Fatwa ID: 87743
Title: Are Those Who Die From the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Martyrs?
Category: Basic Tenets of Faith (Belief)
Scholar: AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee
Date: 03/30/2020

Question

Are those who die from the coronavirus (COVID-19), martyrs?


Answer

In the name of Allah, and may prayers and peace be upon Allah’s Messenger.

Martyrs are of two types. The first is the martyr of this life and the next, i.e., one who is killed in battle and is not washed or prayed over, and is buried in their clothing (not shrouded). The second is the martyr of the next life, i.e., one who is not treated the same as the martyr of this life when it comes the rulings of washing, shrouding, and prayer, but who has the reward of the martyr in the next life. God willing, whoever dies from the COVID-19 coronavirus will receive the reward of a martyr in the Hereafter. This is based on two considerations. The first is their inclusion in the Prophet’s statement, “the plague-stricken is a martyr,” based on the declaration of those scholars who said that the reward of the plague includes all fatal epidemics. The second is their inclusion in the Prophet’s statement (peace be upon him), “The one who dies due to pleurisy is a martyr,” based on the declaration of those scholars who said that anyone who dies with pain in their lungs is included in the category of death due to pleurisy. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, in Zād al-Ma’ād, stated, “It has been said that its intent is everyone who has pain in their side or their lung.”

Success resides with Allah, the Exalted.