belly disease is a martyr; and he who is drowned is a martyr.''
[Muslim].

This Hadith shows the care Allah has for this Ummah, which is the best Ummah of mankind. (Editor's Note)

Commentary:  "He who dies naturally in the Cause of Allah'', here signifies such a person who does not die because of his being killed in the war by sword, lance, bullet, etc., but meets the death on account of some other causes while going for Jihad such as falling from the horse, or who dies while defending his family or property, or defending other Muslims against attackers or robbers, etc. Such a person will also be a martyr.

 

1355. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who is killed while defending his property is a martyr.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The Hadith highlights the fact that whoever gets killed in an effort to protect his property is a martyr.

 

1356.   Sa`id bin Zaid bin `Amr bin Nufail (May Allah be pleased with him) reported, one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of entering Jannah reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying: "He who dies while defending his property is a martyr; he who dies in defence of his own life is a martyr; and he who dies on defense of his faith is a martyr, he who dies in defence of his family is a martyr.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: Those ten Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) whom he gave the glad tidings of entering Jannah are known as "Al-Asharatul-Mubashsharuna bil-Jannah". They are Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `Uthman bin `Affan, `Ali bin Abu Talib, Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Zubair bin Al-`Awwam, `Abdur-Rahman bin `Auf, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas, Abu `Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah and the narrator of this Hadith, i.e., Sa`id bin Zaid, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) also foretold that some other people will enter Jannah, but these ten people are called Al-Asharatul-Mubashsharuna bil-Jannah for the reason that the prophecy about these ten people was made at one time, in a single Hadith. This Hadith includes the names of some other people also who will be given the reward of martyrdom.

 

1357.   Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and asked, "O Messenger of Allah! What shall I do if someone comes to me with the intention of taking away my property?'' He replied, "Do not hand over it to him.'' The man asked, "What shall I do if he fights me?'' The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Then fight him.'' "What will be my position in the Hereafter if he has killed me?'' The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, "In that case you are a martyr.'' The man asked: "What if I killed him?'' The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, "He will be in the Hell-fire.''
[Muslim].

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that in the course of struggling to protect one's life and property, it is quite fair to kill a dacoit, robber or plunderer. Such a killing is not deemed a sin. In case he is a Muslim, he will go to Jannah after suffering the punishment of his attacking a Muslim. But if he regards the act of attacking Muslims and encroaching upon their property lawful, he will be in Hell forever. It should be borne in mind that if a person dies while struggling to protect his life and property, he will be granted the status of a martyr, with the difference that a martyr of this kind will be given bath and funeral prayer because he is a martyr by Divine order not by his own will and desire. He who is martyred in Jihad at the battlefield is exempted from bath and the funeral prayer.