Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Shahid (Arabic: شَهيد ‎ šahīd, plural: شُهَداء šuhadā', also romanized as shaheed) is an Arabic word meaning "witness". It is a religious term in Islam, literally meaning "witness", but practically means a "martyr." It is used as a honorific for Muslims who have laid down their life fulfilling a religious commandment, or waging war (jihad) for Islam.

The Arabic word 'shahid', meaning one who is present as a witness, is translated into English as martyr. Through its usage in the Qur'an and through the manner in which it has been employed in early Islamic history, shahid has come to mean one who bears witness to the truth. This definition sets the ground rules for deciding who qualifies as a martyr and who does not. To attain the status of a martyr it is necessary to die or be slain in the course of defending and upholding the principles of the Qur'an, so martyrdom became valid only under certain specific circumstances.

The term suicide attack is misleading. In the eyes of the attacker and his community this phenomenon has nothing to do with committing suicide … Committing suicide is forbidden in Islam but instead, he is seen as a shahid—a martyr who fell in the process of fulfilling the religious commandment of jihad."




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