New Book Launched: Earning Barakah

New Book Launched: Earning Barakah

Inner Peace has no price

We get it. You are conflicted. Should I focus on earning well and taking care of my family. Or should I focus on pleasing Allah?

Why not both?

Meet Khalid. A few years ago, Khalid thought he had to decide between studying Islam full-time or starting an online business. Then he discovered the tools within this book. He learned the importance of halal wealth, trusting Allah, and running an ethical business. Most importantly he learned how to achieve these things.

The result: balance. A smooth running online business that finances his study of Islam.

You too are on the verge of achieving this balance.

You just need to do three things:
1. Get this book
2. Read this book
3. Implement the teachings of this book

We made it easy for you. The book is short (100+ pages). The book is affordable ($6 if you purchase today). And the book is easy-to-implement. (each chapter focused on actionable concepts)

Don’t allow yourself to doubt yourself anymore. Your journey towards barakah and inner peace begins with a single click.

Grab the book today:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096VDT5JR

Gumroad PDF: https://gumroad.com/l/earnbarakah/earlybird​ 

Amazon Kindle: https://amazon.com/dp/B0976WQ2SB/

PayHip PDF: https://payhip.com/b/QAISZ

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 0 comments
7 Ways to bring Barakah into your life

7 Ways to bring Barakah into your life

This article is an extract from Earning Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Blessed Sustenance, available here.

Barakah literally means blessings. In Islamic theology, it refers to the concept of something providing value beyond what is expected in an almost supernatural manner. For example, if a meal for five comfortably feeds ten, it is considered to have barakah. Likewise, when $100 goes a long way for someone, it is considered to have barakah. Barakah is a type of karāmat (miracle) that Allah gifts to whom He wills.

The concept of barakah is itself a proof of Islam. The fact that righteous Muslims experience a miraculous increase in wealth, time, effect, or anything else is itself proof that Islam is the true religion of God and those who follow it with righteousness are blessed. Barakah is a beautiful thing to experience and every Muslim should strive to gain barakah in their wealth and every other type of sustenance.

The Quran and Sunnah prescribe many acts of worship that bring barakah into our lives. The verses and hadiths below outline some of the most important sources of barakah.

Piety and Trust in God

“Whoever is conscious of Allah, He will make a way out for him. And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whoever puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion” (Quran 65:2-3).

The primary source of barakah in Islam is one’s relationship with God, as outlined in these verses above. These are among the opening verses in the chapter of divorce (Surah al-Talāq) and are meant to provide hope and optimism for those going through the uncertainty of divorce. These two powerful verses have become a maxim for believers across the globe. Whenever a Muslim faces any difficulty, he or she is often reminded about God’s promise in these verses. If you are conscious of God and trust His plan, He will provide for you in ways you never imagined. This makes taqwā (God Consciousness) and tawakul (Trust in God) the two primary sources of barakah in one’s earnings.

Gratitude

And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more.[1]

This beautiful verse highlights the second primary source of barakah; an attitude of gratitude. Islam prescribes positive thinking for its followers which includes living a life of gratitude. In our lives, there will always be trials, but there is also a lot to be grateful for. The Quran calls on us to recognize the bounties in our lives and thank God for these daily. The result of a life of gratitude is an increase in those bounties. The increase manifests in one of three ways; either God will bless a person with more of the same, with better than what he already has, or with barakah in what he currently has. In all three cases, gratitude leads to increase and therefore should be the constant mindset of the believer.

Some people assume that we should have gratitude during good times and patience during bad times. However, both qualities are always needed. During good times, we need to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives while showing patience by restraining ourselves from sin and persevering in doing good deeds. During times of hardship, we need to be patient with the trials of life, while looking for things to be grateful for. Whenever we find things to be grateful for during a difficulty, it eases the pain, uplifts our spirits, helps us fight off depression, and keeps us optimistic about the future.

This gratitude mindset can be expressed in a variety of ways. A simple way is to say Alḥamdulillah (all praise is for Allah) whenever you think about something you are grateful for. Another important way is to use that blessing in a way that is pleasing to God. For example, spending a portion of our wealth on others. A grand gesture of gratitude to God is to prostrate in gratitude to Him whenever you think about any major blessing in your life. In these different ways, we express our gratitude and earn the blessings of God in our lives.

Charity

Believe in Allah and His Messenger and donate from what He has entrusted you with. So those of you who believe and donate will have a mighty reward.[2]

Charity is a topic that comes up multiple times in this book as it is the heart of blessed sustenance. Charity is not limited to spending wealth on others. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Every act of kindness is charity.”[3] This means that anything we do that benefits someone else is considered charity in the sight of God. In the above verse, Allah reminds us that our wealth is a trust from Him. We can fulfill that trust by spending a portion of that wealth in charity.

