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I am terrified of death, what can I do?

I am terrified of death, what can I do?


AsalaamuAlaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakahtu. I’ve never really told anyone about this, but I am terrified of death. It consumes me almost daily. I have much anxiety and I am always scared I will be punished for things I’ve done in the past when I die. I’m Muslim Alhamdullilah and I pray and fast and follow the deen the best I can Alhamdullilah but I am still so scared of death. I have actually sought counseling because I’m so scared. I’m 21. Any advice/Qur’anic support you can offer akhi?

Wa alykum as-salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakahtu,

First things first, stick with counseling, because neither I, nor any other person without counseling credentials is any substitute for proper help that is done in a healthy and supportive setting.

It seems to me you have to be easier on yourself, and you have to realize that God begins every Surah (except for the 9th) with the following phrase:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of God; The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

This is not an accident, and if we understand this, truly, we may approach our lives with less fear and focus our intention to do good, because we should not cripple ourselves with fear, for that provides not benefit for us or for our communities.

When I was younger I believed in God, without question, I understood the concept of God, accepted it, and accepted that God had created this world, my existence, everything. Yet, for some reason, I had this fear of death because I could not fathom having my existence transferred into another plane, i.e. heaven and hell.

I talked to a friend of mine, who is actually an astrophysicist, and we discussed the concept of an afterlife and he mentioned how it would not be too difficult to transfer the energy of ourselves into another physical dimension or form. At least, that’s what I got out of it, and since I only know six scientific facts, all of which are wrong, take that statement what you will.

Even then, I still had my doubts, and then I read an ayah from The Qur’an that hit me like a sledgehammer, which said:

“Are they, then, not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth, has the power to create them anew in their own likeness” [17:99] Muhammad Asad

Right there, in that simple statement, my world changed. If I can accept the concept of God, that God is The Source of all creation, how could I consciously limit or rationalize any limitation upon such–truly–limitless power?

If God has the power to create, just, everything then what could possibly prevent Him from giving me an afterlife?

My fear stemmed from a fear of the unknown, that I did not understand what happened after my death, and yet, the answer was in The Qur’an, and so when you look at it that way, you can turn your concerns from death, to what are you working to so that when we pass, and we all will, you can be proud of whatever you have done, whether that is being the bedrock of a family or the leader of an entire nation, no act of kindness or justice is too small, for we are all destined to meet our Maker.

Please do not substitute this for help from those who are qualified professionals (in terms of counseling) and seek out help from your family and your local Imam, insha Allah.

I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

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