literally means "witness" usually a a martyr for the Islamic faith. The place of
the shahid in paradise is supposedly guaranteed by the
Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live,
finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the
bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not
yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on
them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.
Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for
theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and
slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Torah,
the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his Covenant than
Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran emphasized the importance of martyrdom
among Muslims. During the Iran–Iraq War squads of young boys were formed into
Republican Guard units and sent on suicide missions. Later, the Iranian National
Guard trained the Lebanese
which used suicide bombings against American targets in Lebanon and with less
success, against Israeli targets. The practice was then taken up by the
in Israel, and by Al-Qaeda
terrorists in Afghanistan and the United States.
A lively controversy exists in Islam over whether or not one may became a
Shahid through suicide bombing, and whether a Shahid will get a reward of 70 (or
72) "black eyed" hura'yn, usually considered to be virgins.
For example, during the
there were many such announcements in Palestinian newspapers
"The mother of Wail 'Awad of Dayr Balah, did not plan on holding a second
wedding for her eldest son, following his marriage on August 10, 2001 to his
fiance in a simple ceremony attended only by the family. But yesterday was
Wail's real wedding day, and the angels of the Merciful married him,
together with the martyrs, to 'the black-eyed,' as all around rose the cries
of joy that his mother dreamed of on the day of his wedding. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,
October 4, 2001.)
Before suicide bombings, Shuhada often pose for special pictures
to be used in their funeral procession, such as the one below of Basil Qawasmi.
Often the guns are fake wooden mockups that are kept in photographer's shops.
According to some authorities however, suicide bombing is
condemned in Islam. According to others, all believing Muslims will be
rewarded with 72 virgins, while yet others insist that the sex of the "hur'ayn"
(black eyed) is indeterminate.
Synonyms and alternate spellings:
Further Information: See