O Muslims! Achieving noble and lofty objectives require enormous sacrifices in proportion. There can be no doubt that the higher an objective is, the greater its sacrifice must be. Therefore, if ones ultimate objective is to please Allah and hope to be granted Paradise, then defending Allah’s religion and protecting His Book and sacred places ranks highest in attempting to attain His pleasure.
Sacrifice comes in many shapes, forms and levels, it can be performed through many different channels, but there is no doubt that the sacrificing of one’s soul for the sake of Allah in order to defeat His enemies and support Islam is the very highest level. This is of course Shahadah, or martyrdom. The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam exerted maximum effort to instil the magnitude of Shahadah as well as the concept of Jihad deep into the hearts of his companions and his followers who were to come after him. He sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam used two methods in order to achieve this objective:
Firstly: By repeatedly declaring his deep love and fervent wish for Shahadah. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “I swear by the One in Whose Hands my soul is, I wish that I would fight for the sake of Allah (i.e., Jihad ) and get martyred, then return and fight again and get martyred, then return and fight again and get martyred” (Bukhari & Muslim) What a wonderful wish coming from the purest of hearts! This is nothing except a reflection of deep love and overwhelming desire; a desire to attain Shahadah, which is one of the greatest paths to Paradise.
Secondly: By explaining the virtues of Shahadah and the ranks of the martyrs in Paradise as well as descriptions of their bounties, such as in the Hadeeth when Marwan said: “We asked ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, about the following verse: (which translates as): “And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.” (Aal-‘Imran: 169).’He, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: “We asked the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam about this verse and he replied: “Their (i.e., the martyrs souls) will live inside green birds that dwell in designated lamps which hang on the throne of Allah, they will roam freely in Paradise as they please, then return to these lamps”” (Muslim).
A Shahid has six other benefits; Al-Miqdam Ibn Ma’di Karib, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
||“A martyr has six bounties: He will be forgiven with the first drop of his blood that is spilt; He will see his place in Paradise (at the time of death); He will be saved from the ‘Great Horror’ (on the Day of Judgment): A Crown of Dignity will be placed on his head, which contains many corundums, each one being more precious than this life and all that it contains; He will have seventy two Women of Paradise; And, he will be allowed to intercede for seventy of his family members (who would have otherwise gone to hell).” (Tirmidhi & Ibn Maajah).
The pain that a martyr feels at the time of death will be reduced so greatly that he will only feel as if he was stung by a mosquito. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
||“A martyr only feels from the effect of being killed that which one would when being stung by a mosquito.” (Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and others).
Moreover, the finest dwellings in Paradise are those of the martyrs. Samurah Ibn Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
||“Last night I was inspired (through a dream); I saw two men come to me and take me up a tree (in Paradise) then into a dwelling which was the best I have ever seen; they informed me that it was the dwelling of the martyrs.” (Bukhari).
Also, the angels spread their wings over the body of a martyr as a form of honour, dignity and respect. Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him narrated:
||“My father’s body was brought to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam on the day of Uhud. The disbelievers had mutilated it; I went to uncover his face when some of my family members stopped me. Then the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam heard a woman crying, so he said:“Why are you crying? Do not cry, the angels are continuing to shade him””.
Among all the dwellers of Paradise, only the martyrs would wish to return to this life. This is due to the immense rewards and respect that have been mentioned in the previous Ahadith. Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
||“Nobody who enters Paradise would ever wish to return to this life again, even if he was to be given the whole world and everything in it – except for a martyr; for he would wish to return and get killed ten times due to the honour that he received (in Paradise).”
and in another narration:
“For what he finds as virtues of martyrdom.” (Bukhari & Muslim).
