Hadith About Martyr
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: Whom do you count to be a martyr among you? They said: O Messenger of Allah, whoever is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr.
He said: In that case the martyrs of my community will be very few! He who is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr, he who dies a natural death in the way of Allah is a martyr, he who dies in the plague in the way of Allah is a martyr, he who dies of cholera in the way of Allah is a martyr.
Common belief was that martyrs are those who are killed fighting on the battlefield in the way of Allah. In that case, according to the Holy Prophet PBUH the number of martyrs would be very few. Therefore, the Holy Prophet PBUH included in this definition some of those who die from a serious disease or die a sudden death or a painful death.
It is narrated that Anas bin Malik asked a companion about the cause of death of certain person. She answered that he had died of plague. To this, Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said that death by plague is a martyrdom for a Muslim.
The Holy Prophet PBUH is reported to have said:
“Whoever sincerely desires the rank of martyrdom gets the rank of martyrdom even if he is not killed.” (Muslim)