Asalaamu Aleykum WR WB to all my beloved brothers and sisters in Islam
I read somewhere that people who meet there death, apart from dying in Jihad, are also classed as being Shaheed or martyred. An example is if a wall falls on someone. Is this true, and also can you please explain under what other criteria can someone become a martyr?
Many thanks for all your efforts on this website, Alhamdulillah, may Allah SWT bless you all.
wa `alaykum salam,
Someone who dies from accident or a wall falling on him is not the same as one who died for fighting for the sake of Islam as the Sahaba. So the one who died in that manner is not a martyr in full sense, but since he died in this way it might be a cleansing for himself, or his parents or his ancestors, and Allah knows best. You can read about the Classifications of Martyrs at As-Sunnah Foundation of America website.
On the other hand, true Jihad, as the Sahaba with the Prophet, cannot be found today with all its principles and criteria. The first requirement for such Jihad is there must be an amir for Muslims and they must have provided for the defense of the homeland or religion by order of the ulu ‘l-amr, political leaders, not by the “order” of a leader in the community, or a group or a movement. You can read about these in our book Jihad: Principles of Leadership in War and Peace .
According to Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, there are 14 categories of Jihad, and and only of them involves fighting. It is not possible to go into this here in detail, but you can read further about this the article: Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective at the Islamic Supreme Council of America website.
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani