With the pandemic in full swing, many questions have been asked of the ‘Ulema (Major Scholars). The following was asked of Shaykh Muhammad Saalih Al- Munajjid recently concerning the virus & deaths caused by it:
What should the Muslim do during these difficult times in which the coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading? Is the one whom Allah decrees should die because of the coronavirus that is spreading at present a martyr (shaheed)? May Allah bless you and protect us and you from this pandemic.
Praise be to Allah.
We have previously discussed what the Muslim should do during this time. Please see the answer to question no. 334353.
We have previously explained the types of martyrs and the definition of a martyr in the answers to questions no. 226242 and 129214. Whoever dies because of the coronavirus, there is the hope that he will attain martyrdom in two ways:
If the coronavirus (Covid-19) causes damage to a person’s lungs, and that is the cause of his death, then there is the hope that he will be a martyr (shaheed), because he comes under the same heading as one who dies of tuberculosis, and in fact this is a worse disease, because tuberculosis causes small lesions or nodules (tubercles) in the lungs. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Tuberculosis is martyrdom.” Narrated by at-Tabaraani from Salmaan, and by Abu’sh-Shaykh from ‘Ubaadah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘. It was also attributed to Ahmad, from the hadith of Raashid ibn Hubaysh, as noted by al-Haafiz in al-Fath.
Al-Haafiz said: There is corroborating evidence in the hadith of Raashid ibn Hubaysh, in which it mentions tuberculosis.
End quote from Fath al-Baari (6/43).
The hadith of Raashid ibn Hubaysh which was narrated by Ahmad (15998) says that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to visit ‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit when he was sick. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you know who among my ummah is a martyr (shaheed)?” The people fell silent, and ‘Ubaadah said: Sit me up. So they sat him up, then he said: O Messenger of Allah, the one who is patient and seeks reward with Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “In that case, the martyrs among my ummah would be few. Rather being killed in Allah’s cause is martyrdom; dying of the plague is martyrdom; drowning is martyrdom; dying of a stomach disease [batn] is martyrdom; and if a woman dies in childbirth, her child will pull her with his umbilical cord to Paradise.” He said: And Abu’l-‘Awwaam, the custodian of Bayt al-Maqdis, added: “and being burned to death, and as-sayl [flash flood].”
Al-Minnaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: As-sayl [flash flood] refers to drowning in water. This is how the author defined it in his handwriting, which I have seen with my own eyes. What appears in many manuscripts, suggesting that it is as-sill (tuberculosis) is a mistake on the part of the scribes.
End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer (4/533).
The annotators of al-Musnad (25/380) said: With regard to the word as-sayl, this is how it appears in all copies, and in Ghaayat al-Maqsad, and it refers to drowning. But in al-Fath (6/43), al-Haafiz wrote it as as-sill (tuberculosis), referring to the well-known sickness. Perhaps at that time it was included with those who died of the plague. End quote.
And we have seen above the hadith which says “Tuberculosis is martyrdom.”
Al-Minnaawi said in Fayd al-Qadeer (4/145): “Tuberculosis is martyrdom” – this refers to the nodules in the lungs, accompanied by severe fever.
If the sickness leads to damage of the liver or kidney, and the person dies as a result of that, then he is described as mabtoon (one who dies of a stomach disease). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The martyrs are five: the one who dies of the plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed beneath a falling wall, and the martyr who is killed for the sake of Allah.”
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim: As for the mabtoon, who is the one who dies of a stomach disease, that refers to diarrhoea. Al-Qaadi said: And it was said that it refers to the one who suffers from oedema (swelling) and whose stomach becomes swollen; or to the one who has a stomach complaint; or the one who dies of any stomach disease in general. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: In the hadith it says that the mabtoon (the one who dies of a stomach disease) is a martyr. What is meant by mabtoon, and does it include one who dies of cirrhosis of the liver?
He replied: The scholars said that the mabtoon is the one who dies of a stomach disease, and what appears to be the case is that it also includes the one who dies of appendicitis, because the appendix is regarded as connected to the stomach. That may also include the one who dies of cirrhosis of the liver, because the liver is also regarded as connected to the stomach. End quote.
Conclusion: For the one who dies of this virus, there is the hope that he will attain martyrdom.
We should point out that this does not come under the same heading as the plague, as has been explained previously in the answer to question no. 333763.
We ask Allah to relieve us of this calamity and pandemic, and to grant well-being to us and to all the Muslims.
And Allah knows best.