The Fear of Illnesses & Death

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) wrote, in Thib ar-Ruhani, that a person of sound mind should not fear illness excessively, because it must inevitably befall him some time during his life, and fearing what is inevitable is merely an increase in harm.  As for fearing death and thinking about it, it is something that is hard to do but what eases it, is knowing that death is inevitable so caution does not benefit the person in anyway rather it increases one's cautiousness.  Every time a person imagines the intensity of death, he experiences it emotionally, this is why he should not picture death in his mind, he will only die once, not multiple times, and avoiding thinking about it will ease it.

A person should also know that Allah (s.w.t.) is Able to Make it easier, if He Wills, and that what is after death is more disturbing than death itself, because death is a bridge that takes us to our eternal dwelling.

However, one should frequently think about death to work towards it, not just for the sake of imagination.  If the thought of leaving this life saddens the heart, then the cure is to know that this world is not a dwelling of satisfaction, rather its pleasure and satisfaction is in departing it, therefore this is not something that one should compete to possess.  Thus, a wise person is saddened by leaving this life only because of the righteous deeds he will miss performing, and that is why the righteous predecessors used to be saddened by death as well.  When Sayyidina Mu’adz ibn Jabal (r.a.) was on his death bed, he said, “O Allah!  You know that I did not love this world, and living long in it for the beauty of flowing rivers or for planting trees.  Rather for fasting the hot days, forbearing in acts of worship for hours, and joining scholars in circles of Your remembrance.”


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