Briefly, what you need to know....

The Muslim figure of the Martyr (shahîd, plural: Shuhadâ, means in the general sense of being a witness and dying for bearing witness to one's faith) is now widely discussed. Already in the 7th century due to the circumstances of the Hegira, there is a notion of Martyrdom of the great Islamic conquests by Arab-Muslim cavalrymen. The latter, carried by a bellicose faith, preached the conversion or submission of the infidels and then seized, under the reign of the first four caliphs (successors of the Prophet), the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, part of Libya, the whole Middle East and Asia Minor at the borders of India. A great leap forward after, in the 80s, there were wars between Iraq and Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the attacks of September 11th, 2001,... And still the clashes in Iraq, Syria, northern Lebanon (2007, 168 Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes with the fighters of Fath al-Islam, in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared) and not to mention the many factions between Muslims, then the intifadas, among others, who put forward this emblematic figure of the Martyr (we can see there the notion of istish'hâdi: voluntary candidate for martyrdom) because it emerges, obviously, from these interminable interreligious conflicts in large part. This profile of the Martyr has in a way made him a little jihad*. It should be noted that these acts of voluntary martyrdom by Islamist militants have punctuated conflicts in the Arab-Muslim world by various religious or so-called religious currents. But must the Muslim have to wage war, to sacrifice themselves by their faith to be a Martyr?

*Until the end of the 19th century, the majority of exegetes considered that the "great jihad", i. e. the inner struggle against one's own faults and religious negligence, prevailed over the "small jihad", the military confrontation with the enemies of Islam/ defend its territory. As a result, the question of the meaning of martyrdom on the battlefield was of little importance. It only reappeared again with the re-islamization movements of the second half of the 20th century.

David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, notes that in the early 1980s, when suicide attacks first appeared in the Arabic-speaking Muslim world, they were considered the weapon of the poor. Using people as smart bombs, capable of adapting to the objectives to produce as many victims as possible, was first considered tactically by Hezbollah and then strategically by Salafist-Jihadist groups. These practices are called "martyrdom operations".

Let's go back a little bit, precisely in Iran, since the subject of my lessons is on the Anthropology of Shia Islam, among others. After the invasions that signed the end of the Sassanian Empire, the Iranians integrated Islam, but with the addition of the figures of the Zorastrian pantheon, the original religion. Why? For Mohammed's grandson is strangely close to Siyâvash, the mythical prince of this pantheon, who chooses to sacrifice himself for the future and who will finally be beheaded in the desert. For the Shiites, if Mohammed is the prophet, their true hero and Martyr is Hussein. It is he who accompanies the Shia believer from cradle to grave, who connects him to God and his Zoroastrian past. Hussein one of the sons of Ali and Fatima (Mohammed's favorite daughter). Ali, the third Caliph of Islam, was murdered following succession disputes. The conflict did not end: Hussein took up arms against the Umayyad power. On the 10th day of the month of Muharram (October) in the year 690, he was defeated in Kerbala (Iraq): he died of thirst, beheaded under Caliph Yazid by Hurr, commander of the troops, humiliated in front of his people. It is the birth of Shiism. Since then, every year, Shiites have celebrated Hussein's sacrifice in processions where flogging and blood take first place, uttering a unique cry, "God, Hussein is dead! ", it's Achoura. Hussein therefore represents symbols: pain, loss, faith and the enthusiastic expectation of the Mahdi (the "guided").

According to David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, for Shia, martyrdom is a primary element in the belief system. Shiism reminds us of the tragic story of Muhammad's descendants, many of whom were killed by Sunni-dominated or Sunni-influenced governments. According to Shia political theology, these descendants should have exercised legitimate government after Muhammad. The majority Shia group in particular, the duodecimans, believe in a series of twelve imams who lived after Muhammad's death: the twelfth, he believes, entered into occultation (i.e. disappeared from male sight) until the day of his future reappearance as a messianic figure.

It should be noted that the Iranians play the role of Husayn/Hoseyn while the invading Iraqis play the role of Yazid, Husayn's opponent and the most hated figure in Shia Islam.

And to "guide" us in our enlightened examination of the notion of Martyr, the chosen subject, we have the honour of having Mohamed Bajrafil, theologian and Sunni Imam of Ivry sur Seine. Before that, I will explain the term Imam in law and in the Muslim religion.

