Who is classed as a shahid? What are the different categories?
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 enjoy the privileges of a Shahid in the Hereafter.
3. A Shahid in the Hereafter only.
This refers to those who were referred to 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.
Examples of such Shahids are many.
Here under is a list of a few those that are mentioned in authentic Hadiths:
1. One who dies in a plague
2. One who dies of a stomach ailment.
3. One who drowns.
4. One who dies in child birth
5. One who burns to death.
6. One who dies defending his religion.
7. One who dies defending his own life.
8. One who dies defending his family.
9. One dies of a snake bite.
10. One who continuously and sincerely asks Allah for the Martyrdom but never got the chance.
Note: there are more than twenty types of Shahids that are mentioned in the authentic Hadiths and up to another twenty in weak Hadiths.
References for the above:
Fathul Bari, Hadith: 2829, Irshadus Sari, Hadith: 2829 and Min Sihahil Ahadithil Qudsiyyah, pg. 295-297.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar