If a Muslim who committed major sins frequently was murdered, is he considered a martyr? And also if a person who considers himself a Muslim, drinks alcohol and don’t pray Salah, is he truly a Muslim.
There are different levels of martyrdom. The real martyr who is considered a martyr in this life as well as in the hereafter, is the one who gives his life up for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. All the virtues mentioned in the Ahaadith for a martyr refer to this type of martyr.
This type also has 4 categories according to the sincerity of their intentions and according to the amount of sacrifice they had offered. Also they won’t have everything forgiven automatically, rather they will be held to account for the huqooqul ibaad they had owed to the general public. Among the first people to be thrown into Jahannam, is a martyr who only fought for name and fame; to show his bravery.
Besides this shaheed, there are many other type of people whom Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala will bless with some of the rewards of a Shaheed in the Aakhira. From amongst them is the who dies by drowning, or by a roof collapsing on him, or someone who dies in a plague, or one who dies defending himself, his wealth, his family.
These people are not equal in rank to the one who gives his life for Allah Ta’ala. However, due to Allah’s blessings on the Ummah of our beloved Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, Allah will also bless these people with a certain rank of Shahaadah in the Akhirat.
It is possible however, that if one has committed many major sins, then he may have to be purified by being punished for a certain amount of time, and then will enter Jannah as a Shaheed after being purified. It is also possible that Allah Ta’ala forgives them completely without punishing them through his grace and mercy.
قالَ بن التِّينِ هَذِهِ كُلُّهَا مِيتَاتٌ فِيهَا شِدَّةٌ تَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ عَلَى أُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِأَنْ جَعَلَهَا تَمْحِيصًا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَزِيَادَةً فِي أُجُورِهِمْ يُبَلِّغُهُمْ بِهَا مَرَاتِبَ الشُّهَدَاءِ قُلْتُ وَالَّذِي يَظْهَرُ أَنَّ الْمَذْكُورِينَ لَيْسُوا فِي الْمَرْتَبَةِ سَوَاءً وَيدل عَلَيْهِ مَا روى أَحْمد وبن حِبَّانَ فِي صَحِيحِهِ مِنْ حَدِيثِ جَابِرٍ والدَّارِمِيُّ وَأَحْمَدُ وَالطَّحَاوِيُّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حبشِي وبن مَاجَهْ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عَمْرِو بْنِ عَنْبَسَةَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سُئِلَ أَيُّ الْجِهَادِ أَفْضَلُ قَالَ مَنْ عُقِرَ جَوَادُهُ وَأُهْرِيقَ دَمُهُ وَرَوَى الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ الْحُلْوَانِيُّ فِي كِتَابِ الْمَعْرِفَةِ لَهُ بِإِسْنَادٍ حَسَنٍ مِنْ حَدِيثِ بن أَبِي طَالِبٍ قَالَ كُلُّ مَوْتَةٍ يَمُوتُ بِهَا الْمُسْلِمُ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ غَيْرَ أَنَّ الشَّهَادَةَ تَتَفَاضَلُ. (فتح الباري 6/44)
As for a person who drinks alcohol and doesn’t pray Salah, yes he is a Muslim, but he is not a complete Muslim. He is at a very low level of Imaan. We shouldn’t say he died as a martyr. We shouldn’t say he’s a Jannati, just as we can’t condemn him to Jahannam.
A person does not become a disbeliever by committing sin. A person becomes a disbeliever by denying or doubting Allah Ta’ala or his Messenger, by denying the obligation any of the Faraaidh (Obligations), by denying anything proven clearly from the Quran or Mutawaatir Ahaadith, or by making a joke or mocking any of the rulings of Shariah.
These are some general rules pertaining to Kufr. The Masaail pertaining to this topic are very detailed and one should not go around issuing Fatwaas of Kufr, but if such a case occurs, a Mufti should be contacted.
And Allah is All Knowing
(Ismail k 1/13)