The Many Meanings of Muslim Martyrdom

Akbar's Chamber - Experts Talk Islam

30-09-2023 • 56 min

Today, Muslim martyrdom is often most associated with the modern phenomenon of suicide bombing. But definitions about martyrdom—and its relationship to jihad—are complex and contested, being the subject of intense scrutiny and debate among Muslim scholars for nearly fourteen centuries. In this episode, we’ll examine the development of the Islamic doctrine of martyrdom, from its surprising absence in the Quran through its appearance in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, and the different ways in which medieval then modern religious leaders understood martyrdom, not least in its militant form. Nile Green talks to Asma Afsaruddin, author of Jihad:  What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2022).