• Category Category: M
  • View View: 916
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

MARTYRDOM. Islam accords a special status to those who lose or sacrifice their lives in the service of their religion. This is clear from the earliest sources (Qur’an, hadith) and the auxiliary sources (sirah, maghdzi, `ilm al-rijal and tafsir). The word which these sources agree on for designating a martyr is shahid (“witness”). The most usual meaning of shahid, which appears no less than fifty-six times in singular, plural, and adverbial forms in the Qur’an, is “eyewitness” or “witness” in a legal sense. A. J. Wensinck’s pioneering study (1941) observed a close relationship between Islam and Christianity that centered on this meaning; the Christian technical term martyr also means “witness.” This correspondence led Wensinck to conclude that both traditions share a similar development involving ancient Semitic and Hellenistic religious motifs. Whatever the previous development that lead to the choice of “witness” to designate a believer who has made the ultimate gesture in the path of religion, it is clear that the idea of martyrdom in Islam was thoroughly at home in the early religion.

The problem for philologists resides in the fact that the Qur’an does not appear to use the word shahid in any completely unambiguous way, at least in the singular form, although there is one instance of the use of the plural which has readily lent itself to the martyrdom interpretation. But apart from the direct reference to the plural shuhada’, the Qur’anic glorification of sabr (endurance in times of difficulty) and the related theme of the suffering of apparently all the prophets at the hands of persecutors, to name only two motifs, blends perfectly with the Islamic admiration of martyrdom, long suffering, and patience. This theme would reach apotheosis in the poetic expressions of the mystics of Islam who saw as their starting point in this regard such hadith qudsi as: “Who My beauty kills, I am his blood-money,” or Hallaj’s “Happiness is from Him, but suffering is He Himself’ (Schimmel, in Chelkowski, 1979, p. 217).

Sacred Texts on Martyrdom. One anchors a discussion of martyrdom in the Qur’an, rather than in history as such, because of the central position of scripture in Islam. It is through the Qur’an that Islam gained its general understanding of the shape and purpose of history-not to mention many historical details and factswhether that history be of the Jahiliyah period or of the epochs of various previous religions and cultures. Ayoub (1978) has pointed out that even in the earliest portion of the Qur’an, that is, in those revelations that came even before the duty of jihad was made incumbent on Muslims, there is a divine confirmation of the ideal of martyrdom, namely, Qur’an 85.3-8, which many commentators say refers to the famous Christian martyrs of Najran. But regardless of the actual identities of the persons and events being alluded to, the meaning of the text is unambiguous.

The most important verse to do with martyrdom is one in which shuhada’ (“witnesses”) has come to mean martyrs for so much of exegesis. Qur’an 4.69 runs as follows: “Whosoever obeys God, and the Messengerthey are with those whom God has blessed. Prophets, just men, martyrs [shuhada’], the righteous; good companions they!” (Arberry trans.). Arberry, faithful to the exegetical tradition, unhesitatingly uses “martyrs” to translate shuhada’, whereas other translators, for example, Yusuf ‘Ali, more cautiously use the English word “witnesses” instead. This verse is the locus classicus for the later exegetical and theological discussions about the hierarchy of the inhabitants of Paradise. About the rank of “witness” (shahid), Yusuf ‘Ali offers the following comment: “[These] are the noble army of Witnesses, who testify to the truth. The testimony may be by martyrdom, as in the case of the Imams Hasan and Husain. Or it may be by the tongue of the true Preacher or the pen of the devoted scholar, or the life of a man devoted to service.” Thus shahddat, translated as “martyrdom” depending on the context, in its strict sense takes in much more in Islam than the sacrificing of life in the path of God (sabil Allah), indeed it is also the word for the act of confessing adherence to Islam by uttering, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” Nonetheless, shahddat as martyrdom is regarded as highly praiseworthy. The Qur’an has many passages which indicate an authentic appreciation and inchoate theory of martyrdom: “Say not of those who die in the path of God that they are dead. Nay rather they live” (2.154); “Count not those who were slain in God’s way as dead, but rather living with their Lord, by Him provided, rejoicing in the bounty of God has given them, and joyful in those who remain behind and have not joined them, because no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow, joyful in blessing and bounty from God, and that God leaves not to waste the wage of the believers” (3.169-171; see also 9.20-22, 47.4, 61.11, and 3.157-158). These few verses suffice to illustrate that even though the word “martyr” as such is not found in the Qur’an and that the subject is represented through circumlocutions, nonetheless the virtue is emphatically and dramatically taught in the verses of the Holy Book. The Islamic ideal of martyrdom can be thought to be the logical adjunct to the overall Qur’anic view of death as illusory. This view is perhaps nowhere more succinctly represented in the Qur’an than at 62.67. “Say: `You of Jewry, if you assert that you are the friends of God, apart from other men, then do you long for death, if you speak truly.’ ”