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that these poignant prophetic words had such a great impact on the hearts of the pious chosen generation of the companions of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. It deeply instilled the concepts of Shahadah into their hearts along with the fervent wish of achieving this exalted status, so they toiled continuously to achieve it. There are a multitude of stories that demonstrate this, for example: Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:
||“The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam took off with his companions and they beat the polytheists in reaching Badr. When the polytheists arrived there, the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:“None of you should do anything until I proceed.” Then, when the disbelievers came closer to them, the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Rise to Paradise, which is as wide as the distance between the heavens and the earth.” ‘Umayr Ibn Al-Hamam, may Allah be pleased with him, asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, is it really as wide than the heavens and earth?’ He sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “Yes.” Thereupon ‘Umayr said: ‘Bakh Bakh.’ (an expression reflecting astonishment). The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam asked: “What made you say Bakh Bakh?” He said: ‘Nothing, except the desire to be of its dwellers.’ The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “You will be of its people.” Then ‘Umayr, may Allah be pleased with him, took out some dates which he had in his arrow pouch and started eating them, then he stopped and said to himself: ‘Indeed it would a too long a life for me if I were to live long enough to finish eating these dates’ - then he threw them away and fought until he was killed.”
Just look at how this companion viewed the few moments needed for eating dates as being too long a time to live! The words of people like these at the time of their martyrdom were as powerful as earthquakes, so much so that in some cases, words like these resulted in their enemies embracing Islam such as in the following narration:
Haraam Ibn Malhan, may Allah be pleased with him, was one of a group of companions of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam who had memorised the Qur’an and were experts in it. The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam dispatched seventy of this group to inform a group of polytheist tribes about Islam and recite the Qur’an to them. However the tribes of Ra’l and Dhikwan from among these polytheist tribes betrayed and slaughtered the whole group of companions near a well called Ma’unah. As Haram, may Allah be pleased with him, was being killed, he screamed in front of his killer: “I swear by the Lord of Al-Ka’bah that I won!”After this, his killer went about asking people what these words meant (i.e., that Haram had won) until he was told that what Haram, may Allah be pleased with him, meant was that he had attained martyrdom. Due to this, the killer embraced Islam. This narration was mentioned in the book of Bukhari.
Some of the companions of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam would smell the scent of Paradise and it would make them unable to control their desire to fight strongly and valiantly to the death. Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
||“My uncle Anas Ibn An-Nadhr, may Allah be pleased with him, missed the battle of Badr, so he said to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: ‘O messenger of Allah, I missed the first battle that you fought against the polytheists, but if Allah allows me to participate in the next one, then He will see what I can do.’ Then, after the day of the battle of Uhud when the some Muslims retreated he went forth saying: ‘O Allah I seek your forgiveness for what they have done (i.e., the Muslims for retreating) and I disassociate myself from what those have done (i.e., the polytheists for killing the Muslims)’, as he continued going forth, he came across Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh, may Allah be pleased with him, and said: ‘O Sa’d! I swear by the Lord of the tribe of An-Nadhr, it is Paradise (i.e., the reward for martyrdom). I can smell its fragrance close to Uhud.’” After the battle, Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh told the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “I swear By Allah, on that day I could not perform as he did.” Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, continued: “(After the battle) we found more than eighty gashes on his (i.e., Anas Ibn An-Nadhr’s) body which were the result of swords, arrows and spears. In fact, the polytheists had mutilated his body so much that nobody could recognise who it was, except his sister, who identified him from his fingers.” (Bukhari & Muslim).
Here is another narration, one of a Bedouin whose sincere wish for martyrdom was granted:
Shaddad Ibn Al-Haad, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “A Bedouin came to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, accepted Islam and said:
||‘I wish to migrate (to Madinah)’. So the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam asked some of his companions to take care of him. Then after a battle, the Muslims had gained some booty so the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam divided it and gave the Bedouin’s share to some of his companions to look after, as the Bedouin was still at the rearguard. When the Bedouin returned, they gave him his share, so he asked them: ‘What is this?’ they replied: ‘It is your share from the booty which the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam gave us to hold on to for you.’ So the Bedouin took the booty and went to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and asked: ‘What is this?’ The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “Your share of the booty.” The Bedouin said: ‘This is not why I believe in you and follow you; rather, I follow you so that I can get shot by an arrow right here, (and then he pointed to his throat) then die and enter Paradise.’ The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “If you are sincere then Allah will grant you your wish.”After a short while, fighting resumed and the Bedouins body was brought to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam with an arrow in his throat at exactly the spot where he had pointed to the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Thereupon The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “He was sincere so Allah granted him his wish.” Then using his own garment, the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam shrouded the Bedouin, prayed the funeral prayer over him and was heard by his companions to say during the prayer: “O Allah! This is Your slave who migrated for Your sake and was killed as a martyr – and I testify to this”.
