be to Allaah.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on
him) was asked about a man who traveled by sea for the purpose of trade,
and he was drowned – did he die as a shaheed?
He replied, yes, he died as a shaheed, so long as he
was not travelling for sinful purposes. For it was narrated in a saheeh
report that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who drowns
is a shaheed, the one who dies of a stomach disease is a shaheed, the
one who is burnt to death is a shaheed, the one who dies of the plague
is a shaheed, the woman who dies giving birth is a shaheed, and the
one who is crushed by a collapsing building is a shaheed.” And people
killed in other ways were also mentioned.
Travelling by sea for the purpose of trade is permissible,
if one thinks it is most likely to be safe. If it is not safe then he
should not travel for the purpose of trade; if he did that [i.e., traveled
when it was not safe to do so], then he has contributed to his own death,
and in such a case we cannot say that he was a shaheed. And Allaah knows