A martyr ("witness") is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. In the martyrdom narrative of the remembering community, this refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of an actor by an alleged oppressor. Accordingly, the status of the 'martyr' can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those who are considered worthy of the concept of martyrdom by the living, regardless of any attempts by the deceased to control how they will be remembered in advance.
Imam Hussain (AS) knew definitely that he will be martyred in Karbala and went for his martyrdom because it was the only way to save Islam from deviation and Muslim Ummah from doing astray.
No doubt, Imam Hussain was informed by his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), his mother (SA) , his father (AS) and his brother Imam Hasan (AS) about details of what will happen in Karbala. Allah (SWT) grants His best servants from His knowledge of the Unseen.
These narrations are in Sunni books.
I did not find them in our authentic Shia books of Hadeeth. We have narrations that the believer will get in the Paradise his believing wife as the most beautiful woman along with the Hoor.
According to Amaali al-Shaikh al-Sadouq, Janab e Muslim ibn Aqeel (AS) had two sons martyred in the day of Ashura with Imam Husain (AS) and another two sons who ran away from Karbala after the martyrdom of imam Husain (AS). These two sons where martyred later on after Karbala and were buried near Musayyab in Iraq. أمالي الشيخ الصدوق
Hazrat Abbas (AS) was the chief commander of the army of imam Husain (AS) and he had to remain till the end of the battle.
Those who were been martyred in the way of Allah are alive ( Sura 2, verse 154 and Sura 3, verse 169). No doubt that the martyrs listen to us when we talk to them. In fact, every dead person can hear us when we talk to him loudly as the Prophet (SAWA) spoke to the dead Kafirs who were killed in the battle of Badr.
Martyrs have real life in which they can listen. Regarding the letters, it depends on the status of the martyr. Letters written to the Infallible Imams will be seen they them and might be even replied, but that is not for every martyr.
Yes. Woman can be a martyr in different ways. Mother of Ammar ibn Yaasir was martyred by the disbelievers in Makkah and mother Wahab was martyred in Karbala and any Momina who dies with the love of Ahlul Bayt (AS) will die as a martyr. (Tafseer Al-Zamakhshari , v. 4, Tafseer Al-Raazi) v. 27.
Books of History mention that Hazrat Abul Fazl Al-Abbas (a.s.) had 5 sons;
2. Al Fazl,
3. 3. Al Hasan,
4. 4. Al Qasim and
5. 5. Muhammad.
6. History also mentioned that he had 2 daughters. Mohammad Ibn Al-Abbas is mentioned as one of the Martyrs in Karbala.
Obaydullah son of Al-Abbas Ibn Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) is been mentioned as the son who left children. All the grandchildren of Al-Abbas (a.s.) were from the sons of Obaydullah. The grand and great grand children of Al-Abbas (a.s.) are many and they include many Scholars and very pious Momeneen and very respected Personalities in the history of Muslims. Of the well-known personalities from the great grandchildren of Al-Abbas is Al-Hamza who is buried in Al-Midhatiyyah near Al-Hilla and the whole area is now is called after him as Al-Hamza.
Some of the martyrs were like that before Karbala like Zuhair ibn al Qayn who was previously a supporter of Othman ibn Affan, but after listening and following Imam Hussain (AS), he believed fully in Ameerul Mo'mineen and Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (AS), that is why he sacrificed his life in the way of Allah under the divine leadership of Imam Husain (AS).
This narration المطعون شهيد is found in Sunni books of Hadeeth ( Riyadh al-Saliheen 1:1353 from Abu Huraira) but I did not find it in our authentic books of Hadeeth. It has been mentioned in few of our books of Fiqh but the meaning of مطعون is not a victim of plague but a stabbed person. مطعون can be from طاعون plague and can be from طعن which means stabbing. The meaning of the narration if it was authentic can be a victim of plague or a stabbed to death.
If it is an authentic, it does not mean a real martyr who should not be given Ghusl, but it means the reward which he gets because he was a victim.
Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib was Sayyid al-Shuhada in his time. Imam Husain (AS) is Sayyid al-Shuhada for all the times till the Day of Judgement.
Muslim Ibn Aqeel (AS) was born in Madina in year 12 Hijri and was martyred in Kufa in year 60 Hijri by Bani Umayyah as he was the envoy of Imam Husain (AS) to Iraq. His age when he was martyred was 48 years.
There are a number of hadith in both Shi'i and Sunni hadith collections which describe types of honorary martyrdom; that is, they describe people who die in certain ways as "martyrs". (This ranges from things as dying from drowning, to dying with love of Ahl al-Bayt (A), to dying while sleeping with wudu.)
From these narrations, it can be gleaned that there is a certain respect or acknowledgment given to people who pass away in these ways, and/or some of the acts (obviously the voluntary ones, not involuntary ones) are respectable.
However, my understanding that the formal or highest notion of martyrdom is reserved for those who give their lives in the way of Allah (and Allah is the One who knows who they are). Perhaps one could consider someone who is intentionally putting themself at risk of infection to serve the people, and then dies, as this sort of martyr.
In the Sunni hadith collection of Sahih Muslim, it is related that the Prophet (S) described five types of people as martyrs; among those are those people who die from the plague. I am not sure offhand if this narration is transmitted via Shi'i chains of narration or in Shi'i books. However, this narration (or others similar to it) is the source of the idea, being circulated today, that people who die from the plague are martyrs.
However, with respect to Shi'i texts, it is related that Imam Reza (A) told someone: "Every beliver whom God afflicts with a misfortune and who exhibits patience over it, shall surely come to possess the rank and recompense of a martyr in the eyes of God.” The person who was told this did not understand why the Imam was telling him this, as he was not going through any major difficulties at the time, but he soon developed a painful and difficult condition that lasted for a number of months, and then he died - the implication here being that his patience over his illness granted him the status of martyrdom.
God knows best.