He also reminds us that such charity will bring about great rewards. The reward for charity is experienced in both worlds. In this world, the generous soul experiences barakah in his wealth as well as an increase in wealth. In the next, he experiences multiplied rewards for every action that benefited another creature.

Charity should be a lifestyle for the believer. It should never be something that we only do in Ramadan when feeling guilty, or on a public platform. It should be a part of our daily lives. Every day we should seek out opportunities to benefit others and serve society. Even if we do not have any wealth to give, we should look for other opportunities to earn the reward of charity by spending some of our time and knowledge in the path of God. A lifestyle of service earns blessings in every aspect of our lives, especially our wealth.

Dr. Khalil Abdurrashid describes the life of the believer as such;

In Islam, from birth throughout a person’s lifespan, charitable giving fashions a person’s daily, nightly, and monthly routine. Even the body itself is included in the expectation of charitable giving for the Islamic tradition encourages a person to engage all their bodily limbs in charitable acts.[4]

Sharing and Hospitability

Abū Huraira narrates that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “The food for two persons is sufficient for three, and the food of three persons is sufficient for four persons.”[5]

Linked to gratitude and generosity is hospitality. Islam encourages us to treat our guests with honor and to share our meals. The true believer does not focus on his stomach only. A beautiful way to express our gratitude to God for every blessing He has gifted us with is to share it with others. This does not only manifest itself in charity, but also in other types of generosity like sharing meals, honoring guests, and sending gifts to our neighbors and relatives. Every act of kindness causes a barakah effect on our wealth and lives.

Fair Trade

Hakīm bin Hizām narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return goods as long as they have not parted or until they part; and if both the parties spoke the truth and described the defects and qualities (of the goods), then they would be blessed in their transaction, and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost.”[6]

I quoted this narration in the previous chapter to show the importance of transparency in business. There are many lessons to derive from this narration, including an important lesson related to barakah. Note that at the end of this narration, the Prophet (pbuh) states that the blessings of a transaction are dependant on whether the trade was honest or not. If either party is dishonest, it causes a loss in blessings for that individual.

Islam is a religion that demands the highest level of character from us, especially in business. There is no room in Islam for shady business deals, cheating customers, or hiding defects. If we want our wealth to be blessed, we must be honest, fair, and transparent in every deal we do. This is one of the primary methods of turning our wealth into blessed sustenance.

Early Hours

Abū Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “O Allah, bless my nation early in the morning of Thursday.”[7]

The early hours of the day are considered blessed in Islam. Recently, many Non-Muslims have discovered this and have been pushing this idea of starting one’s day early. They claim that they cannot understand why but people get more done when they begin their days early, and time seems to last longer. Muslims, however, recognize this as the blessings of the early hours.

Islam encourages us to start our day early, that is why the first prayer (Fajr) is before sunrise. This forces us to wake up before sunrise. Should we decide to stay up and start work then, we will discover a lot of blessings in our time, as well as the wealth earned during those early hours.

Islam does not encourage a lazy lifestyle. Sleeping less, working more, and spending more time in community service are all part of the Islamic lifestyle. A healthy balance needs to be achieved but if sleep should never be our main priority in life, in a way that half our lives or more are wasted sleeping. Early to bed and early to rise should be a habit for all of us.

Dua (Supplication)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: When one rises in the morning, one should say: “We have reached the morning, and in the morning the dominion belongs to Allah, the Lord of the universe. O Allah! I ask Thee for the good this day contains, for conquest, victory, light, blessing, and guidance during it; and I seek refuge in Thee from the evil it contains, and the evil contained in what comes after it.” In the evening he should say the equivalent.[8]

If you want something in life, you simply need to ask God for it. Allah answers the duas of anyone who calls on Him, as long as what they are asking for is beneficial for them. Therefore, it makes sense to ask Allah for blessings in our time, wealth, and everything else. The above narration includes a recommended supplication. The Prophet (pbuh) recommended starting every morning and evening asking God for many things, one of which is barakah. This shows us that it is recommended to ask Allah for barakah.

We need to revive this practice and make it part of our daily acts of worship. Whenever we call upon Allah asking for whatever we need, our supplications should include asking Allah for barakah in our time, wealth, lives, progeny, and anything else that is important to us. If we do this daily, we should notice an increase in barakah in all these aspects of our lives very soon.

Piety, gratitude, charity, hospitality, fairness, waking up early and supplication are all ways through which we earn blessings in our lives and wealth. If we want our sustenance to be blessed, we must strive to earn it in a way that is pleasing to God, spend it in a way that is pleasing to God, live in a way that is pleasing to God, and ask God directly for it.

