Those who are not killed in a battle by disbelievers, though they may be regarded as martyrs in Islamic law, should be washed and funeral prayer said for them.
The bodies of such martyrs, during the Prophet’s time, were washed. Later on Muslims, during the days of ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, continued this practice (washing the bodies of such martyrs). We give below details about these martyrs.
Jabir ibn ‘Utaik reported that Allah’s Messenger said: “There are seven kinds of martyrs besides those killed in the cause of Allah:
1. a person who is killed in an epidemic,
2. a person who is drowned,
3. a person who has bed sores that cause fever and a bad cough resulting in his death,
4. a person who dies of a stomach disease,
5. a person who dies in a fire,
6. a person who dies under falling debris (in a disaster), and
7. a woman who dies during childbirth.” Ahmad, Abu Daw’ud and Nasa’i report this hadith based on sound authority.
Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, asked: “Who do you consider to be a martyr?” They said: “O Allah’s Prophet, he who is killed fighting for the cause of Allah.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “(If this is so) then very few in my community will be martyrs!” They asked: “Who else are they, O Allah’s Messenger?” He said: “He who is killed fighting for Allah’s cause is a martyr, he who dies in the cause of Allah is a martyr, he who dies in an epidemic is a martyr, he who dies from a stomach disease is a martyr, and the one who dies of drowning is (also) a martyr.” This hadith is narrated by Muslim.
Sa’id ibn Zaid reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “He who is killed while guarding his property is a martyr, he who is killed while defending himself is a martyr, and he who is killed defending his religion is a martyr, and he who dies protecting his family is (also) a martyr.” This hadith is narrated by Ahmad and Tirmizhi. The latter considers it a sound hadith.