The Merits of Martyrdom and our Duty towards Families of the Martyrs

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “[Prophet], do not think of those who have been killed in Allah’s way as dead. They are alive with their Lord, well provided for, happy with what Allah has given them of His favour; rejoicing that for those they have left behind who have yet to join them there is no fear, nor will they grieve; [rejoicing] in God’s blessing and favour, and that Allah will not let the reward of the believers be lost.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Almighty Allah has created man to develop the earth; He –Glory be to Him- has endowed man with all that helps him to perform this duty. The Almighty Allah made the human soul inviolable, so that any attack or transgress against one human soul is like attacking all souls. Likewise, any reformation or preservation for one human soul is like the preservations of all souls. The Almighty Allah said, “if anyone kills a person- unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land- it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind.”

The development of land is a lofty goal that cannot be achieved except through multiple efforts and sacrifices from faithful people, who sacrifice their souls for the sake of their religion and homeland, because they realize the value of their nation and the importance of secure life. Such people hold a deal with their lord and it is a deal that will be fruitful as Allah said, “Allah has purchased the persons and possessions of the believers in return for the Garden- they fight in Allah’s way: they kill and are killed- this is a true promise given by Him in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran. Who could be more faithful to his promise than Allah? So be happy with the bargain you have made: that is the supreme triumph.” Their reward is similar to their action; they wanted to save the lives of others, and Allah rewards them by granting them an eternal life. Allah says, “Do not say that those who are killed in Allah’s cause are dead; they are alive, though you do not realize it.”

Martyrdom for the sake of Allah is one of the best ranks and one of the highest goals that can only be achieved for the best among humans, as the Almighty Allah said, “[Allah] chooses martyrs from among you.” It is gift from Allah for the best persons whom He loves second to Prophets and Messengers. Allah says, “Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be among those He has blessed: the Messengers, the truthful, those who bear witness to the truth, and the righteous- what excellent companions these are!” Allah saves such persons from the trouble of the grave and the punishment on the Day of Judgment. Once one of the Companions of the Prophet said, “O Messenger of Allah, why will the believers be tested in their graves except the martyr?” the Prophet (PBUH) replied, “The flashing of the swords above his head is an enough trial.”  Moreover, when the Prophet (PBUH) asked Gabriel about the saying of Allah “The Trumpet will be sounded, and everyone in the heavens and earth will fall down senseless except those whom Allah spares,” Gabriel answered, “Those are the Martyrs of Allah.” It is a great merit for martyrs that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The actions of every dead person come to a halt with his death except the one who is on the frontier in Allah’s way (i.e., fighting for the cause of Allah). This latter’s deeds will be made to go on increasing for him till the Day of Resurrection.”

Whoever is blessed with martyrdom and experiences its blessings, he would wish that he could come back to life to be attain martyrdom again and again. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “No one who has entered paradise will desire to return to this world even if he should be given all that the world contains, except a martyr. For he will yearn that he should return to the world and be killed ten times on account of the dignity that he will experience by virtue of his martyrdom.” The Prophet (PBUH) also said, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is! I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.”

This was why the Companions of the Prophet were so keen to attain martyrdom. This is Companion ‘Amr Ibn Al-Jamouh, the lame Companion who wished to go out on the Battle of Badr, but the Prophet (PBUH) refused that a lame person participates in the fighting. When the battle of Uhud occurred, he insisted to go out saying to his sons “you have prevented me from Paradise in the battle of Badr, and you need to prevent me now again?” He went to the Prophet asking him, “shall the one who will attain martyrdom on that day enter Paradise?” The Prophet replied, “yes.” He said, “By Allah I shall not return back to my family until I enter paradise.” Umar Ibn al-Khattab said, “Do not swear that!’ the Prophet Commented, “Leave him! There are some people who it they were to swear by Allah (that something would happen), Allah will certainly make it happen. One of them is ‘Amr Ibn Al-Jamouh. He  will enter Paradise with his lameness.”

As Islam is the religion of chivalry, courage, chastity, and the preservation of souls, honour, property, and rights, it made the preservation of all of this a part of faith. Islam makes defending all these values and rights one of the highest goals, and whoever dies to achieve this is a martyr.  The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who dies while defending his property is a martyr; he who dies in defense of his own life is a martyr; and he who dies on defense of his faith is a martyr, he who dies in defense of his family is a martyr.” The Prophet (PBUH) also said, “The one who is killed is a martyr; one who dies under the debris (of construction, etc.) is a martyr; one who dies of disease of his belly is a martyr; the drowned is a martyr; the one devoured by a beast is a martyr; the one who dies while fighting in the way of Allah is a martyr; the one who mentions the name of Allah before sleeping and dies during sleep is a martyr; a woman who  dies after birth is a martyr, the one who dies at home while wishing to make the Word of Allah superior is a martyr.” The one who faithfully asks Allah to attain martyrdom is considered a martyr. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who supplicates Allah sincerely for martyrdom, Allah will elevate him to the station of the martyrs, even if he dies on his bed.”

