Death is inevitable. No one can outrun it. Every living being on this planet shall face death. Causes of death are various. A natural disaster, road accident, a disease, etc. may cause it. Sometimes, natural death occurs. No one knows when or how it happens. It just happens. However, there is one form of voluntary death. It is martyrdom. A person who experiences or suffers it, is a martyr.
A martyr is a person who voluntarily agrees to give away his life for his belief, religion, and faith. He devotes his life to a certain cause and refuses to surrender before the oppressors. Also, he never gives up on something which he considers sacred. He gives his life little value as compared to that belief, principle, cause, or religion.
Moreover, a person who is killed because of their faith or political beliefs is referred to as a martyr as well. Additionally, that person is admired with great respect and status in some religions. He becomes a heroic symbol, an example of valor and leadership by these religions.
Famous Martyrs in History:
Famous people who are martyrs are many in history books. Here is a list of a few. St. Stephen was stoned to death. St. Lawrence was helping the unprivileged during the early Christian millennium. He was grilled to death. Moreover, Wycliff whose writings immensely spread Christianity. He was burned to death along with his writings.
In addition to these, modern-day martyrs include Clement Shahbaz Bhatti. He was gunned down for raising his voice against blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Humanitarian of Somalia, Annalena Tonelli was shot dead. Also, Father Jacques Hamel was a priest. His throat was cut for his loyal service to the congregation.
Concept of in Different Religions:
Every religion sees and treats a martyr differently. Similarly, the status, rank, and respect assigned to it differ when it comes to the type of religion. These concepts emerged from various incidents, stories, and conflicts of the past. Here is a list of various concepts of a martyr in different religions.
1.Martyr in Judaism:
Judaism is the religion of Jews. A martyr is a holy person in Judaism. The concept emerged from Abraham who was saved by God from the fire. During the holocaust in the world war, millions of Jews died. All of the victims are martyrs since they were assassinated for being Jews.
In Christianity, a martyr is one who dies or is killed because of his faith in Jesus Christ. Martyr means testimony or witness in this religion. The concept originated from Judaism. However, at present, Christians who die in war are not given the status of a martyr. It is because they fight for political and ethnic differences.
3. Concept of Martyr in Islam:
In Islam, common name of a martyr is Shahid. This Arabic term means witness. It has two kinds. One who is unfairly and unjustly killed. Also, one who dies in holy war or jihad. Additionally, those who die during childbirth or on a strange land are martyrs too. Moreover, one belief in Islam is that a martyr goes to heaven and enjoys plenty of rewards in the afterlife. A martyr is a hero in Islam. He is a role model for everyone and people praise him for this high status.
In Hinduism, there is no such concept of martyrdom or a martyr. However, performance and following of one’s righteous duty present in the holy books.
In Buddhism, the concept is different from other religions. A person who becomes a Buddha in this life or another and eases the suffering of others is a martyr. He puts others before himself. Furthermore, there is no history or evidence of persecution or conflict of this religion with other faiths.
The concept of a martyr in Sikhism is somewhat similar to that in Islam. In this religion, a martyr dies in a battle. Also, a person who does not surrender his faith, principle, belief, and tenets and tastes death is a martyr as well.
A martyr is a person who dies for a cause. The cause may be religion or his faith. It could be a sacred principle or in the name of God. Furthermore, fighting for freedom and dying in doing so also bestows the title of a martyr. Whatever the reason is, a martyr is given high ranks in most religions. Since all of us will die sooner or later, it is better to die for something. It is better to die with a purpose, either big or small. The death that brings dignity and honor is one of the best forms of death. It keeps your name alive even after you leave this temporary world.