As Salam Alaykum sister,
Shokran for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear about your classmate who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. When someone that young dies, it can be shocking. May Allah grant the family ease, have mercy upon your classmate, grant her/him forgiveness, mercy and Jannah.
Life is Temporary
It is often events like this in our lives which make us think about how temporary life is and how easily it can be snatched away. Sometimes when we are too young to understand the concept of death, we can lose a loved one and be very sad and affected. Yet, it may not cause us to think about it in a very deep way wherein we seek a spiritual resolution. When one is older (past middle age) and friends, family start passing away, it is so painful but you kind of expect it because of age. You get depressed, you feel sad, you process the grief and usually one can move on.
However, when one is a teen-young adult such as yourself and experiences a death, it can tend to really make one analyze their life, spirituality, mortality of self and others. As we know, we cannot escape death. It is often this stark realization often by experience that we realize it does happen, that propels us towards self-exploration. This is what you may possibly be going through now, self-exploration.
Benefits of Introspection
As you stated, you are keeping your salat more, you are taking Islam more seriously, and you are trying to become a better Muslim. It may be that this very real-life experience brought you closer to Allah. It is this longing, this desire to have complete trust in Allah which ultimately soothes the heart. Aboutislam (1) has a very good article you may wish to read regarding tawakkul.
Anxious thoughts about Death
A lot of times when young people reach their early teens to mid-twenties, they begin to think about their mortality. They begin to think about death and dying and the meaning of it all. Often anxiety, fears, and phobias can surround the issues of death as one works through the process. It is not a pleasant thought or feeling, but it is a part of growing and developing a consciousness of life. This is quite common to experience. It can be considered a part of a developmental phase that some people go through. Your case, as with others, may have turned into anxiety.
It sounds like your preoccupation with thoughts of death are due to a possible anxiety disorder that has set in. I cannot diagnose you sister, only a therapist who assesses you can. However, as it is consuming much of your thoughts, I kindly advise you to consider counseling Insha’Allah, if you cannot resolve this in time.
Seeking Closeness with Allah
Sister, I kindly suggest that you keep seeking closeness with Allah. The more you turn to Allah for help, guidance and for forgiveness the more you will feel ease.
I kindly suggest insha’Allah, that in addition to what you are already doing, please do get involved in Islamic activities such as joining a sister’s group for studying the Qur’an, attending lectures, going out for social fun with friends, as well as increasing your interests. Insha’Allah, by building up a strong Islamic, familial and social support, you will gain a more positive outlook on life.
I understand what you are going through and how you feel, trust me. I went through a period in my early twenties when I felt the same way. It stayed with me for about a year or two and caused me to feel much anxiety. I fear losing one of my parents or siblings but with the help of Allah, I made it through and finally accepted that we have no control over things. Allah has control over all. The best we can do is to be good human beings.
Be kind, loving, help others, and no that our good deeds in this life will mean much in our afterlife. I am not talking about deeds done just to get brownie points, I’m talking about good deeds that come from the heart. Dhzikr also helps increase tawakkul. Remembrance of Allah when you are feeling anxious or scared in regards to death can bring a sense of peace and comfort to you. Dhzikr is very healing.
You sound like you have a very good heart sister. Insha’Allah, possibly you can engage in some charity work. That helped me immensely when I was going through my anxiety regarding losing someone that I loved, and others going through similar emotions have reported it as fulfilling as well.
Sister if you continue to seek Allah and keep your mind busy with positive things, as well keep building up your Islam, in time this preoccupation with death may leave you. The thought of death will never totally go away, because we all understand the impermanence of life. However, it may strengthen your resolve to become closer to Allah, and please Allah, which will have enormous benefits in your life and mental health. Please do seek counseling sister if the preoccupation does not go away, insha’Allah it will. Please let us know how you are doing, you are in our prayers.