The doctrine of the Hereafter (dkhirah) caused Muhammad a great deal of trouble with his early audiences, who stubbornly refused to accept the idea of life beyond the grave. So in Islam death is paradoxical (cf. the famous statement of the Prophet: “Die before you die.”), and it is the paradox which supplies the energy for the strong belief in the spiritual station of martyrs. Thus the pre-Islamic Arab literary and cultural motif of fakhr, honor or pride in prowess on the field of tribal warfare found throughout the Ayyam literature, was deemed by Islam “vainglory” and replaced by a glorification of the pious dedication to the struggle for the promotion of the Word of God. In Muslim’s hadith collection we find the following statement by the prophet Muhammad: “Whosoever partakes of the battle from desire of glory or in order to show his courage, is no martyr; a martyr is only he who fights in order that Allah’s Word may be prevalent” (W95). Even though it remains to be seen whether or not the pre-Islamic phenomenon does not have a more positive relationship with the Islamic ideal of martyrdom, the change in ethos indicated here between the period of Jahiliyah and the Islamic era is quite analogous to the change Christianity wrought in the pagan world (cf. Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians, New York, 1989, P. 336).

As Wensinck has pointed out, the theme of martyrdom in Islam is intimately connected with the theme of the rewards of Paradise. This becomes quite clear in the hadith literature which served as a basis for the final elaboration of the doctrine of martyrdom by the fuqaha’ (religious scholars) of Islam.

The hadith literature is vastly more supportive of and unambiguous about martyrdom than the Qur’an. Countless explicit statements attributed to the Prophet exist in which it is quite clear that those who die for Islam enjoy a special rank. Here is a random example: “The Messenger of God said, The Prophet is in the Garden and the martyr is in the Garden and the newborn child is in the Garden and the new-born girl is in the Garden” (from Musnad, Smith and Haddad, 1981, p. 173). Most of the following hadith are from Bukhari as either translated directly or paraphrased by Wensinck: “Paradise [or the gates of paradise] lies under the shadow of the swords” (W90); “God is a guarantee to him who is zealous in His way [Ii-man jahada ft sabilihi] . . . that He shall make his enter paradise.” On the topic of the ordeals of the tomb, from which martyrs are exempted, the Prophet was asked why those who have given their lives in battle will not have to endure the interrogation of the two angels Munkar and Nakir, and his response is reported as: “They have been put to the test sufficiently by the flashing of swords over their heads.”

On the theme that martyrs are those who are distinguished in Paradise by their desire to leave their bliss and return to earth to be martyred again (up to ten times), Muhammad is credited with having said that had he followed his personal wish he would not have missed a single battle or campaign in order to be killed in the first and to return to life in each subsequent one. And on the general theme of desiring death, which would come to be neutralized in later centuries (see below) Bukhari preserves a prayer ascribed to `Umar in which the second caliph expresses the desire to be killed in the Prophet’s country.

All Muslims, no matter what their madhhab, tariqah, or td’ifah, esteem martyrdom highly. This esteem can be ritualistic or devotional, as in the case of the ta’ziyah commemorations in Shiism, or historical, as in the manner in which all Muslims idealize the formative struggle of the early band of Muslims under the leadership of Muhammad. It can in fact be existential: that is, Muslims seek to become martyrs. All three responses to the ideal have existed at all times in Islamic history. The ideal of martyrdom can be read into the very name of the religion: Isldm means submission to the will of God. And the primary, not to say archetypal, act of submission, according to the Islamic tradition, is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, and, presumably, his son’s willingness to comply, thereby rendering Isma’il (or according to some traditions Ishaq) a martyr, or more accurately, one who was willing to become a martyr. In its veneration of the individual act of selfsacrifice for a higher moral, ethical, spiritual idea or cause, Islam is no different from any of the other great religious traditions of the world. But Islam as a whole is distinguished from other traditions that have theologized away the challenging blade of the martyrdom ideal through metaphor and other abstractions. This fact accounts for the simultaneous feelings of unease and admiration which occur to the non-Muslim observer of the contemporary scene and its examples of shahddah. To put it bluntly: martyrdom has become very unfashionable in the West, at least any martyrdom associated with a religious purpose.