In Arabic, the imam means "the one who is placed in front of", i.e. the one who leads the ritual prayer. We have seen that Sunni Islam does not have a clergy in the classical sense of the word. The function of the imam is conferred on a man whose religious skills are established. He can be recognized as a mufti by his experience and his community, that is to say, one who is able to give an interpretation of the dogma, through his different sources. Daily prayer can be practiced without the help of the imam, unlike the collective prayer on Fridays.

The imams guide the prayer, they do not pray for the faithful, but enlighten them in their faith. The imam does not, unlike the Catholic or Orthodox priest, have the ability to forgive in the name of God. Among the Shia, who are not very present in France, the Imam acquires an intermediate dimension between God and man, which gives him remarkable authority. In Persia, from 1501 onwards, Shiism, that of the duodecimans (as we have already mentioned above), known as Jaafar al-Sadiq, became a state religion and in the 19th century, the Ayatollahs (signs of God) took religious, political and doctrinal leadership independently of any hierarchy. Namely that there are minority branches of Sunnism, the best known are the Alawites, Ismaili, Druze, Zaydites,...

Mohamed Bajrafil SENSDUMONDE

Interview with the Imam of Ivry sur Seine, Mohamed Bajrafil:

We often associate the word "Martyr" with War Martyr, that is, those who fell for the nation (a gift of their lives for a good cause) and became heroes. But who is the Martyr in Islam, a hero (fighter) or a victim? This word does not even exist in the Koran as such, what do you think?

Christian Bromberger, Professor Emeritus, says that the word "Martyr" originally means "witness" in Greek, the language of the Christian gospels, and in Arabic, the language of Islam (martus, shahid). The Martyr is the one who testified of his faith, refused to recant him, and who, for not having denied his belief, was put to death. In Christianity and Islam, especially Shia Islam, there is an exaltation and worship of martyrs except in Judaism.

Mohamed Bajrafil:

The word Martyr does not exist in the Koran, it exists without existing... The term Shahîd, here, is attributed to God to signify that he is present and conscious. For example, in the chapter of the Prophets, on the last page of the Qur'an, Jesus the son of Mary maintains that he said nothing more than to worship God rather than him and his mother, Sura 5:117 "I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness." Shuhadâ, plural of Shahîd, also exists in the Koran to mean, among others, people by their presence of spirit, such as the companions of the Prophet. However, there are many different interpretations. Some exegetes and others will see in it a sense of Martyrdom, as you understand it in your first definition, in certain passages of the Koran.

David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, points out that the most common Muslim martyrological memory derives from the accounts of the first battles against the pagan mecquois, between 622 and 632. The only unambiguous reference to martyrdom in the Koran (with the term shahîd, plural shuhadâ') is found in the Sura of the Family of' Imran :

"If one wound affects you, the same wound affects the unbelieving people. We alternate these days for men so that God may recognize those who believe, and take witnesses (shuhadâ') among you" (3,140)

So with the notion of a small Jihad?

It is a defence of his religious beliefs, no more and no less than a freedom of expression. "I fight when I am prevented from defending my ideas. "It is the freedom to believe or not to believe. Unfortunately, many people think that Islam incites people to become Martyrs, one only becomes that one because one has no choice, it is the offensive struggle. Moreover, for the Muslim, dying as a Martyr is not the best end in itself. He must aspire to cultivate his faith and nourish his mind intellectually, living a long time. The "Shahîd", in every sense of the word, does not covet the notion of war and even less to become a Martyr. In the Koran, it says that you were prescribed to fight but that it is something that is against the Muslim, to kill or be killed.

Should the Martyr resist in his struggle, at the risk of his life?

In Muslim law, the notion of war is the authorization of a self-defence struggle (Jihad) for those who have been victims of injustice. And this injustice can affect both material and psychological, human thought. Moreover, we can distinguish two types of Martyrs, the one from here and the one from the afterlife. The first is the one who dies in battle for God in the name of his homeland, for example, of a faction but not a Muslim one. Therefore, he will not be allowed to be washed and prayed upon, he will be buried as he is, bathed in his blood or even in his deteriorated body. It is important to emphasize here that the fighter is Shahîd in at least two forms of testimony: God and the Prophet have testified that he would go to Paradise, and that he is a witness, at his death, of the vision of this Paradise.

