The ‘Ulama have cited three types of Shahids:

1. One who is considered a Shahid in this world as well as in the Hereafter. This is one who dies in combat against the enemies of Islam. A Shahid in this world is one on whom the rules of a Shahid apply, like not being given ghusl (a bath) after his demise. A Shahid in the Hereafter is one who will enjoy the lofty status and rewards of a Shahid in the Hereafter.

2. A Shahid in this world only. In the Hereafter he is not considered a Shahid. This is a person who dies in combat (like the one above) but he had committed a sin in the process, like stealing from the booty, fighting for fame etc. Such a person is considered a Shahid of this world, so he will not receive ghusl, but in the Hereafter, Allah Ta’ala will take such a person to task for his wrong of stealing from the booty etc. Therefore he will not automatically enjoy the privileges of a Shahid in the Hereafter. May Allah protect us.

3. A Shahid in the Hereafter only. This refers to those labelled as Shahids in the Hadith for reasons other than dying in combat against the non Believers. Such a person will insha Allah enjoy the privileges of a Shahid in the Hereafter, but the rules of a Shahid in this world will not apply. For example, a Shahid in this world will not receive ghusl (a bath) but this third type will indeed receive ghusl after his/her death.

Hereunder is a list of twenty five such Shahids that are mentioned in the authentic Hadiths, as cited by Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah):

  1. One who dies in Jihad – الشهيد في سبيل الله
  2. One who dies in a plague – المطعون
  3. One who dies of a stomach ailment – المبطون
  4. One who dies by drowning – الغريق
  5. One who dies in a building collapse – صاحب الهدم
  6. One who died in a fire – من مات في الحريق
  7. One who dies from pleurisy – من مات بذات الجنب
  8. A (woman) who dies in child birth – من ماتت في نفاسها
  9. One who dies from tuberculosis (lung disease) – من مات في مرض السل
  10. One who dies defending his wealth – من قتل دون ماله
  11. One who dies defending his Religion – ودينه
  12. One who dies defending his life – و دمه
  13. One who dies defending his family – و اهله
  14. One who dies whilst claiming his right – و مظلمته
  15. One who falls from his horse or camel and dies – و من وقصته فرسه أو بعيره فمات
  16. One who dies from a snake bite – و من لدغته هامة فمات
  17. One who goes out in Jihad and dies in his sleep – و من خرج في سبيل الله فمات على فراشه
  18. One who dies away from his native country – و الغريب
  19. One who dies at his post at the borders – و المرابط
  20. One who chokes on water and dies – و من شرق بالماء فمات
  21. One who dies by a wild animal’s attack – أو افترسته السباع
  22. One who travels by sea and dies due to vomiting – أو ماد به البحر فأصابه القيء فمات
  23. One who continuously and sincerely asks Allah for Martyrdom but never got the opportunity for it – و من طلب الشهادة بنية صادقة
  24. One who survives a plague and dies by other means – و من صبر في الطاعون فمات بغيره
  25. One who fell from a mountain unintentionally and dies – و المتردي من رأس جبل بغير قصد


The following were added to the above by later Scholars, but not all are from reliable Hadiths:

  1. One who dies loving the family of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) – محب ال بيت النبي
  2. One who dies speaking the truth against an unjust ruler – من نطق عند إمام جائر بكلمة حق
  3. One who dies while occupied in Islamic knowledge – المشتغل بالعلم و مات على ذالك
  4. One who dies in the state of wudu – من مات على وضوء
  5. One who died suddenly – المتوفى فجأة
  6. One who died due to black magic done on him  – من مات مسحورا
  7. One who dies from poisoning – أو مسموما
  8. One who dies of thirst – أو عطشا
  9. One who falls in love, but abstained from an illicit relationship till he died – العاشق المتعفف
  10. One who dies of a mental illness – المجنون
  11. One who is killed unjustly – المقتول ظلما
  12. One who dies a natural death during war  – أو مات في الحرب
  13. A Mudhin who called adhan only for the reward – المؤذن المحتسب
  14. One who dies while bringing food basics to his city to sell it at the market value without regulating the price or cheating – الجالب القوت إلى البلد و يبيع بسعر يومه دون احتكار أو غبن فاحش
  15. One who dies from the effects of the evil eye – من أصابته عين حاسدة فمات من ذلك
  16. One who recites the last verses of Surah Hashr and dies during that day – من قرأ أواخر سورة الحشر فمات في يومه
  17. One who dies and was habitual on Salatud Duha – المواظب على ورده من صلاة الضحى
  18. One who dies and was habitual on nafl fasts – المواظب على الصيام أي النافلة

After citing all of the bove, My Honourable Teacher; Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) writes:

‘One should be careful when applying this noble description [of being Shahid], and not label just anyone as a Shahid.’


Note: All of the above are from the third category of Shahids; A Shahid in the Hereafter only, besides the very first one; One who dies in Jihad – الشهيد في سبيل الله, [as he is from the first and best category.]

(Extracted from: Min Sihahil Ahadithil Qudsiyyah, pg. 295-297)