16 Signs Of A Shaheed Death In Islam

16 Signs Of A Shaheed Death In Islam

In this post, I cover 16 signs of a shaheed death. Shaheed is the Arabic word for martyr. Types of shaheed in Islam vary.

In Islam, martyrdom isn’t achieved just by fighting alone. Martyrdom doesn’t equate with terrorism or killing innocent people either. It’s achieved through defending or dying for a noble cause.

A shaheed holds a very high status in the hereafter.

To learn more about martyrdom in Islam according to ahadith, keep on reading.

Shaheed Meaning In English

The definition of a shaheed, according to The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, is as follows:

Arabic shahid. One who suffers or loses his or her life in the process of carrying out religious duty. Death during pilgrimage, from a particularly virulent or painful disease, or in childbirth is also considered an act of martyrdom. A martyr is believed to have been rendered free from sin by virtue of the meritorious act. Due to their purity, martyrs are buried in the clothes in which they died and are not washed prior to burial. They are entitled to immediate entry to paradise and enjoy special status there, since their faith has been sufficiently tested.

The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

Types Of Shaheed In Islam

Those who die of:

  • The plague
  • Stomach illness
  • Drowning
  • Being crushed

Also, those who die in the cause of Allah.

Abu Hurairah narrated that:
The Messenger of Allah said: “The martyrs are five: Those who die of the plague, stomach illness, drowning, being crushed, and the martyr in the cause of Allah”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi
Signs of a shaheed death

Whoever is killed over his:

  • Wealth
  • Religion
  • Blood
  • Family

Narrated Zaid:
that he heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying: “Whoever is killed over his wealth then he is a martyr, and whoever is killed over his religion, then he is a martyr, and whoever is killed over his blood, then he is martyr, and whoever is killed over his family, then he is martyr.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi

Whoever is killed while protecting his property.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As:
I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “Whoever is killed while protecting his property then he is a martyr.”

Sahih al-Bukhari

Whoever is killed defending himself against injustice.

It was narrated that Abu Ja’far said:
“I was sitting with Suwaid bin Muqarrin, and he said: The Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: “Whoever is killed defending himself against injustice, he is a martyr.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i

One who dies of:

  • Pleurisy
  • An internal complaint
  • Fire
  • Pregnancy

Narrated Jabir ibn Atik:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to visit Abdullah ibn Thabit who was ill. He found that he was dominated (by the divine decree). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) called him loudly, but he did not respond.
He uttered the Qur’anic verse “We belong to Allah and to Him do we return” and he said: We have been dominated against you, AburRabi’. Then the women cried and wept, and Ibn Atik began to silence them. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Leave them, when the divine decree is made, no woman should weep.
They (the people) asked: What is necessary happening, Messenger of Allah? He replied: Death. His daughter said: I hope you will be a martyr, for you have completed your preparations for jihad. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah Most High gave him a reward according to his intentions. What do you consider martyrdom?
They said: Being killed in the cause of Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: There are seven types of martyrdom in addition to being killed in Allah’s cause: one who dies of plague is a martyr; one who is drowned is a martyr; one who dies of pleurisy is a martyr; one who dies of an internal complaint is a martyr; one who is burnt to death is a martyr; who one is killed by a building falling on him is a martyr; and a woman who dies while pregnant is a martyr.

Sunan Abi Dawud

One who asks Allah for martyrdom sincerely.

Sahl b. Hunaif reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: If anyone asks Allah for martyrdom sincerely, Allah will make him reach the ranks of martyrs even if he died on his bed.

Sunan Abi Dawud

Status Of Shaheed In Islam

The shaheed holds a lofty status in the hereafter. According to ahadith, they’re promised the highest stations in Jannah.

Narrated Al-Mughira:
Our Prophet has informed us our Lord’s Message that whoever of us is martyred, will go to Paradise.

Sahih al-Bukhari

All of the sins of a shaheed are forgiven, except debt.

It has been reported on the authority of ‘Amr b. al-‘As that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt.

Sahih Muslim
  • Paradise is guaranteed for those who fight in the cause of Allah.
  • One who asks Allah for martyrdom sincerely will be given the reward of a shaheed.
  • Whoever is wounded in the cause of Allah will have a great reward on the Day of Resurrection.