Course note "To those who, fighting in the path of Allah, are killed or victorious, we will give an immense reward", says Sura 4:76/74 of the Quran (Blanchère translation)

Mohamed Bajrafil: For the Martyr of the Hereafter: There are, for example, at least eight types of Martyrs: the one who dies by a heartbreak, the one who seeks knowledge, the one who has an incurable disease or who dies by fire, the one who drowned and even for a woman who dies because of her divorce, for a woman who dies in childbirth, raped or murdered. Unlike the Martyr here, they will be washed with a mortuary toilet and celebrated in prayer.

Course note: Other faithful may be given the title of martyr: those who died while performing a meritorious act, a pilgrimage for example, warriors whose death is not the immediate consequence of their wounds, believers who died of natural death after leading a virtuous existence... They are the shuhadâ' al âkhira, the "martyrs of the other world" (Kohlberg, 1996, p. 211), but who do not enjoy the same Aura as those who associated jihad and martyr.

In Islam, unlike the other deceased, "battlefield martyrs" (Shuhadâ' al-ma'raka) can be buried, without first being washed, in their blood-covered clothing. According to some legal schools, it is useless to say prayers for their salvation, "Since the martyr is purified from all sin, he needs no intercession" (Kohlberg, 1996, p. 210)

David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, says that ideas about martyrdom in Sunni Islam mostly date back to the period of the great Islamic conquests (634-740) or perhaps to the following century. It is difficult to find definitions of martyrdom in both Sunni and Shia Islam. An important tradition reported in the authorized collection of al-Bukhârî (d. 875) says: "The Messenger of God[Muhammad] says: "The Most High God has established the reward[of the martyr] according to his intention. What are the circumstances of the martyr?' They replied:'To die in the way of God[jihad]'. God's Messenger replied: "There are seven other categories of martyrs besides those who die on God's way. Who dies of stomach pain is a martyr, who drowns is a martyr, who dies of the plague is a martyr, who dies of pleurisy is a martyr, who dies in the collapse of a building is a martyr, who dies in a fire is a martyr, the woman who dies in childbirth is a martyr'"

This tradition seems to considerably expand the concept of martyrdom, far beyond mere combat. Al-Suyûtî (d. 1505), in one of his works, lists more than fifty different circumstances that give someone the quality of martyr. This broad categorization of martyrdom does not seem to have had a significant impact on perception, but it does highlight the difficulty of defining what exactly constitutes martyrdom.

Is the martyr therefore well absolved of his sins by having the mercy of God as Kohlberg says?

He is absolved of his sins except for those he has committed on humans like himself, he will be held accountable but a great reward is reserved for him in Paradise. The Koran says, "Do not believe that those who are killed in the path of God are dead. They're alive! They will be blessed with good things from their Lord, they will be happy with the grace that God has given them. They rejoice because they know that those who will come after them and who have not yet joined them will no longer have any fear and that they will not be grieved" (3:169-170)

Goods, graces like seventy-two virgins called "houris" (women like white grapes)?

Not only is this idea being overused, people have stereotyped it. I explain it, they are prophetic traditions that come from the Sunna, hadiths like the number of houris mentioned. Already, in the exegeses, different from each other, the term "houri" is controversial on its meaning, there are several of them, and then it is not the supreme reward...

What are we told about this Martyr's Paradise? (In Islam, Paradise has eight doors.)

Many things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no spirit imagines. Beyond the procrastination, there are divine rewards of all kinds such as the promise of a happy and fulfilled life and especially the promise to see one's God. It is also said that the Martyr will be able to take with him seventy persons of his family (living or dead) without contesting their actions, yet another exegesis... The one to be spared the pain of the grave, to go directly to Paradise without suffering, on the day of judgment, he has a crown on his head as a sign of royalty, he has security, protection...

What about the Martyr wife and Martyr's wife?

They will have the same privileges, which God has chosen the best for them.

Course note: Christian Bromberger (Dictionnaire de la Méditerranée), Actes Sud, 2016, he emphasizes that the Martyr is thus preserved from the torment of the tomb and purgatory; he will marry 72 houris. He mentions that the martyr has a special status.

David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, says that the most important tradition in this regard is found in another of the six canonical collections, that of al-Tirmidhi (d. 910), which states:

"In the sight of God, the martyr has six[unique] qualities: God forgives him at the first opportunity, he shows him his place in paradise, he preserves him from the torment of the grave, he guards him from the great terror[of the Resurrection], a crown of honour is placed on his head - a crown adorned with the most beautiful ruby in the world and everything in the world -, he has as wives seventy-two houris[women from paradise] and gains the right to intercede for seventy people in his family ".

