Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim,
Barakah, as we know, means blessing. The word occurs many times in the Quran in different forms, for example:
And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah , We would have opened upon them blessings (barakaat) from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning. [7:96]
Barakah is a blessing bestowed on Allah for some specific object, for specific actions of ours, or on specific occasions. There are also people who are blessed, like the Prophets alaihimus salam.
Our Prophet Muhammad (saws) was blessed since his birth. There are many stories in the seerah about how a thin and milkless sheep would have its udders flowing with milk when Rasulullah milked it. One of the sahabis received an eye injury during a battle, and his eye was cured by the prophet’s spit.
Another meaning for the word baraka is a pond. Just as a pond collects water and holds it, a thing which has barakah in it holds the blessings. When we start a work in the name of Allah, saying bismillah, that work becomes blessed. Likewise, there are times of day and days of the year which are blessed, for example, the early hours in the morning are blessed. That’s why it is recommended to get our work done during those hours for the highest productivity.
The Prophet (saws) said.:
Allah bless them in their measurements, bless them in their sa’s and bless them in their mudd. [Sahih Muslim].
The Two parties to a transaction have the choice so long as they have not separated. If they are honest and open, their transaction will be blessed, but it they tell lies and conceal anything, the blessing of their transaction will be lost. [an-Nasai]
In surah Maryam, Allah quotes Isa alaihi salam:
And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive, and [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. [19:31-32]
Prophet Isa was blessed from the time of his birth. His birth itself was, just like Prophet Muhammad, very light on his mother, and less painful. He brought into his mother’s life great blessings. From the cradle he defended his mother when the Children of Israel accused her of adultery. And despite having no father, Prophet Isa didn’t suffer the usual stigma of orphans. He was loved by people because he didn’t take from people, rather he gave them, or in other words, he was mubarak.
In current times, Muslims are among the least respected, often ridiculed class of people, even in Muslim countries. In some Muslim countries, Christians and Hindus have free license to practice their religion, whereas Muslims who are trying to practice Islam are called ‘fundamentalists’, stigmatized and persecuted.
Even amongst ourselves, there is little love and sense of brotherhood and more arguing and fighting. Whom do we blame for our downfall? The kuffar, the media, the governments? Before blaming anyone else, we first need to have a good look at our own selves. Allah said in the Quran:
And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much. [42:30]
Prophet Isa was loved by his people because he was mubarak. Prophet Muhammad was loved and cared for in childhood, despite being an orphan, because he was mubarak. The household he went into with his foster mother was blessed overnight with prosperity.
Prophet Yusuf, while in prison, as a captive, didn’t take from people favours, rather he gave them. He gave his two companions good advice, and expert opinion on their dreams. Even the ruler of Egypt became indebted to this prisoner. That was the sunnah of the prophets – to give and not to take, to be mubarak.
Abdullah ibn Abbas radiyallahu anhu narrated the following story:
One day I was riding (a horse/camel) behind the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, ‘Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’ [Tirmidhi]
So the question we need to ask our self is – Are we giving to the world more than we’re taking from it, or vice versa?
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