Mu’adh bin Jabal said that he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) say:
“Whoever fights in the cause of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, for the length of time between two milkings of a she-camel, Paradise is guaranteed for him. Whoever asks Allah to be killed (in Jihad) sincerely, from his heart, then he dies or is killed, he will have the reward of a martyr. Whoever is wounded or injured in the cause of Allah, it will come on the Day of Resurrection bleeding the most it ever bled, but its color will be like saffron, and its fragrance will be like musk. Whoever is wounded in the cause of Allah, upon him is the seal of the martyrs.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i

Lofty Status Of The Martyr

Lofty status of the martyr

The martyr is:

  • Forgiven from the first drop of his blood that is shed
  • Shown his place in Paradise
  • Spared the torment of the grave
  • Kept safe from the Great Fright
  • Adorned with a garment of faith
  • Married to wives from among the wide-eyed houris
  • Is permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives

It was narrated from Miqdam bin Ma’dikarib that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The martyr has six things (in store) with Allah: He is forgiven from the first drop of his blood that is shed; he is shown his place in Paradise; he is spared the torment of the grave; he is kept safe from the Great Fright; he is adorned with a garment of faith; he is married to (wives) from among the wide-eyed houris; and he is permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.”

Sunan Ibn Majah

A shaheed only feels the effect of being killed as someone would feel being bitten by a bug. They’re spared from the usual amount of pain that people experience when dying.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The martyr does not feel the pain of being killed, except as any one of you feels a pinch.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i

The Prophet’s (ﷺ) Desire For Martyrdom

Dying in a just war is highly praised in Islam.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said that he would’ve loved to have been martyred in Allah’s cause and then come to life. Not only once, but a total of three times. Then, he would like to have died a martyr once more.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is! Were it not for some men who dislike to be left behind and for whom I do not have means of conveyance, I would not stay away (from any Holy Battle). I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and come to life and then get, martyred and then come to life and then get martyred and then get resurrected and then get martyred.

Sahih al-Bukhari

The Wish Of The Mujahid To Return To The World

Only the martyrs of Jannah would like to go back to the world, just to be martyred again. All because of the dignity they receive from Allah as they’re martyred.

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Nobody who enters Paradise likes to go back to the world even if he got everything on the earth, except a Mujahid who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allah).”

Sahih al-Bukhari

The Martyr In The Grave

The trial of the grave is eased for the Muslim shaheed.

It was narrated from Rashid bin Sa’d, that a man among the Companions of the Prophet said:
“O Messenger of Allah, why will the believers be tested in their graves except the martyr?” He said: “The flashing of the swords above his head is trial enough.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i

The Grades Of The Mujahidun

The Prophet (ﷺ) describes the house of the martyrs in the hadith below:

Narrated Samura:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Last night two men came to me (in a dream) and made me ascend a tree and then admitted me into a better and superior house, better of which I have never seen. One of them said, ‘This house is the house of martyrs.”

Sahih al-Bukhari


Not all Muslims who die according to the signs of a shaheed death are rewarded as such.

Only the mu’min who is free of committing certain sins will be granted the reward of Jannah.

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Umar b. Khattab that when it was the day of Khaibar a party of Companions of the Apostle (ﷺ) came there and said:
So and so is a martyr, till they happened to pass by a man and said: So and so is a martyr. Upon this the Messenger of Allah remarked: Nay, not so verily I have seen him in the Fire for the garment or cloak that he had stolen from the booty, Then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Umar son of Khattab, go and announce to the people that none but the believers shall enter Paradise. He (‘Umar b. Khattab) narrated: I went out and proclaimed: Verily none but the believers would enter Paradise.

Sahih Muslim

Certain things are a punishment from Allah and certain things are a test.

How do you know the difference?

Punishments drive people further away from the worship of Allah. It causes them to become miserable and complain.

If it’s a test, people will turn more to Allah. They’ll be closer to Allah by feeling more compelled to raise their hands in du’a and supplicate to Allah. They’ll cry more to Allah. If a believer remains patient during their test, they’ll be met with a great reward, if Allah wills.

In the following hadith, the Prophet (ﷺ) describes how the plague is a punishment sent by Allah on whom he wishes. He also describes how it’s a source of mercy for the believers, who will get the reward of a shaheed if they endure it patiently.

Narrated `Aisha:
(the wife of the Prophet) I asked Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.”

Sahih al-Bukhari

The Muslim Shouldn’t Wish To Meet The Enemy

It’s worth noting that the Prophet (ﷺ) advised against looking to fight enemies. As Muslims, we aren’t meant to seek out violence.

One shouldn’t go out of his way to try and die as a shaheed, unless the opportunity is presented to him to defend in a just war. It’s only then that noble men and women are rewarded for their service and sacrifice in the cause of Allah.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Do not wish to meet the enemy, but when you meet the enemy, be patient.”

Sahih al-Bukhari

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16 Signs Of A Shaheed Death In Islam