Is the one who dies of brain cancer considered a martyr?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.
Sharia texts clarified the types of martyrs for Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “There are five types of martyr:
one who dies of plague, one who dies of an internal complaint, one who is drowned, one who is killed by his house falling on him, and the martyr in God’s path.” [Related by Al-Bukhary].
In addition, scholars placed a standard for considering a person as a martyr as follows:" Everyone who dies of painful continuous sickness, a fatal disease or sudden affliction will have the same reward of martyr; the first type(Painful continuous sickness): the one who dies of an internal complaint, the second type: the one who dies of plague and the third one: the one who dies of drowning." [Faidh Al-Bary Sharih Sahih Al-Bukhary] for Al-Khashmary.
Further, the one who observes the types of the deaths mentioned in the above narration realizes that one who dies as a result of being afflicted with one of them suffers from a great stress before death, because he remains conscious and feels the whole afflictions while passing away; thus he is considered a martyr as he meets Allah, The Exalted and the reason behind it is to raise his reward and redeem his sins in order to reach the rank of a martyr whereas the highest rank is the martyr in Allah's path.
However, the afflicted person must be patient and seek the reward for it from Allah in order to attain the reward of a martyr since Al-Imam Al-Sabkee stated when was asked about martyrdom:" Is an honorable status which takes place at death and has a cause, condition and result." And he mentioned some of the conditions which render the afflicted person a martyr as follows: patience, seeking the reward for it from Allah, no debts are due one the deceased person nor taken people's money unjustly and the like.
Thus, whosoever was afflicted with cancer and been patient , praised Allah and died on this status is to have the reward of a martyr if Allah, The Exalted wills, since this disease is one of the most fatal diseases that causes death in most cases and people still have no cure for it. Therefore whoever was afflicted with it shouldn't be angry; rather he should do his best in seeking all kinds of possible treatments and be satisfied with his destiny because nothing will occur with him save what Allah decreed for him and to believe that Allah decreed and chosen him to be with martyrs so long as he is patient and said we are Allah's and lo! unto Him we are returning.
Besides, Muslims are most optimist about is what been mentioned by Ibn Hajar (May Allah have mercy on his soul) in a sound narration related by Ali Ibn Abi Talib as follows:" Every death of a Muslim renders him a martyr, yet the rank of martyrdom surpasses all deaths." [Fatih Al-Bary]. And Allah knows best.