Martyrdom

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Martyrdom

Someone slain in the cause of God. Quran doesn't equate martyrdom to death but says that it leads to a privileged life before God. Islam considers the slain believers fighting the invaders and not non-invaders, as martyrs.

Martyrdom (Shahadah): The Arabic word shahadah, the English equivalent of which is "martyrdom," is mostly used to describe the act of being slain in the cause of God (fi sabil Allah); the person who struggles in the cause of God and loses his/her life is called shahid or "martyr." Hence the close relationship between martyrdom and jihad. In line with the Quranic meaning of the word shahadah: "bearing eyewitness," shahid is the one who, through his/her action, testifies and bears witness to the reality of Divine will and principles. It is worth noting that the Quran not only disapproves considering the martyrs as simply dead, but also glorifies their status: "And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: 'They are dead.' Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not" (2: 154); or, "But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,—He will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will He guide them and improve their condition" (47: 4-5). In Shia belief, the truth-seeking uprising and martyrdom of Imam Hussain (a.s.), the Chief of the Martyrs, stands as a great source of inspiration, signifying the ongoing struggle between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, (up until the coming of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) the time when the universe will be filled with justice).

Synonyms: Shahadah,Martyrdom
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