There have been times even within the Islamic community when the ideal of martyrdom was also emasculated. Within the larger Sunni religious culture which was firmly consolidated no earlier than the late ninth century, the personal ethos and ideal of martyrdom had become quiescent as an urgent religious motif. Even though Sunni theologians recognized the power of the idea and even perpetuated the veneration the early martyrs of Islam, such as Hamzah, the original sayyid alshuhada’ or “Prince of Martyrs” (a title which is most familiarly attached to the hero par excellence of the Shi’ah, Husayn ibn ‘Ali), and to venerate the various sacrifices made by the early community as acts of martyrdom, they nonetheless rigorously opposed the cultivation of a contemporary cult of martyrdom in their respective societies by emphasizing the illegality of suicide and equating the seeking of a martyr’s death with this. This was no doubt at least partly in response to the activities of Khawarij and Shi`is whose activities were disruptive to the greater unity of Muslims, the ahl alsunnah wa al -jama’. The seeking of martyrdom (talab al-shahddah) thus was discouraged by theologians because of its easy confusion with suicide (and of course, the challenges an active doctrine of martyrdom poses to stable community life)–an act unequivocally forbidden in Islam. The same theologians elevated the accomplishment of moral and ethical challenges as equal if not preferable to death: (t) fasting; (2) regularity in prayer; (3) reading the Qur’an; (4) filial devotion; and (5) rectitude in the collection of taxes. All of these count as valorous deeds in the way of God (fi sabil Alldh). So now the rank of martyr could be sought in the normal acts of worship: the ritual perfection and purity of motive with which these were performed then determined how close a believer might come to being granted the prize of martyrdom. A typical hadith from one of the Sunni collections runs as follows (quoting the Prophet):

Whoever believes in Allah and his Apostle and performs the salat and fasts the month of Ramadan, Allah is obliged to make him enter paradise, be it that he has been zealous in Allah’s way, or that he never left his birthplace.-Thereupon it was said to the Prophet: Are there no better tidings to be given to men (viz., to those who are zealous in Allah’s way). He answered: Certainly; in paradise there are a hundred degrees which Allah has preserved for those who are zealous in his way. Between every two of them is a distance as there is between heaven and earth. If ye beseech Allah, demand of him firdaws; it is in the middle of paradise and its highest point and above it is God’s throne. (Wensinck, p. 91.)

In addition, books of hadith also contains lists of categories of believers whose deaths occur in such a violent or painful way that they are counted as martyrs. According to Wensinck, this can be five, seven, or eight types of death. The mos explicit list is from the Muwaga’ of Malik ibn Anas (d. 795):

The martyrs are seven, apart from death in Allah’s way. He that dies as a victim of an epidemic is a martyr; he that dies by being drowned, is a martyr; he that dies from pleuresy, is a martyr; he that dies from diarrhoea, is a martyr; he that dies by fire is a martyr; he that dies by being struck by a wall falling into ruins, is a martyr; the woman who dies in childbed, is a martyr.

Such scriptural raw material would eventually produce doctrinal statements like the following one from the pen of the preeminent Sunni theologian, Muhammad Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111):

Every one who gives himself wholly to God (tajarrada illahi) in the war against his own desires [nafs], is a martyr when he meets death going forward without turning back. So the holy warrior is he who makes war against his own desires, as it has been explained by the apostle of God. And the “greater war” is the war against one’s own desires, as the Companions said: We have returned from the lesser war unto the greater one, meaning thereby the war against their own desires. (Wensinck, p. 95.)