Generosity and hospitability are important ways of expressing our gratitude to God for the blessings in our lives. It is through these actions that we earn an increase in blessings. The barakah effect of living a pure life goes a long way towards increasing our happiness and inner peace.

Learn more with Earning Barakah, available in PDF format here.


[1] Quran 14:7

[2] Quran 57:7

[3] Tirmidhī 1970

[4] Dr. Khalil Abdurrashid, Financing Kindness as a Society: The Rise & Fall of Islamic Philanthropic Institutions (Waqfs), Yaqeen Institute: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/khalil-abdurrashid/financing-kindness-as-a-society-the-rise-fall-of-islamic-philanthropic-institutions-waqfs

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  5392

[6] Bukhārī 2079

[7] Ibn Mājah 2237

[8] Abū Dāwūd 5084

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace, 0 comments
Living with a Purpose

Living with a Purpose

Many people struggle to find purpose in their lives. They go through life without any real direction or noble objectives. This search for meaning grows more desperate if they attain financial success. Financial success without purpose often leads to a sense of emptiness and directionless life primarily because one must face the devastating realization that money does not guarantee happiness or contentment. Their search for happiness resulted in a pursuit of wealth which once achieved proved fruitless. This is a common problem in the modern world.

Capitalist culture preaches that the pursuit of wealth, or happiness through wealth, is the objective of life. But what happens when a person achieves wealth and isn’t happy? What happens when a person finally acquires wealth and riches, yet still feels empty, purposeless, and unsure what to do with the rest of his life? The pursuit of more money does not fill this gap at all.

Life without a purpose is meaningless, boring, and depressing. Many people around the world are searching for a purpose in their lives, and philosophers spend countless hours debating the purpose of life. When they are unable to find it, many people then choose to invent their own purpose. This self-defined purpose may be a form of philanthropy or leaving some kind of legacy.

The purpose of their life becomes their projects, and they dedicate the rest of their lives to this. This may help some people feel better, but for many others, they know deep down that these aspirations are arbitrary and not the definitive purpose of their existence. Projects and passions of this nature, while beneficial to society, don’t really solve the issue of finding one’s true purpose. Instead, these self-defined purposes are simply decoys masking the deep inner struggle to find the true purpose of life.

Yet great people like ʿUmar II lived with true purpose. They did not need to search for it or face internal struggles of discovery. It was clear to them, and all the goals in their lives revolved around it. This is because ʿUmar II and people like him took their purpose in life directly from the teachings of Islam.

Unlike other religions, Islam is very clear about the purpose of life. It is stated in the Quran, “I only created jinn and humans to worship me.”[1] 

The meaning of this verse is that God did not create humans without a purpose or reason. That Divine Purpose is that God created humans to worship Him and, through that worship, to become a manifestation of His Divine Attributes on earth. He created the earth as a place to test humanity and gave us free will so that the results of that test will be our own.

The purpose of life according to Islam is “to worship God”. However, many people may have difficulty understanding what that means on a practical level. Does it mean abandoning our businesses, retreating to the mountains and spending our entire lives in ritual worship? Not really. The Islamic definition of worship is a lot more nuanced.

Worship in Islam is a broad term that covers a variety of actions, beliefs, and emotions. It is not limited to ritualistic acts of worship, although that is an important part of it. Worship in Islam is equal to the concepts of obedience or submission. In fact, the linguistic meaning of the word Islam is “to submit to God.”

So when Muslims say that we believe that the purpose of life is to worship God, it means that we believe that our entire lifestyle should be done in a manner that is pleasing to God. This means that the worship of God manifests itself in every action that a Muslim consciously makes.

This includes beliefs, actions, and emotions. When a Muslim believes that God will assist him/her or that an event that occurred in his/her life is destiny, that belief itself is an internal form of worship. When a Muslim prays, fasts, or gives charity, these are physical acts of worship. When a Muslim fears God, loves God, and trusts God these emotions are internal acts of worship.

The Islamic concept of worship is so vast that it includes everyday acts. When done with the correct intention, and within the boundaries set by God, even mundane acts like eating, sleeping, working, and having sex become means through which God is worshipped.[2]

It is with this comprehensive understanding of the Islamic purpose of life that we gain more clarity into what drove the productivity of ʿUmar II and people like him. ʿUmar II was a firm believer in Islam, with a strong connection to God.

Because of this, he treated everything he did as an act of worship and strove to do everything in a manner that was pleasing to God. His simplicity, justice, mercy, kindness, advice, and projects were all endeavors through which he worked to fulfill his purpose of life: to live a life pleasing to Allah.

