Ramadan Challenge: Chapter #2 – Martyrs
Written by: Barah
“And do not say about those who are killed in the way of God, “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not.” [2:154] [Sahih International]
This verse really hit me hard, especially with the unfortunate events occurring in the holy land. Every year, like clockwork, the beginning of this blessed month is a tragic one for Palestinians. I can’t help but feel pain for my people, but then I read this verse and remember that they are still alive but in a better position than they were on this earth.
Muslim reported in his Sahih:
“أَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ الشُّهَدَاءِ فِي حَوَاصِلَ طَيْرٍ خُضْرٍ، تَسْرَحُ فِي الْجَنَّة حَيْثُ شَاءَتْ، ثُمَّ تَأْوِي إلَى قَنَادِيلَ مُعَلَّقَةٍ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ، فَاطَّلَعَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ اطِّلَاعَةً، فقَالَ: مَاذَا تَبْغُونَ؟ فَقَالُوا: يَا رَبَّنَا وَأَيَّ شَيْءٍ نَبْغِي، وَقَدْ أَعْطَيْتنَا مَا لَمْ تُعْطِ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ؟ ثُمَّ عَادَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِمِثْلِ هذَا، فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا أَنَّهُم لَا يُتْرَكُون مِنْ أَنْ يُسْأَلُوا، قَالُوا: نُرِيدُ أَنْ تَرُدَّنَا إِلَى الدَّارِ الدُّنْيَا فَنُقَاتِلَ فِي سَبِيلِكَ حَتَّى نُقْتَلَ فِيكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَى لِمَا يَرَوْنَ مِنْ ثَوابِ الشَّهادَةِ فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ جَلَّ جَلَالُهُ: إِنِّي كَتَبْتُ أَنَّهُمْ إلَيْهَا لَا يَرْجِعُون”
“The souls of the martyrs are inside green birds and move about in Paradise wherever they wish. Then, they take refuge in lamps that are hanging under the Throne (of God). Your Lord looked at them and asked them, `What do you wish for’ They said, `What more could we wish for while You have favored us with what You have not favored any other of your creation?’ He repeated the question again. When they realize that they will be asked (until they answered), they said, `We wish that You send us back to the earthly life, so that we fight in Your cause until we are killed in Your cause again,’ (because of what they enjoy of the rewards of martyrdom). The Lord then said, `I have written that they will not be returned to it (earthly life) again.”
How beautiful is this? They are birds, soaring in the heavens above! It’s helpful to think of this when seeing all the bloodshed in this world. So many innocent people are being murdered, but to have reassurance that they are in the care of the Almighty is such a blessing!
Imam Ahmad reported that `Abdur-Rahman bin Ka`b bin Malik narrated from his father that God’s Messenger said:
“نَسَمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ طَائِرٌ تَعْلَقُ فِي شَجَرِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَهُ اللهُ إِلَى جَسَدهِ يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُه”
“The believer’s soul is a bird that feeds on the trees of Paradise until God sends it back to its body when the person is resurrected.”
How wonderful is it to hear this? To know that the believers will be enjoying paradise until the day of resurrection arrives. The prophet specified believers here, not just martyrs, meaning that this verse serves to honor them and favor them specifically.