Yearning for the Hereafter

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The corona virus is said to have originated in China from where it spread with astounding speed across Europe, the Americas, parts of Africa, the Middle East and other regions, prompting the World Health Organization to declare it a pandemic in nearly 2020. The virus left in its wake a trail of horror, economic collapse, depression, grief and bereavement.

Millions were affected by it and hundreds of thousands succumbed to death. The mayhem caused by this virus is an obvious cause of fear and trepidation. The daily barrage of statistics on how many have been affected and the number of deaths is bound to cause feelings of depression and melancholy. Those who lost near and dear ones are undoubtedly grief-stricken and broken-hearted.

In the early 1900’s certain regions of India were faced with a similar situation to what we are today facing albeit not so wide-ranging and destructive. Upon seeing the fear, depression and grief pervading the community, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahu allah) initiated lecture programmes which revived the spirits of people and provided solace to them. He then compiled some of the subject matter into a book so that a larger audience could enjoy these benefits. This took the form of Shauq-e-watan, now translated into English “Yearning for the Hereafter.”