From these rewards, it is easy to understand why Muslims wanted to reach the rank of martyr. The rewards that usually attract the most attention are the last two - marriage with virgins, or women of paradise, and intercession for one's own kinship (the number 70 should mean a "considerable amount"). Although the practice of intercession is problematic for both Sunni and Shia Islam, because it allows the person who benefits from it to avoid being punished for his or her own sins, the concept has always been popular.

And for you, what do you expect from Heaven?

I will quote you the words of a great mystic of Sufism, Rabia Al Adawiyya: "If I adore you out of fear of Hell, burn me! I f I adore you out of desire for paradise, lock me out of paradise. But if I adore you for Yoursel alone. Don't deny to me your eternal beauty". "I have two ways of loving You: a selfish one and another way that is worthy of You. In my selfish love, I rememenber You alone. In that other love, You lift the veil and let me feast my eyes on Your living face" To meditate on...


 Which emblematic figure is decreed Martyr?

Many, but I want to tell you the story of the prophet Zechariah (Zakariyyah), John the Baptist (Yahyâ) beheaded without shame. In a few words, the Prophet Yahya blamed Herod for his illegitimate marriage to Herodias, his brother's wife. The latter did not appreciate the criticism, so he had Yahya arrested and thrown him in jail. Herod's mistress tried to get the prisoner killed, but Herod refused. However, she managed to do so during a feast for Herod's birthday, but at the sight of this horrible sight, her heart abandoned her and she collapsed to the ground. Yahyâ believed in the messages of Jesus (Issa), he was close to nature, just and honest. I invite you to read his story in Islam.

Who is the first Martyr in Islam?

At the very beginning of Islam, in the time of the Prophet, there was a woman, Soumaya, who was brutally mutilated from her sexual parts for admitting her religious beliefs. And by not denying his faith, his executioner was called "the Father of Ignorance". This figure of the Martyr is not in the Koran.

Could it have been the one who died in the place of Jesus, who is in the Koran?

In the Koran, Jesus did not die, but there is still a debate among Muslim theologians about his last days on Earth. Moreover, there is no detail given on the person left for dead in his place. But of course, in the hadiths, you will have other interpretations about his identity.

About Jesus, he is concretely a Martyr in Christianity, died as a Savior for the remission of the sins of mankind and rose from the dead, what is your point of view?

In Islam, there is a prophetic text that says, "Be the child of Adam killed and do not be the child of Adam murderer. "I will see more the notion of Martyr as we have mentioned it than of the Savior.

David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, points out that the Koran does not attribute to these first "martyrs" any specific title (even mustad'af, "oppressed", is the product of successive revelations like 8:26, or perhaps indirect allusions like 28:5), and it cannot be said that their historical experience has taken on a normative value for Islam.

Course note: Christian Bromberger (Dictionnaire de la Méditerranée), Actes Sud, 2016, emphasizes that the valuation and "apologetic inflation of martyrdom", according to André Mandouze, are the very desire for martyrdom among the first Christians, stem from an identification with the martyr "par excellence" that Christ the Savior was, having sacrificed his life for the redemption of sins. A similar valorization of martyrdom characterizes Shia Islam where the 3rd Imam, Hoseyn, was massacred with members of his family in Kerbala by the troops of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid. (cf. top of the duty) Before his torture, Hoseyn is said to have proclaimed, according to Shia tradition: "Behold, this dagger will fall on my head. Oh! I'm glad you did! Oh, my God! Don't forget to keep the commitment you made too. On the day of resurrection, forgive all sinful men, all Shiites, for I redeem them at the cost of my blood. »

Why is the blood of the Martyr pure? In contrast to the Muslim's blood?

The Martyr has pure blood (tâhir), that's all. There are two impurity considerations to be taken into account: physical and metaphysical in the abstract sense. For example, if a man and a woman touch each other after ablutions, they will have to repeat their cleansing. There are many schools in terms of what is and is not tolerated. Another example, the dog is not impure for some Muslim Schools like Malekism but it will be for others. With the exception of the Martyr, the more blood there will be on the Muslim, the more impure the blood will be (najjis) but for a cut that would only reveal a drop of blood, the question does not arise. To come back to it, you kill a mosquito on you, Muslim law does not tell you to wash yourself. It is the amount of blood that determines the notion of purity in Muslims except for Wahhabis, and it is not illegal to give blood. Did you know that it is also said that the blood of the Martyr smells like musk? Like a perfume of Paradise stated, once again, in exegesis.

