Answered by Sulma Badrudduja
Question: I fear death all the time to the extent that the thought of what will happen when I die, to me or my children, is taking over my life. What should I do?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Make frequent remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures [death]. For certainly it is such that the one who is in constraint of livelihood does not remember it except that it expands it for him [because he remembers the pleasures of Paradise]; and the one who is in expanse [of enjoying worldly pleasures] does not remember it except that it constrains it for him.”
Remembering death and fearing it is praiseworthy. However, as the scholars tell us, there is a balance between fear [khawf] and hope [raja‘]. Some of them liken it to the two wings of a bird – they are both needed to fly. We cannot progress forward with only one of them. Our fear of Allah and His punishment is what motivates us to do good deeds and take advantage of our time. But it should be balanced with the hope that we hold granted our knowledge of His endless mercy and forgiveness.
Also, remember that our lifespan is already written for each of us. It has been decreed before we were born. Accepting this is part of accepting Allah’s decree. It is natural if the thought to cross your mind of how your children will be taken care of after you, but by no means should you let worrying about this take over your life. Put your energy into making du’a for your protection and your family’s protection, and then leave the rest to Him.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) guided us to say: “Oh Allah! I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave, and from the punishment of Hell, and from the trials of life and death, and from the evil of the trial of the Dajjal.” [Muslim]
اللهم إني أعوذ بك من عذاب القبر، ومن عذاب جهنم،ومن فتنة المحيا والممات، ومن شر فتنة المسيح الدجال
May Allah ease your worries and grant you and us complete reliance on Him.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani