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[Video] Martyrdom And Sacrifice

Shafaqna English- Ahlulbayt TV presented another part of: “Understanding Islam” on the topic of: “ Martyrdom And Sacrifice“, by Dr Chris Hewer.

Understanding Islam with Dr. Chris Hewer – Season 3 Episode 11

The discussion of martyrdom hinges around one of the most fundamental questions for any human being: Whose life is it anyway? The person of faith must always answer that we are not the products of our own will or even that of our parents, for no human being has the ultimate decision over whether or not someone is conceived and born, but rather this depends upon the will of God as the author of all life. So our lives do not belong to us; therefore it is not our right to decide whether we live or die.

The Qur’an is clear in saying that we come from God and to God we return [Q. 2:156]. No-one knows the hour of their own death [Q. 31:34] and thus no-one has the right to usurp that ultimate decision that belongs to God alone [Q. 4:29; 50:43]. In Islamic understanding, the duty of every man and woman is to surrender all to the divine will in total submission.

If God calls someone to die at a particular moment and in a certain context, then our duty is to accept the divine will as an act of faith and obedience. To be a martyr then is not a choice made by any human being but rather the acceptance of God’s invitation and the surrender to God’s will. A believer may pray for the gift of martyrdom and for the courage and strength to endure whatever comes but it is ultimately a matter of invitation and response.

A good example of this surrender to God’s will in death is contained in the Qur’anic account of the sacrifice of Abraham (AS). He is told by God to sacrifice his son and conveys this news to Ishmael (AS) [Q. 37:102]. He tells his father to do what God has commanded and “if God Wills, you will find me to be patient.” It is this patient acceptance of the divine will as a public act of faith that lies at the heart of martyrdom, as the Arabic term, Shahid, a witness, conveys.

Part of series: Understanding Islam by Dr Chris Hewer

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