Course note :

Exoteric impurity (zahir): the dirty

Esoteric impurity (stick): evil

And donate organs?

There is a fatwa that states in particular that organ donations are prohibited, but it must be understood that a fatwa does not oblige any Muslim to apply it because a fatwa is a religious opinion, it is not coercive and everyone is free to act as they wish.

For example? Is there a fatwa about the Martyr?

Malekism founded by Imam Malik, who died in 179 AH, had, fifteen years before that, in 164, a disciple called Ach-Châfi`. This disciple attended his School, he drew his source from it, but after the death of the imam, he will change his mind, repealing three quarters of his ideology. Why? Why? Because he follows his instincts and lives with the times. It is to tell you that there is no fatwa written on this notion of Martyrdom because there is no choice.

For example? Is there a fatwa about the Martyr?

Malekism founded by Imam Malik, who died in 179 AH (Anno Hegirae), had, fifteen years before that, in 164, a disciple called Ach-Châfi`. This disciple attended his School, he drew his source from it, but after the death of the imam, he changes his mind, repealing three quarters of his ideology. Why? Because he follows his instincts and lives with the times. It is to tell you that there is no fatwa written on this notion of Martyrdom because there is no choice to be.

Samir Khalil Samir, Jesuit, doctor of Oriental Theology and Islamology, states that Sheikh Ahmad Abu Yussuf, issued a fatwa stating that even the AIDS patient should be considered as a martyr. He justified this by the well-known hadith: "Whoever dies of a stomach ache (mabtûn) is a martyr". He added that 90% of those who die of AIDS "return to God at the end of their lives".

The common opinion today is that intentional suicides are acts of martyrdom. Here is, by way of example, the fatwa pronounced by the Association of Palestinian Ulemas, which bears the title of : "The operations of voluntary death (istishhâdiyya) are among the most beautiful forms of jihâd on the way of God". They base this opinion on three Qur'anic verses, several hadiths and unanimous testimonies (ijmâ') from medieval scholars (Abû Ayyûb al-Ansârî, Abû Mûsâ al-Ash'arî,'Umar Ibn al-Khattâb, Ibn Taymiyya, al-Ghazâlî, al-Nawawî) and contemporary times, including Dr. Yûsuf al-Qaradâwî and Sheikh al-Shu'aybî. After that, they refute the arguments of contemporaries who refuse to consider these actors as martyrs, in particular that of Sheikh'Abd al-'Azîz Al Shayk, the mufti of Saudi Arabia who issued a fatwa about these operations saying: "I do not know their legal legitimacy and I do not consider them as a jihad on the way to God. I fear they are simply suicidal operations. Or the fatwa of the Rector of al-Azhar, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid al-Tantawî, who said: "Suicidal operations (intihariyya) are martyred if they are directed against soldiers, not against children and women". A long argument, based on the opinion of many ulemas, refutes these two opinions.

And yet Martyr who wants to? Like suicide bombers (kamikisation) who call themselves Muslim in addition?

They are not Shahîd and it is not Islam. They are the ones who harm us and kill innocent people. In Muslim law, it is said that you have the right to attack only someone who has lifted the sword on you.

Muslims (in the path of Allah) who kill each other in a war for different reasons: ethnic, political, who is considered a Martyr?

In a statement by the Prophet (hadiths), two Muslim believers who wage war against each other with their swords, the murderer and the murderer go to hell.

The murdered one too?

The Prophet said that the murdered man had evil intentions to take the life of his opponent, hell is due to him.

Course note: Christian Bromberger (Dictionnaire de la Méditerranée), Actes Sud, 2016, clearly states that martyrdom can thus have a powerful mobilizing effect (going as far as "suicide attacks" in contemporary conflicts, including outside the religious currents that have most exalted it, such as Shiism. While suicide, carried out for personal reasons, is condemned by Islam, theologians, such as the Egyptian mufti al-Qaradhâwi, consider this sacrifice lawful for his religion and community.

