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Is a person who died through cancer a Shaheed?

Question

 

1. My Aunt passed away 2 days ago from liver cancer, is my Aunt regarded as a shaheed? One scholar as stated she is (see link, no 4). Just wondering does it differ with the type of cancer?

http://sunnah.org/wp/2011/01/09/classifications-of-martyrs/

2. I remember 10 years ago, I read on your website that people who passed away on their beds are regarded as martyrs, a saying of Prophet SAW. Hence, will my Aunt be regarded as this because she passed away on her bed.

 

3. Can you please kindly list 10 or more ibadats (Esaale-thawaab) my family can do, so that my Aunt can benefit from (please list in importance order) ? Can simple worships like Imam Nawawi’s askhar, Dhikr and salawat be done?

Jazalallahu khair!

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

A person who passes away due to a cancer of any part of the body will, insha’Allah, be considered a Shahῑd.

The Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said:

الشَّهَادَةُ سَبْعٌ سِوَى الْقَتْلِ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللهِ الْمَطْعُوْنُ شَهِيْدٌ وَالْغَرِقُ شَهِيْدٌ وَصَاحِبُ ذَاتِ الْجَنْبِ شَهِيْدٌ وَالْمَبْطُوْنُ شَهِيْدٌ وَصَاحِبُ الْحَرِيْقِ شَهِيْدٌ وَالَّذِيْ يَمُوْتُ تَحْتَ الْهَدَمِ شَهِيْدٌ وَالْمَرْأَةُ تَمُوْتُ بِجُمَعٍ شَهِيْدٌ 

“Martyrdom is of seven types besides being killed for the sake of Allah. The one who dies of the plague is a martyr, the one who drowns is a martyr, the one dies of Dhātul-Janbis a martyr, the ‘Mabūn’ is a martyr, the one who is burned to death is a martyr, the one who is crushed by a falling building is a martyr, and the woman who dies in pregnancy is a martyr.”[1]

Dhātul-Janb’ is a growth or inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the lungs – it is referred to as pleurisy.[2] Considering that inflammation plays a causative role in the development of cancer, we may say that cancer falls within the ambit of ‘Dhātul-Janb’.[3]

Also, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said:

وَالْمَبْطُوْنُ شَهِيْدٌ

“The ‘Mabūn’ is a martyr”

Maulānā Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Raḥimahullah writes in the commentary of this Ḥadῑth:

الْمَبْطُوْنُ يَشْمُلُ كُلَّ مَرَضٍ مِّنْ أَمْرَاضِ الْبَطَنِ وَالْكَبِدِ وَالْقَلْبِ وَالرَّأْسِ كَأَنَّهُ مَأْخُوْذٌ مِّنَ الْبَاطِنِ خِلَافُ الظَّاهِرِ وَلَيْسَ بِمُخْتَصٍّ بِأَمْرَاضِ الْبَطَنِ فَقَطْ

“The word ‘Mabūn’ encompasses all forms of illnesses from the illnesses of the stomach, liver, heart and head. It comes from the root word ‘Bāṭin’ (inner [body]), contrary to the apparent. It is not specific to the illnesses of the stomach alone”[4]

Sheikh ‘Abdullah Al Ghumārῑ writes in the commentary of this Ḥadῑth:

وَمَعْنَى هَذَا أَنَّ الْمَبْطُوْنَ وَصَاحِبَ السَّلِّ يَعْرِفَانِ لِآخِرِ لَحْظَةٍ أَنَّهُمَا مُقَدِّمَانِ عَلَى الْمَوْتِ وَهُمَا صَابِرَانِ مُحْتَسِبَانِ فَكَانَا شَهِيْدَيْنِ كَالَّذِيْ يَذْهَبُ لِلْقِتَالِ وَهُوَ عَارِفٌ أَنَّهُ مَقْتُوْلٌ فَيَصْبِرُ لِلْمُقَاتَلَةِ وَهُوَ مُتَوَقِّعٌ لِلْمَوْتِ فِيْ أَيِّ لَحْظَةٍ حَتَّى يُسْتَشْهَدَ

“The meaning of this is that the ‘Mabūn’ and person suffering from ‘Al Sal’ are aware until their final moments that they are nearing their deaths, yet they remain patient and hope of reward [from Allah]; thus they are also martyrs just as the one who goes for war knowing that he will be killed, and bears patience knowing well that he may die at any moment, is a martyr”[5]

You have referred to the Ḥadῑth of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam:

مَنْ سَأَلَ اللهَ الشَّهَادَةَ بِصِدْقٍ بَلَّغَهُ اللهُ مَنَازِلَ الشُّهَدَاءِ وَإِنْ مَاتَ عَلَى فِرَاشِهِ

“Whoever asks Allah for martyrdom with honesty, Allah will grant him the status of martyrdom even if he passes away upon his bed”[6]

Indeed, if your aunt had asked Allah for martyrdom with honesty, she will have received the status of martyrdom even if she passed away on her bed.

You may do any of the following as Īāl Al-Thawāb for your aunt:

1)    You may build a well on behalf of the deceased[7]

2)    You may give to charity on behalf of the deceased[8]

3)    You may recite the Qur’an on behalf of the deceased[9]

4)    You may perform Salah on behalf of the deceased[10]

5)    You may perform Hajj on behalf of the deceased[11]

6)    You may Fast on behalf of the deceased[12]

7)    You may slaughter an animal on behalf of the deceased[13]

8)    You may recite Adhkār on behalf of the deceased[14]

Also, you may perform any other acts of worship and make an intention for the reward of the action to be passed to your aunt.[15]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best                                              

Mu’ādh Chati

Student Darul Iftaa
Blackburn, England, UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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