Shouq-e-Watan (Desire for the Aakhirah) 1
by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi
Chapter No: 1
APPROXIMATELY THREE YEARS ago a severe plague spread in the Muzaffarnagar district. Also, the severity of the plague remained for some time. Our little town, Thana Bhavan, which is also part of the Muzaffarnagar district, was also affected by the plague. Due to the plague being severe and widespread, people were in distress. Some left their settlements and ran away; some were preparing to run away; some were perturbed, frightened and terrified. In short, there existed an astonishing situation. Since the Muqaddas Islaamii Shari‘ah has taken responsibility of treating all spiritual difficulties and inner sicknesses, and these hardships had come about as a result of possessing little sabr (patience); having weak reliance on Allah Ta’aala; not being content and satisfied with the commands of the Almighty; and not possessing yaqiin (confidence and trust). The basic cause of all this is solely a strong desire and inclination towards the dunyaa (material world) and keeping away from seeking the Aakhirah (hereafter). All know that the cure for any illness is to remove its cause. Hence, the sayings of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam: “The love for the Dunya is the root of all sin”, and “Excessively remember the eraser of all pleasures, death” is the only secret of (treating) this.
Taking all these aspects into consideration, and in accordance with this principle, while paying attention to the reformation of the general public I began mentioning in my discourses and lectures the favours, joys and comforts of the hereafter, and creating a strong desire for the hereafter and to abstain from the pleasures of the dunyaa. Also, the attaining of all these favours and pleasures being dependent on maut (death).
For this reason I mentioned death being a blessing and favour. When describing these favours of the hereafter, the qabr (grave), qiyaamah (day of reckoning), Jannah (paradise), and the glad tidings for a mu-min was mentioned. In the same series, especially regarding every type of difficulty, virtues, reward, nearness to Allah Ta’aala, promise of acceptance, on which are based the glad tidings and good news of the favours and blessings of the hereafter were now and then mentioned in lectures and discourses. As a result clear and immediate results were witnessed, and the courage and confidence of the public set in.
Signs of happiness and contentment began to manifest themselves. All distress and difficulties turned into contentment. More so, in some way a few people began to look forward to death. When these subjects proved so beneficial for these people, it came to mind that for many years, now and then, in many areas of India, plague keeps on spreading and it is not known till when such a situation will remain. Wherever plague spreads, the people become engulfed in the same type of distresses, fears and difficulties, as a result, surely loss and harm regarding the hereafter is experienced. Even during normal times, at the bereavement of a dear and beloved one, this same situation is experienced. Patience and Tawakkul (complete reliance on Allah Ta’aala etc.) is not found. The life of this world becomes bitter. Therefore, everywhere people are in need of this prescription for strengthening the soul and heart. These subjects, which benefited the local people, if collected in a written form and conveyed to people of other places, will, it is hoped from Allah Ta’aala, benefit them too. Hence, a firm intention was made to collect subjects pertaining to the hereafter.
Since these subjects were delivered during lectures and discourses at various places, it was not possible to write it with the same detail. Therefore, it was intended that these type of ahadith be chosen from Shaykh Jalaaluddiin Suyutii’s Sharhus Sudur and translated into simple language, because this will fulfill the original aim. About thirty such ahadith were in the process of being compiled when a copy of a Misrii (Egyptian) printed copy of Sharhus Sulfur containing a commentary titled Bushraa al Ka-eeb, also by Shaykh Jalaaluddiin Suyutii was received from a friend. This copy especially contained those subjects, which refer to the glad tidings after death. Since this booklet was more suitable for my desired intention, it was thought, that instead of choosing subjects from Sharhus Sudur, a great portion of this booklet be translated, and at places to complete or corroborate a subject, or mention some details, subject-matter be taken from other sources too, which should be regarded as an extended and collateral portion of the original. Where no kitaab reference has been mentioned, it is a translation from the original Bushraa al Ka-eeb. Reference sources of subject-matter taken from other kitaabs are also mentioned.
I have found it appropriate to name this booklet Showqe Watan because the hereafter is our original Watan (abode, home country), and is worthy of being desired. Our negligence and carelessness have made us totally forget. This booklet will remove such negligence and make us desire our original abode.
Now it is hoped, with the grace of Allah Ta‘aala, that this book be so useful, that at times of sorrow, grief and fear, if it is read or read to others, or read at small or big gatherings, then In-Shaa-Allah instead of sorrow, happiness; instead of fear, peace of mind; instead of distress, contentment will result. Many chapters have been compiled herein. It must be remembered that the translation is made in simple language for the benefit of the layman. With hope of gaining barakah the original ‘Arabic ahadith has also been given. It is also a source of more assurance, satisfaction and caution. Where deemed necessary details have been given under the caption of commentary. May Allah Most High accept this kitaab with the hope, and for the purpose and aim that is was compiled; make it a source for the desire of the hereafter; and with the desire give the taufeeq (divine guidance) to prepare for the hereafter, and with taufeeq grant acceptance and nearness to Him. Aameen.
Hadith: The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.