David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, asks himself whether it is permissible to commit suicide? He replied that fatwas or legal opinions concerning martyrdom operations are interesting because they provide the legal and Islamic justification for this tactic. They are problematic in themselves because quoting a fatwa or noting how many people read or take it on the Internet does not necessarily indicate the number of people who feel bound by them. In general, a fatwa is binding on the person who requested it and on those who consider the pronouncer to be a personality of great spiritual prestige. This tends, in practice, to eclipse a number of fatwas whose authors are insignificant and whose supporters are kept to a minimum, and to turn the best-known ulemas or other non-traditional and politicized religious leaders into real stars.

What is your definition of Martyr?

The Martyr of Knowledge, the Martyr of Love. Dying of love and knowledge is the best death ever.

Your reaction to the preconceived idea of the Muslim equals Martyr, Martyr equals terrorist?

In Islam, the unbeliever is the one who has known the Truth and has refused to recognize it and as long as the substance has not been made aware there is no unbeliever. And unfortunately, the confusion is huge, in people's minds, they imagine that all Muslims are all unbelievers and that they devote themselves to Jihad to be Martyrs. These Muslims who wage war in the name of Islam have only made an erroneous and exacerbated interpretation and appropriation of the Koran. Their conscience remains ipso facto realities that are theirs at the moment they are being lived, the one who reads the Koran with a warlike substrate, will not see love and will tend to kill.

These warriors sell this notion of Martyrdom praised by God through indoctrination, through proselytism? What do you think of that?

Proselytism must be seen in two ways, the first is when "I think you are wrong and I am right, and out of love, I will tell you my truth. "And the second is to seek to recruit the person by falling under a political-war dogmatism rather than a Faith. Let us not forget, one of the highlights of history like the White Fathers, what did they do? They were missioned to preach the good word, their evangelization allowed colonization....

What is your conclusion on this topic?

A poem from the Martyrdom of Love:

Lovers have suffered enough of their Love here,

By God, they cannot be punished because they have been victims of the fire of Love,

They have tasted this fire and they cannot be burned by the fire of the afterlife,

Eden will be their brilliant and sparkling home for having loved without saying it,

I will end by telling you that Islam is so rich that the layman has reduced it to a single message: a religion of blood. However, studies have shown that the Arab tradition is not a warrior tradition, there is no pride in advocating the notion of Martyr. During the Prophet's lifetime, before and after the Hegira, there were only about 1000 victims of wars and civilians and not thousands as claimed. From the year 40, after the Hegira, (the Caliphate will last 30 years) the Caliph Mu'awiya 1st and king of the Umayyads took power and really began the Arab-Islamic conquest.

Thanks to the Imam of Ivry sur Seine, Sheikh Mohamed Bajrafil for his participation.

In conclusion:

In Islam, some hadiths also present sacred martyrs, such as the intercessors between siners and Allah. Moreover, these holy martyrs, by the virtues they have demonstrated, by their moral perfection, are examples that we must strive to follow. But isn't the paradox that these examples that we are invited to follow are superhuman and almost inaccessible? Asked Christian Bromberger as a question. We have seen that in the commemoration of certain main martyrs, in Christianity as well as in Shia Islam, rituals are given, notably the celebration of the violent death of Hoseyn, which is reminiscent of spirituality and theology Christians attribute to the death of Christ. For David Cook, Professor Emeritus of Islam, the notion of martyrdom is much more central in Shiism, it is also true that it concerns the family of Prophet Muhammad and some of his very first followers, rather than the common Shiites who died a heroic death for their beliefs. To some extent this has changed with the introduction of a more activist form of martyrdom, especially in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) and among the southern Lebanese Shiites (Hezbollah) in the struggle against Israel (1983-2000).

The Muslim point of view on the phenomenon of martyrdom seems rather unclear from a legal point of view. It seems that political motives also play an important role: either to support the lawfulness of suicide attacks or to reject them, as is the case with the official authorities of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. There is also the role of media coverage (a point that should be developed).

Samir Khalil Samir, Jesuit, doctor of Oriental Theology and Islamology, finally says about the modern Martyr of Islam that we are dealing with two quite different visions of love for God: one where the Muslim shows love for God by fighting to the point of self-sacrifice for His Name; and another where the Muslim shows this love by renouncing all violence to drive out hate and attack from this world.

It is up to each one to make his choice, as the imam of Ivry sur Seine, Mohamed Bajrafil, says in a very philosophical way, "it is infidelity in fidelity. »