Q.The questioner is asking is it permissible for a lady to pray to Allaah to be granted the death of a martyr?
A.The shaykh (haafidhahullaah) said it is permissible for a female to request from Allaah (azza wa jall) to be granted the death of a martyr. It is not a condition that in order for a person to die as a martyr that they have to fight. For example, the Prophet (Sallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) mentioned a female that dies during a labour, her death is the death of a martyr. The Prophet (Sallaahu alayhi wa Sallam) questioned the companions, who do you think is a martyr? They said that a person that dies whilst fighting. The Prophet (Sallaahu alayhi wa Sallam) responded by saying then that means the martyrs in my ummah are very few. That means the martyrs in my ummah are very few. Rather whoever dies trying to establish the word of Allaah to be the upmost throughout the earth then this person is a martyr. And the Prophet (Sallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) continued… Whoever dies because of an illness in his stomach, he is a martyr. Then he continued… a female that dies during childbirth she is a martyr. The individual who dies while drowning he or she is a martyr. An individual who dies in a fire they are a martyr. An individual who dies because of a building or something collapsing upon them they likewise are martyrs. The shaykh mentioned (haafidhahullaahu ta’alaa) but these are individuals who died upon tawheed. An individual who dies whilst committing shirk would not be considered a martyr even if they died by one of these previously mentioned means.
Shaykh Saalih Muhammad al-Luhaydaan (May Allaah preserve him) (Kitaab-ut-Tawheed Class, Q&A Session 06-10-2012, Riyadh) Translated by Mustafa George hafidhahullaah