It is indicative of this transition that none of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs, each of whom is recognized by Islamic tradition as having been murdered, is typically given the rank or title of martyr. This fact is interesting because Abu Bakr is the only one of the four Rashidfin not to have been killed in an open act of violence and might mean that all four are regarded as martyrs, although it is not a common observation in discussing this early period of Islamic history. It is also true that Sunni Islam has recognized as martyrs those who have died for Islam after the time of the Rashidfin. In keeping with Islam’s communal ethos, martyrdom is treated by the fuqaha’ as not necessarily or foremost a means for individual salvation or felicity in the next world. Rather, it has the pragmatic value of ensuring the continued existence of the group through its being a mere by-product of communal defense (see Klausner, 1987).

Shi`i Islam, however, is often identified by the way in which the ideal of martyrdom has been kept a vital if not essential element of belief. The potency of the ideal here can be seen by referring to the only Islamic movement of the modern period to have acquired a universally recognized distinct or non-Islamic identity-the Baha’i faith. In this religion, which began in a Shi’i milieu, the ideal of martyrdom is retained as an important element of contemporary religious belief (Bethel, 1986). Shiism, particularly from the beginning of the sixteenth century, with the establishment of the Safavids, took the motif of martyrdom to its bosom and cultivated it as a religio-cultural ideal to a degree unwitnessed earlier. The Twelver Shi’i list of martyrs begins with Abel (Qabil) and continues through history to include the prophet Muhammad and eleven of the twelve imams, the exception being, of course, the expected twelfth Imam who has in fact never died. There is obviously no space here to fully examine the martyrdom tradition in Shiism. It is indisputable, for example, that the success of the 1978-1979 Iranian Revolution owes much to the Shi`i veneration of martyrs and the concomitant willingness of the “average believer” to suffer martyrdom. The Shi`i tradition has been the main guardian of the martyrdom ideal for the entire Islamic tradition, for it is within Shiism that the visiting of the graves of the martyrs-preeminently but not exclusively the imams-has special significance, that weeping for them, or even pretending to weep, has special religious value, and suffering similar distresses as for example Husayn and his companions, such as thirst, in however slight a degree also has religious value. Indeed, according to some contemporary ShN authorities, the true meaning of the erstwhile purely mystical term fans’ (annihilation, selflessness) is none other than the sacrifice of the physical life in the path of Islam (Abedi and Legenhausen, 1986, p. 68, in a speech by Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmud Taleqani [d. 1979]).

Within Sufism the theme of martyrdom is also highly important. The Islamic world is adorned with thousands of shrines (s., mashhad) to pious Muslims who have been regarded as martyrs (see Bjorkman, Patton, and Arnold), although, it should be added, not all places known as mashhad claim for this reason to hold the remains of a bona fide martyr. (In Turkish, for example, a word for cemetery in general is meshhed.) In any case, these tombs are the objects of special veneration and pilgrimage, the practice of which is traced to the Prophet himself, who is said to have visited the graves of the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud interred in al-Baqi’ cemetery to pay special homage to them. The shahid ganj in India is said to be the tomb of no less than 150,000 martyrs. However, in Sufism martyrdom acquires many of the same features associated with the type of the martyr hero most readily exemplified by Jesus in the Gospel accounts of the passion, the most important example here being of course Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj (whose act of martyrdom is frequently conflated with Husayn ibn ‘All’s-see Schimmel, in Chelkowski, 1979, p. 213), who was crucified Baghdad in the early tenth century and has been “kept alive” as an ideal of piety and spiritual valor within not only the Sufi tradition but in some aspects of the wider Islamic cultural context as well: Hallaj is the preeminent martyr hero (Massignon, 1982). But there have been many others, including his son Mansur, Suhrawardi of Aleppo, `Ayn al-Quzat of Hamadan, Nesimi in Turkey, Ibn Sab’in in Spain, and Sarmad in Mughal India, to name only a few of the most famous. It is important to note that even at the time of Hallaj’s crucifixion, visitation to the tombs of martyrs was such a firmly established practice that Hallaj’s remains were cremated and the ashes scattered on the Euphrates in order that no tomb to him could be erected which would then perhaps become the object of a cult. The recent study of the Sufi martyr Mas’ud Beg in India of the late fourteenth century (Ernst, 1985) shows the literary process involved in the acknowledgment of a saint as also a martyr. Ernst makes the interesting observation that “Islamic historiography reverses the relationship between passio and vita. The Islamic martyrologies are later and derive their authority from the norms established by the Prophet and the Imams” (p. 313).

