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My Son Is Afraid of Dying, How to Help Him?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 04, 2019

Question

My 10 year old son has fears of death. He became extremely fearful of dying after his grandfather has died last year. I’m trying all the time to calm him, but he says ‘I think about death and often I start crying just by the thought of it. Please tell me how can I help him?

Counselor

Answer


Child fear of death

In this counseling answer:

•I recommend you share with your son a documentary about the afterlife. The one I am thinking of is called “After Life”.

•In it, people who had a “near death experience”, i.e., were pronounced dead but then came back to life, were interviewed about what they saw and felt. Phenomenally, ALL of them said that they entered a milieu of “love”.


As- Salaamu ‘alaikum

You have a very precocious 10-year-old! Be grateful to Allah. I would tell him that many things on this earth are “paradoxical”. Tell him that the only reality is Allah yet Allah is the One thing (for lack of a better word) we cannot see. Tell him that when a person is a leader, they are actually serving the needs of others. So, things are not always as they appear. Tell him that if we did not feel pain, we would not know what joy is, so pain is good, paradoxically!

Then, he may be able to understand the following: Tell him that this life is only a testing ground for our soul to find itself – and that the Next life is the real life, so…. death is actually not really death but the doorway to the “real” life… Then, tell him that we came from the earth and when we return to it, it will probably feel like we are coming “home”.

 

Now, of course, if we were sinful, it may not feel so good – and he may be too young to understand that and I don’t think it would be healthy to say that to him because he may get scared again. BUT, you, the adult, don’t forget, Allah is Good, perfectly, which means that everything from Allah is good too – even Shaitan – who is not good in and of himself but he is good for us because he challenges our thinking and makes us think.


Check out this counseling video

 


So, how is our punishment good? It is us being at one with The Truth and that feels good internally even though it may hurt externally. For example, if you sin, you like to take a shower and clean yourself – right? that is what “purging sins from us is all about” to make our soul feel “clean” again…

If you can figure out a way to teach him this that is appropriate for a 10-year-old, go for it…inShaAllah, and Allah Make it easy for you!

P.S. I recommend you share with your son a documentary about the afterlife. The one I am thinking of is called “After Life” (I think – but when I went to find the link for you, a zillion documentaries about the afterlife came up and I don’t know which one it is). In it, people who had a “near death experience”, i.e., were pronounced dead but then came back to life, were interviewed about what they saw and felt. Phenomenally, ALL of them said that they entered a milieu of “love”.

SubhanaAllah! The way this is punishment for even the sinful people is that they will know that Allah Is Love and can’t benefit from His Love because they did not believe in Him when they had the chance to. This may be the very thing that your young child needs to hear — from people who have been there, i.e., had firsthand experience with the closest thing that we can ever know about death while living (other than what the hadiths tell us about it).

Allah Is Generous! He provided us with everything we need to survive this life He Has Given us to test us! He blessed us with people visiting, if you will, the afterlife and then coming back to tell us what it is like. SubhanaAllah!

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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