The prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, director and imam of Al-Falah Islamic Center, Oakville, Ontario, Canada , states the following: “Martyrdom is a very sacred term associated to legitimate Jihad under the Islamic system. It is not a political term that is used as propaganda. One day the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked about someone who fights for fame, courage, etc. and his answer was: “whoever fights to defend the cause of Allah, will be considered a martyr.”
therefore, we have to be careful when using this term, especially when referring to certain individuals.
a person might work sincerely for the sake of Allah and for the betterment of his community, and receive the reward of the martyrs should die in this path, but this is something that will be exclusively known to Allah.
If we are not aware of the intention of someone and whether he was really working for the right cause, we must abstain from calling him a martyr.”