We often hear martyrdom to be set and explained that throwing or sacrificing our lives is an act pleasing Allah. It is certain that martyrdom places the believer among the privileged of Allah, but only a few interpret the deeds what grade mortal people as martyrs according to Islam.
Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; (Quran 3:169)
A beautiful passage about the Martyrs in the cause of Truth. They are not dead: they live, -and in a far higher and deeper sense than in the life they have left. Even those who have no faith in the Hereafter honour those that die in their cause, with the crown of immortality in the minds and memories of generations unborn. But in Faith we see a higher, truer, and less relative immortality. Perhaps "immortality" is not the right word in this connection, as it implies a continuation of this life. In their case, through the gateway of death, they enter, the true real Life, as opposed to its shadow here.
They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. (Quran 3:170)
They glory in the Grace and the bounty from Allah, and in the fact that Allah suffereth not the reward of the Faithful to be lost (in the least). (Quran 3:171)
The above ayas mention only those who die in battle. But let's not stop here! Because the list of martyrdom does not end here.
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (through another chain of transmitters) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Whom do you consider to be a martyr among you? They (the Companions) said: Messenger, of Allah, one who is slain in the way of Allah is a martyr. He said: Then (if this is the definition of a martyr) the martyrs of my Umma will be small in number. They asked: Messenger of Allah, who are they? He said: One who is slain in the way of Allah is a martyr; one who dies in the way of Allah, is a martyr; one who dies of plague is a martyr; one who dies of cholera is a martyr. Ibn Miqsam said: I testify the truth of your father's statement (with regard to this tradition) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: One who is drowned is a martyr.
Reference: Sahih Muslim 1915
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Five are regarded as martyrs: They are those who die because of plague, Abdominal disease, drowning or a falling building etc., and the martyrs in Allah's Cause."
Reference: Sahih Al-Bukhari 2829
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fight for the sake of God is martyrdom, the death while giving birth is a martyrdom, burning is a martyrdom, drowning is a martyrdom, tuberculosis is a martyrdom, disease is a martyrdom.
Let's sum up.
It’s not only on the battlefield someone becomes a martyr. In fact! There can be the least, as this is the least opportunity. The goal is not to “produce” occasions for such a martyrdom. The concept of martyrdom in Islam is much broader than that. The above hadiths mention the victims of diseases, pregnancy, childbirth, gynecological complaints, suffocation, burns, collapses of buildings, hence the consequences of earthquakes, floods, natural disasters, epidemics but even simple accidents.
But there are much more hadiths, so I just list the further contents. The victims of Fitna (conspiracy, intrigue) are martyrs. Those who have been wronged are martyrs. Those who were killed for their wealth, for their family, for their faith, are martyrs.
If we notice, any of us is a martyr who conducts a normal, God-pleasing life, endures the vicissitudes and struggles for the better future of our children, for the fulfillment of the will of Allah.
The one who sends you to the battlefield, demanding martyrdom from you, first he has to demonstrate an example. Do not follow him, but the Scriptures.