By Hazrat Moulana Thanwi (rahmatullahi alaih)
The Virtues of Plague & Sahaaba desires for Martyrdom
Sayyidina Anas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Plague is a (means of) martyrdom for a Muslim.” – Bukhari, Muslim.
Sayyidina Abi Hurayrah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Five (categories of) people are martyrs: a person who passes away in a plague, one who passes away due to a disease in the stomach, the one who drowns, the one on whom a building falls, and a martyr in the Path of Allah.” – Bukhari, Muslim.
Ummul Mu-mineen, Sayyiditina ‘Aaishah Radiyallahu ‘Anhaa said: “I asked Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam regarding plague. He informed me that it is (a type of) punishment (for some) which Allah Ta’aala sends on whom he wishes (‘for some’ here means the kaafirs). And Allah has made it a mercy for the Mu’mineen (believers). The one who remains with patience in his plague affected settlement, with the hope of gaining reward, and knowing, that only what Allah has decreed for him will happen. He will receive the reward of a shahid (martyr).” – Bukhari.
Sayyidina Jaabir Radiyallahu ‘anhu reports, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The one running away from a plague is like the one running away from jihaad. The one who stays steadfast with patience therein (affected place) will receive the reward of a shahid (martyr).” – Ahmed.
Commentary: From the previous two ahaadith it becomes clear that those affected by plague attain the reward of jihaad while remaining in their homes. The reward for jihaad is the best amongst all deeds.
‘Alim Alkindi said: “I was with Abi ‘Abas Al-Ghifaari on a rooftop. He saw a group of people leaving the settlement because of plague, he said: ‘0 plague take me (because I am desirous) towards you.’ He said it thrice”‘ – Ahmed, Tabraani.
Sayyidina Anas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “If a Muslim is afflicted with a bodily affliction (illness etc.), it is said to the angel (who records his pious deeds), continue recording the pious deeds he commited in his state of good health. If Allah grants him recuperation, He will cleanse him. If Allah grants him death, He will forgive and have mercy on him.” – Sharhus Sunnah
Muhammad bin Khaalid As-Salami narrates from his father, who narrated from his grandfather that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When a bondsman is going to be granted a certain status from Allah, which he cannot reach through his own deeds. Allah Ta’aala afflicts him with some calamity in his body, or to his wealth, or children, then grants him sabr (patience), until he reaches that status which has been determined for him.” – Ahmed, Abu Daawud.
Sayyidina Jaabir Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When the afflicted ones are given their reward on the day of qiyaamah (judgement), the healthy ones will wish that their skins were cut with scissors in the world (so they may also attain the same rewards).” – Tirmidhi.
Ummul Mu-minin, Sayyiditina ‘Aaisha Radiyallahu ‘Anha says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When the sins of a bondsman increases, and he does not possess deeds which will atone for it, then Allah Ta’aala afflicts him with sorrow to expiate for those sins.” – Ahmed