Martyrdom Today. The Islamic religion is based on “bearing witness” to the truth of God’s most recent revelation through his last prophet Muhammad, and that insofar as the most dramatic, and according to some most meaningful, form of bearing witness is to do so with one’s “self’ nafs (“self,” soul, life), then Islam is also based on martyrdom. But, as we have seen, the act of bearing witness is accomplished in Islam in a number of ways, ranging from the uttering of the words la ildha ills Allah Muhammad rasul Allah to the ultimate act of witnessing, the sacrificing of one’s own life in the pursuit of the establishment of Islamic ideals or the defense of those ideals. Between these two possibilities are a number of other acts and gestures that have been recognized by fuqaha’ as constituting shahddah within the purview of the Islamic holy law, shari `ah. Some of these other acts are: dying during pilgrimage, dying from a number of particularly virulent and painful diseases, for women dying during childbirth, and so forth. Today, Islam is distinguished among the world religions by the degree to which and the intensity with which the motif or ideal of martyrdom, in the sense of relinquishing one’s life for faith, is consciously kept alive and cultivated. The motif within Sunni Islam has been seen to reside chiefly in veneration of the struggles of the early Islamic community with the Meccan Arabs and their Jahili culture. With the severe dislocations experienced by a large part of the Muslim world since the eighteenth century, a new period of understanding martyrdom has come into being. In some ways, the importance of the theme in the contemporary world transcends the always somewhat misleading divisions of Sunni, Shi`i and Sufi. See for example the Arabic book by `Arif `Arif, The Scroll of Immortality: Names of the Martyrs Who Bore Witness with Their Lives in the Battles for Palestine, 1947-1952 (Sijill al-khulud: asma’ al-shuhada’ alladhina istashhadu ft ma`arik Filastin; Sidon, Lebanon, 1962), or the recent book on Egyptian history, Martyrs of the 1919 Insurrection (Shuhada’ thawrat 1919; Cairo, 1984). Martyrdom was a prominent theme in the recent Iran-Iraq War where both sides relied heavily on the ideal to motivate military troops.

From the point of view of the cultural tastes of the non-Muslim world, namely, Europe and North America, anyone who aspires to be a shahid in the physical/existential sense is neither a witness nor martyr, but rather a terrorist or fanatic. From the point of view of Islamic religio-cultural presuppositions, these people, especially those who lose their lives in the course of an action, are seen as martyrs and knights (fida’iyin). However, in recent times, even the Western popular press has come to recognize the possible significance in such a disparity of interpretation of the same act. For example, those who have been indicted for conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism in North America and Egypt at considerable risk to personal life have also been recognized as belonging to organizations without whose existence the vast majority of impoverished Egyptians would have no health care, postal service, or education (Weaver, 1993)

In sum, a Muslim martyr, that is one who has died in the service of Islam, is distinguished from other Muslims in the life after death in a number of ways: (1) a martyr is spared the post-mortem interrogation by the two angels Munkar and Nakir; (2) a martyr bypasses purgatory (barzakh) and proceeds directly on death to the highest station in Paradise, those locations nearest the divine throne; (3) this station is called in a hadith the most beautiful abode and the dar al-shuhada’; (4) martyrs’ wounds will glow red and smell of musk on the Day of judgment; (5) of all the inhabitants of Paradise, only the martyrs wish for and are theoretically allowed to return to earth for the purpose of suffering martyrdom; (6) by virtue of their meritorious act, a martyr is rendered free of sin and therefore does not require the Prophet’s intercession (shafa’ah); (7) some traditions even portray notable martyrs as intercessors for others; (8) as a result of their purity, martyrs are buried in the clothes in which they died and are not washed before burial; (9) according to Ghazali, a martyr enjoys the third highest position in post-mortem existence after the prophets and the `ulama’ (religious scholars); according to an earlier authority (Abu Talib al-Makki, d. 996), the martyrs rank second as intercessors after the prophets.

[See also Jihad; Mashhad; Sainthood; Sh’i Islam, historical overview article; Shrine.]


Alserat: The Imam Husayn Conference Number 12 (Spring-Summer 1986). Contains a number of articles, many from a Shi’l perspective, on the significance of the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson, Husayn.

Arnold, Thomas W. “Saints and Martyrs (Muhammadan in India).” In Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. it, p. 68-73. Edinburgh, 1958.