The true martyr is the one who abides by the truth, is loyal to it, and sacrifices himself for its sake. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The one who fights for Allah’s word to become Superior, is striving in Allah’s Cause.” The martyr is honorable in the world and the Hereafter, and in the world his name is raised, recorded in the memory of the nation as an example of sacrifice, courage and honor.

Throughout generations, our martyrs will remain alive in our minds and hearts. In the Hereafter, they will be resurrected in all pride, beauty and honor. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! Whoever is wounded in Allah’s Cause….and Allah knows well who gets wounded in His Cause….will come on the Day of Resurrection with his wound having the color of blood but the scent of musk.”

Our purified martyrs have sacrificed their souls for the sake of others, leaving behind families and children. So, these families and children have rights and duties upon us. The list of these rights includes honoring them and admitting the gratitude of their fathers. Allah, Most High, says, “Is the reward for good [anything] but good?” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah” and “Anyone who does a favor should repay it. If you do not find anything, then make supplication for the doer of the favor so that he knows that you have repaid him.” It goes without saying that there is no compensation equivalent to the sacrifice made by our martyrs.

We should also be keen on alleviating the bitterness of losing fathers; a matter which is realized by continuously meeting their needs, spending time with them and kindly dealing with them. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to care about the martyrs’ families. For example, he (PBUH) showed great care for the family of Ja’far Ibn abi Taleb (Allah be pleased with him) who was martyred in the Battle of Mu’tah and left behind little children.

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds; I bear witness that there is no god deserving to be worshipped but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger;

Muslim brothers,

Our duties towards martyrs’ families include that we should provide safe and stable life for them, because their fathers died so that we could safely live. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) secured the reward for he who cares about the families of martyrs, saying: “He who prepares a fighter going in Allah’s Cause is given a reward equal to that of) a fighter; and he who looks after the dependents of a fighter going in Allah’s Cause is (given a reward equal to that of) fighter.” In truth, looking after the needs of those families is a sign of gratitude and a fulfillment for some of their rights upon us. In this regard, Imam Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Zayd Ibn Aslam who narrated on the authority of his father who said, “

Once I went with `Umar bin Al-Khattab to the market. A young woman followed `Umar and said, “O chief of the believers! My husband has died, leaving little children. By Allah, they have not even a sheep’s trotter to cook; they have no farms or animals. I am afraid that they may die because of hunger, and I am the daughter of Khufaf bin Ima Al-Ghafari, and my father witnessed the Pledge of allegiance) of Al-Hudaibiya with the Prophet.’ Umar stopped and did not proceed, and said, “I welcome my near relative.” Then he went towards a strong camel which was tied in the house, and loaded on to it two sacks he had filled with food grains and put between them money and clothes and gave her its rope to hold and said, “Lead it, and this provision will not finish till Allah gives you a good supply.” A man said, “O chief of the believers! You have given her too much.” “`Umar said disapprovingly. “May your mother be bereaved of you! By Allah, I have seen her father and brother besieging a fort for a long time and conquering it, and then we were discussing what their shares they would have from that war booty.” This incident clearly tells us how we should deal with the martyrs’ families as clearly indicated from the action of ‘Umar.

These duties also include that we should qualify their children and give them the due status they deserve; a matter that is deduced from the action of the Prophet (PBUH) who used to look after the martyrs’ families and highly qualify their children. His (PBUH) action with Usama ibn Zayd (Allah be pleased with them) is a case in point. Usama’s father died in the battle of Mu’tah, yet the Prophet (PBUH) continually looked after Usama and highly qualified him, so that he became the youngest military leader in the history as he (PBUH) appointed him as the leader of the Muslim army though under 20 at that time. In this regard, he (PBUH) said, “If you speak ill of his leadership, you have already spoken ill of his father’s leadership before. By Allah, he deserved to be a Commander, and he was one of the most beloved persons to me and now this (i.e. Usama) is one of the most beloved persons to me after him.”

In this connection, we give glad tidings to the martyrs’ families and sons that Allah, Most High, protects them and looks after them, for He, the Almighty, is an alley to the righteous. That is to say that the righteousness of parents will surely benefit their children in both this life and the life to come. In this regard, Allah, Most High, has used two righteous servants, i.e. Prophet Moses (PBUH) and Al-Khader (PBUH) to protect the money of two orphan boys because of their parent’s righteousness. He, Most High, says, “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.” As far as the Hereafter is concerned, He, Most High, will gather them with their parents even though their work might be little; “And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds. Every person, for what he earned, is retained.”

We should perfectly know that the sacrifice of our martyrs is of the best deeds to be offered to this country; it is thus a debt on all faithful Egyptians to be sincere soldiers to our country, each in his/her field of specialization; we should exert our utmost to serve this great country; we should unite together to support our army, police and all the national institutions, stressing meanwhile that our national institutions are what keeps the society safe and stable; so we should combat extremist and terrorist groups that want terror and chaos to prevail in the country, as they do not believe in the county or its interest. In truth, such groups are of great danger to religion and the state, which is why combating them is a religious, national and humane duty

I ask Allah, Most High, to shower our purified martyrs in His Infinite Mercy and to protect our country, army and police forces from all evil and harm!