Is It Permissible To Place The Title ‘Martyr’ (Shahīd) Upon A Person? | Shaykh Rabī’ bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī

Question: Is it permissible to place the title “martyr” (shahīd) upon a person?

Answer: No, it is not permissible, not with certainty. Because, as we have read (in the book Usūl As-Sunnah) we do not decisively say that anyone is in Jannah (Paradise) or Hell, and by calling someone a martyr this is saying that he is in Jannah. (We do not say decisively that someone is in Jannah) Except those who Allāh or His Messenger ﷺ have declared them to be in Jannah, such as the ten promised Jannah, the people of Badr, the treaty of Ridwān, and likewise the woman who used to have seizures, the Prophet ﷺ testified that she is from the people of Jannah. Likewise Abdullāh bin Salām and others like them. As for other than them, then we desire that they be from the people of Jannah if they are righteous and we fear for them at the same time. But we do not say for certain that they are from the people of Jannah or the Hell-Fire; we only hope for good for them. However, the extremists say that anyone is a martyr, even a misguided Shī’ite innovator; they say he is a martyr! While they call the scholars of the Sunnah government agents and spies; and the one that dies from amongst them are not martyrs (in their eyes). When Jamīl Ar-Rahmān رحمه الله was killed, did they call him a martyr? He fought for ten years or more, the first (i.e. against the Soviet Union) to carry the flag of Jihad, and he established a government implementing the Islāmic Law. After this he was oppressively killed, fighting in the way of Allāh. With this they still do not call him a martyr!