Ayoub, Mahmoud M. Redemptive Suffering in Islam: A Study of the Devotional Aspects of `Ashura’ in Twelver Shi’ism. The Hague, 1978. The first major Western study on the subject, shedding light on the martyrdom motif in both Sunni and Shi’i Islam.

Ayoub, Mahmoud M. “Martyrdom in Christianity and Islam.” In Religious Resurgence: Contemporary Cases in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, edited by Richard Antoun and Mary Elaine Hegland, pp. 67-77. Syracuse, N.Y., 1987.

Bethel, Fereshteh Taheri. “A Psychological Theory of Martyrdom.” World Order 20.3-4 (Spring-Summer 1986): 5-25. Study of the martyrdom motif in the Baha’i Faith, based on the events following the 1978-1979 Iranian Revolution.

Bjorkman, W., “Shahid.” In Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, edited by H. A. R. Gibb and J. H. Kramers, pp. 517-518. Leiden, 1953 Chelkowski, Peter, ed. Ta`ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran. New York, 1979. Classic study highlighting the importance of the martyrdom motif for the rise and development of ta`ziyah, which has been called the only authentic Islamic drama.

Ernst, Carl W. “From Hagiography to Martyrdom: Conflicting Testimonies to a Sufi Martyr of the Delhi Sultanate.” History of Religions 24 (May 1985): 308-327. Primarily a literary study of martyrdom, describing the transformation from saint to martyr.

Fischer, Michael M. J. Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution. Cambridge, Mass., 1980.

Kattabi, Ahmad. “Feeding the Iranian Need for Martyrdom: Mecca Massacre.” New Statesman 14 (28 August 1987): 14-15.

Klausner, Samuel Z. “Martyrdom.” In The Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 9, pp. 230-238. New York, 1987.

Massignon, Louis. The Passion of al-Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr of Islam. 4 vols. Princeton, 1982. Classic study of the life, milieu, and works of Islam’s most famous martyr.

Patton, Walter M. “Saints and Martyrs (Muhammadan).” In Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. I I, pp. 63-68. Edinburgh, 1958. Peters, Rudolph, trans. Jihad in Medieval and Modern Islam. Leiden, 1977

Sachedina, A. A. Islamic Messianism: The Idea of the Madhi in Twelver Shi’ism. Albany, N.Y., 1981. Pioneering study of the subject, demonstrating the importance of martyrdom in Shiism.

Sande, Hans. “Palestinian Martyr Widowhood: Emotional Needs in Conflict with Role Expectations.” Social Science and Medicine 34.6 (March 1992): 709-717. Discusses the importance of martyrdom in Islam beyond sectarian boundaries.

Smith, Jane I., and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad. The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection. Albany, N.Y., 1981. Contains much useful information on the topic.

Swenson, Jill D. “Martyrdom: Mytho-Cathexis and the Mobilization of the Masses in the Iranian Revolution.” Ethos 13.2 (Summer 1985): 121-149.

Taleqani, Mahmud, Murtaza Mutahhari, and `All Shari’ati. Jihad and Shahadat: Struggle and Martyrdom in Islam. Edited by Mehdi Abedi and Gary Legenhausen. Houston, 1986. Highly useful collection, especially for a Shi`i perspective.

Vieille, Paul. “Notes on the Iranian Revolution followed by an Interview with the President of the Republic.” Peoples-Mediterraneensl Mediterranean Peoples 12 (July-September 198o): 109-14o.

Weaver, Mary Anne. “The Trail of the Sheikh.” The New Yorker, 12 April 1993 71-89.

Wensinck, A. J. “The Oriental Doctrine of the Martyrs.” In Semietische Studien uit de Nalatenschap, pp. 91-113. Leiden, 1941. The first important Western study of the problem, by one of the greatest Islamicists in that tradition.

Zarandi, Muhammad Nabil. The Dawn-Breakers (1932). Translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi. Wilmette, Ill., 1974. Describes in graphic detail the ordeal of the early Babi community in Iran and the way in which the ideal of martyrdom has remained important to Baha’is.

Zonis, Marvin, and Daniel Offer. “The Psychology of Revolutionary Leadership: The Speeches of Ayatollah Khomeini.” Psycho-History Review 13.2-3 (Winter 1985): 5-17.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/martyrdom/

  • writerPosted On: August 3, 2014
  • livePublished articles: 745

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Translate »