- kill as a martyr; "Saint Sebastian was martyred"
- one who suffers for the sake of principle
- torture and torment like a martyr
- one who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty for refusing to renounce their religion.
So, yes... pretty much what I would have expected to find. Even in the scriptures of the good ol' RC church, you'll find the odd passing reference to 'martyrdom', as in the early disciples of Christianity and how they were initially persecuted by the various governments of the day. Nothing however, that would indicate it was even a suggested practice...
Now on the other hand, what do Muslims believe?
Wikipedia had this very good rundown on the term:
Shahid (Arabic: شَهيد šahīd, plural: شُهَداء šuhadā', also romanized as shaheed) is an Arabic word meaning "witness". It is a religious term in Islam, meaning "witness", as stated, but most often "martyr." It is used as a title for Muslims who have died fulfilling a religious commandment, or waging war for Islam.
The shahid is considered one whose place in Paradise is promised according to these verses in the Qur'an:
"Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyr's) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve."
"Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his Covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme."
Islam's prophet Muhammad is told to have said these words about Martyrs:
"The martyrs requested of Allah the following; "For the sake of you, o Allah, send us back to the world again so that we may be martyred once more".
Muslims also believe that God grants the reward of martyrdom to those who die in a variety of ways, including death during childbirth, accidents such as fires and drownings, and epidemic diseases such as the plague.
Regardless of how death occurred, Muslims believe that the reward of martyrdom is contingent upon proper belief, sincerity, perseverance and thankfulness to God.
For an even more extreme description of this wholly-Islamic form of lunacy, check out the link below:
What a crock of shit... Seriously... What kind of a moron would actually believe this type of fairy tale? I was going to use the 'R'-word, as in retard, but to suggest that a retard would believe this, well this would actually be an offense to retards the world over. The Qur'an itself, by the way, does not define 'waging war for Islam' as killing anyone who disagrees with your psychotic take on God, religion or how these last two should govern every aspect of your miserable life.
The Muslim world was totally bypassed by the Era of Enlightenment and Empirical Logic, which swept the European continent, some 400 years ago. They categorically and specifically eschew Empirical Logic, simply because it grounds itself in science and not in the imaginary. Their argument is that science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a "non-tangible" entity (God). A realist would argue that the use of the term "non-tangible" is in fact bullshit. The term "non-existent" is far better suited for describing any of the world's so-called deities.
You will notice that the very definition of this word, and more to the point the requirements for attaining this much sought-after and religiously-driven accolade, are all based not in reality, nor in any intellectual basis, not in common sense or reason... but in the realm of religion. Of collective insanity. In the realm of make-believe... You know... Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Great Pumpkin, pick any fictional character you want.
Like I said, I'm not an uneducated man. If I were, I suppose I might feel inclined to buy into any number of 'religious beliefs'. "What does being educated have to do with a belief in religion", you ask? If anyone would feel the need to as such a question, then it is painfully clear that their level of "education", or perhaps their grasp on reality such as it really is, is not what it should be. Education and religion simply do not belong in the same sentence. Western society has been detaching itself slowly from the Dark Ages, where religion and superstitions held sway over the largely uneducated masses. We are moving ever forwards, one would at least hope, towards logic and reason.
Religions are all, without exception, contrivances of man. They were invented, pure and simple. They hold no more reality than do our dreams. Do you want an example of a completely useless degree? Try any degree in theology. That's like earning a degree in Trivial Pursuit, or campfire stories, or Elvis sightings (post-death, of course). Religions and Gods, are both no more than delusions. As quoted by Robert Pirsig In 'Lila': "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."
So for any of you aspiring 'martyrs' out there, hear this:
1. If you have not gotten laid by the time you decide to have someone end your life, you're pretty much screwed. And I mean this figuratively of course, because once you're dead and in the ground, there's no way you're ever going to "have your ashes hauled". All you'll be doing is feeding the worms... Definitely no virgins, not even a well used groupie. The nicest mansion in Paradise...? Don't make me laugh, Abdul. What's left of you will be sprayed off the sidewalk, possibly with the larger chunks buried in a nondescript hole somewhere.
2. The realization should have hit you long ago that if this martyrdom gig was such a hot deal and a big honour, those prepping you for your big send-off would have done it a long time ago. Ever wonder why those of you who have never been allowed to formulate a single idea of your own, are the ones strapping on the Cemtex vests? Ever wonder why the older guys with a shade more education than you, are the ones who don't go out in a blaze of glory? Naaaaahhhhh... 'course you haven't. Poor gullible little sod, ya...
3. Contrary to popular belief, as you continue killing off your future breeding stock, their families have to be supported by the remaining wackos. I know you guys go for pretty cheap, but eventually all those nickles and dimes have to add up. Your support base will eventually begin dwindling (as it has in many areas already, necessitating calls for money from assholes like Bin Laden and Omar, the One-Eyed Trouser Snake...) and those who have been fence-sitting up until now will side with reason, rather than your pointless, bullshit theatrics. The laws of survival dictate it.
Even now Pakistan is reeling from the incestual genocide sponsored by the Taliban. In the end, they will have no choice but to recognize who their enemy actually is and join the fray against them. Either that or implode into an orgy of senseless bloodletting and die as a nation... something that many other countries are no doubt anticipating with great relish. But in so doing, they would establish a precedent. They would become the very first nation (although short-lived) to qualify for a Darwin Award.