The best and the most honourable way to get killed
The Eighth Hadith
It has been reported on the authority of Abdullah bin Hubshi Alkhat’ami that the Prophet – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – was asked “What is the most honorable way of getting killed?” He said “He whose blood is spilled and his horse’s legs are cut off”, as narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Nasaai, Ad-Daarimi and Al Bayhaqi. Shaikh Al-Albani has declared it as Saheeh. Some others narrated it as: “Which Jihad is the best?” He – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – answered saying “It is that your horses legs are chopped off and your blood is spilled”.
Clarifying some of the meanings of the words in the Hadith:
Uhreeqa damuhu (أهريق دمه): His blood has been shed
‘Uqira (عقر): This refers to an action which is to hit the legs with the sword, and the meaning here is that his horse gets killed.
AlJawad (الجواد): It is the good strong horse whether male or female.
*Beneficial lessons from the Hadith:*
Firstly: The honour of getting killed in the way of Allah and that those who are killed are of different ranks.
Secondly: The reward would be proportionate to the difficulties and afflictions faced, and this hadith is its embodiment.
Thirdly: Incitement to seek martyrdom and being eager for its loftiest stations.
Fourthly: The merit of steadfastness when facing the enemy.
Firstly: The titles under which the Imams – may Allah have mercy on them – listed this Hadith:
Al-Bayhaqi reported it under the title of “The virtue of martyrdom in the way of Allah Almighty”. Ibn Majah put it under the title “Fighting in the way of Allah the Most High”. Ibn Hibban listed this same Hadith under the heading “The statement which says that the best Jihad is the one in which the person has been granted martyrdom”. He also listed a similar version under the heading “Mentioning the statement which says that Allah the Almighty gives to the one whose horse is killed and his blood is spilled the stations of His righteous slaves”.
Secondly: Mullah Ali Qari – may Allah have mercy on him – says “In this report there are two metonymies which is of killing him and of killing his mount, such that they combine all his efforts in fighting on foot and while riding, and with his wealth and with his body”.
Thirdly: Al Tayibi – may Allah have mercy on him – says “As for his statement “Which way of being killed is the most honorable?”, it was asked only out of eagerness for it, because ‘honour’ means esteem, value and high-standing. And that is because the rank of the martyr who has achieved one of the levels of martyrdom, its peak and its highest point will be to dwell in Al-Firdaws. This martyr is the one who has given his life, his wealth, and his mount in the way of Allah. As for the cutting of the legs of his horse, this is a metonymy for his extreme courage because he was of those that could not be defeated until his horse got brought down by cutting its legs from under him”.