Which testimony could ever be more honourable, sincere and truthful than this great one given by the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam?
There are abundant examples from the lives of the companions of Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam which illustrate their burning desire to achieve martyrdom – and what a noble objective this is!
Also, in our time, many of the shining stars from the righteous of the Muslim nation have joined the caravan of martyrdom. These are the people whose blood testifies to their heroism and immense sacrifice; they are the martyrs of Bosnia, Kosova, Chechnya and before them Afghanistan, as well as many other Muslim lands.
Today we Muslims and indeed the entire world can witness the greatness of martyrdom being illustrated in the uprising of Palestine in general and Al-Aqsa In particular. This kind of stance, which revives the magnitude and virtues of martyrdom in the heart of the Muslim nation, is exactly what we need at this time. It is vital that the Muslims exert every effort to spread the love for achieving martyrdom just like the pious early generations of Muslims did. We must continue on the same road that they were on, which is that of our Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and indeed all the prophets before him, in order to support our religion and defeat our enemies.
O Muslims around the world! Support your brothers in Al-Aqsa as this is obligatory upon all of you. Do not forsake them, listen to the saying of your Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam:
||“Any Muslim who forsakes his fellow Muslim at a time when his honour and sanctity are being attacked will have Allah forsaking him at the time when needs His support the most. Any Muslim who supports his fellow Muslim at a time when his honour and sanctity are being attacked will have Allah supporting him at the time when needs His support the most.” (Ahmad & Abu Dawud).
O people of knowledge and leaders of influence! Revive the importance of martyrdom and reawaken the spirit of seeking it. Instil the virtues of it in the hearts and minds by all methods possible, whether that is written, audio, video or otherwise. Our country has set an example in supporting this and donating generously in its cause from all different sections of its community; scholars, officials, men, women, elderly and children alike have not held back in this, which is cause for delight to the believers and enragement for the Jews as well as those who support and protect them. Likewise, in all other Muslim countries, the Muslims have supported their Palestinian brethren. May Allah reward everyone for all that they have sacrificed in support of their brothers in faith. We ask Allah that this convoy of support will continue and increase. We must increase in this and therefore rush towards Paradise which is greater than the heavens and earth. Allah says what translates as“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’aan. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.” (At-Tawbah: 111).
Slaves of Allah! The biased Western Media has always described the struggle of our persevering brothers in Al-Aqsa against Jewish aggression as acts of terrorism and violence. They have recently started another campaign against this resistance and are using all their available means to put an end to it.
Slaves of Allah! The Jews are described in the Book of Allah as those who distort words and facts and quote them out of context and this is exactly what they and their supporters from the tyrant regimes all over the world are currently doing. They use false terminology to misguide, confuse and deceive. What your brothers are committing in Al-Aqsa are not acts of mindless violence, but rather it is a blessed uprising to resist and curtail the Jewish oppression and aggression: this is a legal right which all religions, ideologies and international laws recognise. Nobody could deny this fact except the ignorant, arrogant or evildoers.
Suppose we were to agree, for the sake of argument, that this uprising is nothing but mindless and random violence, then we must ask ourselves: who was the one who initiated this? Was it not one of their leaders when he broke in to Al-Aqsa with his soldiers who shot live bullets at a congregation of worshippers while they were in prayer? The truth is so clear! How can people regard the victim and the murderer as the same? How can the oppressor and the oppressed be equal? The truth is clear, but the Jews are deceivers. Allah says that which translates as: “They [think to] deceive Allah and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not.” (An-Nisaa’: 142)’.
- Noble objectives require enormous sacrifices.
- Sacrificing one’s soul is the ultimate sacrifice.
- The status of the martyr and the virtues of martyrdom.
- Examples of martyrs from among the companions of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
- Examples of contemporary martyrs.
- A call to support the Muslims in Palestine and a stern warning against forsaking them.
- The deceitful Western Media and its twisting of facts.