Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool
Question: Assalam alaikom,
I have had severe anxiety lately about death and the process of dying. I suffer from severe claustrophobia so my anxiety about death is compounded by the thought of being restricted in a casket, lowered into the ground and covered in dirt. Are there any supplications I can make for Allah to ease this process for me when the time comes and also is there any literature or information given to us from Allah or the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) that describes the process of death?
Answer: Wa’alaikum assalaam warahmatu Allahi wabarakatuh,
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) advised us to supplicate using the following dua, especially in the prayer, after the tashahud, before the salaam:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَمِنْ عَذَابِ النَّارِ وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave and the punishment of the Fire; from the tribulations of life and death, and from the tribulation of the Maseeh al-Dajjal.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) encouraged remembering death, saying: “Make much remembrance of the destroyer of pleasure, [death].”
However, if this remembrance is causing much anxiety or sickness, I would recommend consulting with a shaykh who can advise you regarding our emotional state/well-being.
Yes, there are a lot of narrations about about death and its process. In English, the last book of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum ad-Deen, namely, Remembrance of Death and the Afterflife, is a good read. I’m sure you can find other books online.
May Allah ta’ala protect us from the punishment of the grave and give us a good ending.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani