by Aya El-Dassouki in Lifestyle on 23rd March, 2023
Do you ever plan your day ahead in the hopes of getting as many tasks done as possible, yet time slips away and the tasks and responsibilities remain unfulfilled? While this can be due to a test from Allah swt – in the case of an illness, for example –, the lack of barakah in our lives can also play a significant role in this.
The concept of Barakah is mentioned multiple times in the Qur’an such as: “Had the people of those societies been faithful and mindful ˹of Allah˺, We would have overwhelmed them with blessings from heaven and earth. But they disbelieved, so We seized them for what they used to commit.” (Qur’an 7:96)
Although Barakah is loosely translated as ‘blessings’, it has three significant meanings in the Arabic language. The first definition is “Al namaa wal zeyada” which means “growth and increase”, the second is “Al istimrarya” meaning continuity, and the third stems from the phrase “ibtaraka al jamal” which translates to “the camel has kneeled” and refers to the fact that when camels kneel, they usually remain in the same position for lengthy periods. So an action or item containing barakah is one which continually increases and remains in the same place as though it sticks. Thus, a small action with barakah can result in a significant reaction, opposing Newton’s third law of motion: “for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
Barakah is a central value in Islam that represents the abundance and blessings that come from Allah (SWT). It encompasses several mindsets that we as Muslims need to embody in order to benefit from its presence in our lives. These include:
Moderation: To avoid excessiveness in all matters and seek the middle path.
Generosity: To give others from our time, wealth, knowledge, and experience (while expecting nothing in return).
Uprightness: To do what’s moral, ethical and honest in all situations.These values are not only important for individual growth but also for the well-being of the society and community.
Barakah is growth and increase, which some of Allah’s servants enjoy, and our Prophet ﷺ made dua for at various points, and for a number of companions including Anas ibn Malik (ra). The Prophet ﷺ said, “O God, increase his wealth and his children and bless him with what you gave him.” [Sahih Bukhari 6344]
Allah SWT accepted the supplication of His Prophet ﷺ, such that Anas became the most wealthy of the Ansar and the most abundant of them, to the extent that he saw more than a hundred of his children and granddaughters. Allah also blessed him in his life until he lived a full century and three years above it. .[Sowar min hayat al sahaba]
In addition, books of hadith and biography have recorded several miraculous incidents of the Messenger ﷺ where Allah instilled Barakah in his actions. For example, the food of one person became sufficient for two, sometimes four or much more. Particularly during the battle of Khandaq, the Prophet ﷺ was able to feed a thousand people from a small sheep. [Sahih Bukhari 3070]
Zayd ibn Arqam said, “I had a pain in my eyes and the Prophet ﷺ, visited me and said, ‘Zayd, if your eyes were to go blind because of their illness, what would you do?’ I said, ‘I would be steadfast and reckon my reward to be with Allah.’ He ﷺ said, ‘If that happens to your eyes and you are steadfast and reckon your reward to be with Allah, then your reward will be jannah.'” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 532]
Those who possess a mindset of barakah are said to have a positive outlook on life and are focused on gratitude and generosity. They are also thought to be less affected by the ups and downs of life and to have a greater ability to find contentment in difficult situations. The mindset of barakah is important as an Islamic spiritual practice and is viewed as a key to achieving spiritual growth and closeness to Allah.
It is important to note that making dua and asking Allah for blessings is a fundamental aspect of Islamic worship and should be done with humility, sincerity, and a sense of reliance on Allah.
Aya El-Dassouki. A first year computer science student at York University. I am 19 years old seeking more knowledge and trying to spread the knowledge I have to benefit others!