To understand ʿUmar’s initiatives and motivations, we need a clear understanding of the Islamic purpose of life and how it drives the goals and ambitions of Muslims. Without this insight, many of ʿUmar’s decisions, projects, and goals do not make any sense.

Islam teaches its followers that life is about submission (Islam) to God and that every aspect of life should be done in a manner that is pleasing to Him. This concept shapes the lives of Muslims across the globe. Everything from marriage to business is based on this primary concept: How can I do this in a manner that is pleasing to God? It is this profound question that shaped ʿUmar’s policies and decisions.

This article is an extract from Productivity Principles Of ʿUmar II, learn more about the book here.

Learn More

[1] Quran 51:56

[2] Kamdar, Best Of Creation, pp. 28-29

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, 0 comments
New eBook: Quran 30for30

New eBook: Quran 30for30

The Qur’an is brimming with lessons, stories, guidelines, and rulings for the believer. Every surah carefully placed, every section organized perfectly. So how are these Qur’anic chapters related to each other? What can we glean from the stories told within them?

Explore key lessons from each juz’ and learn about the significance of the Qur’an’s divine arrangement with this Qur’an 30for30 series companion book!

Tip: To enhance your Qur’an 30for30 Season 2 viewing experience, read the eBook chapter corresponding with each day’s juz’ before watching the episode!

What’s in the book

  • Brief summaries from Season 1 of Qur’an 30for30
  • Key themes and lessons from each juz’
  • Additional context from books of tafsir and author commentary

Get the ebook from the Yaqeen Institute website here.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 0 comments
Regarding Exams and Fasting: An Invalid Qiyas

Regarding Exams and Fasting: An Invalid Qiyas

There has been some talk recently about “updating” Fiqh to include exams as a valid excuse to delay fasting. This talk has come primarily from the modernist/liberal school of thought. Their argument is that Muslims are backward and too literal in their thinking and need to update Fiqh for the times.

This argument is flawed in many ways. The analogy of exams being a type of difficulty that leads to concession is flawed. The idea that our Fiqh processes are outdated and backward is also flawed. To demonstrate this, let us take a look at the main Fiqh Maxim governing who can delay a fast.

The main Fiqh maxim regulating this ruling is al-Mashaqa Tajlibu al-Taysir which can be translated as “Extreme Difficulty causes relaxation of the Law”. This maxim is found in all four madhabs and is a point of consensus among Sunni Muslims. The maxim is simple, the Shariah has built-in processes of flexibility to handle extremely difficult situations.

However, the maxim cannot be applied based on whim and desire. There is a list of difficulties that cause relaxation of the law. This list is derived from the Quran and Sunnah.

Types of Difficulty

There are primarily seven things that can cause relaxation of a law:
1. Coercion i.e. being forced to do something
2. Travel as traveling is difficult as you are outside of your comfort zone dealing with many unpredictable variables
3. Disease/Sickness
4. Forgetfulness i.e. people are not held accountable for lapses in memory
5. Ignorance i.e. ignorance can work as an excuse is some situations6. A general calamity like a pandemic or drought
7. Lack of legal competence i.e. laws do not generally apply to children, extreme mental health cases, and people who are asleep.

All of the above categories are explicitly stated in either the Quran or Sunnah. The verse of fasting (2:185) mentions two of these sources of difficulty: travel and illness, making these the two primary valid reasons to delay a fast. Scholars have included other health risks in this as well like pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The category of extreme difficulty is generally restricted to these seven things, except in rare circumstances where something else rises to the level of extremity. even then, these new circumstances can often easily fit into one of these seven categories. For example, the current pandemic falls under category six, and tyrannic regimes may trigger category one.

A Clear Process

The relaxation of laws, however, cannot be done based on perceived difficulty or manageable difficult. The very concept of worship has some level of difficulty built into it to make it a means of purifying the soul and exerting effort in pleasing Allah. If we allow relaxing the laws for any difficulty, that would mean excusing Fajr because we are tired, missing Asr because we are working, or delaying fasting because it is a hot day.

Almost any law can be modified if the category of Mashaqa is left open-ended without any parameters. Thus, it is restricted to those things found in the Quran and Sunnah, which are summarized in the list above.

Exams are a general difficulty. There is no health risk for the average student, nor is there any coercion to break the fast. The only time a student would be allowed to break a fast is if it becomes a genuine health risk, eg: dehydration. In that case, they are doing it due to the reason mentioned in the Quran, not because of exams.

Our Shariah does not need reform. It already has a built-in system to update Fiqh as and when needed via the principles of Fiqh and Maxims of Fiqh. These are guided by the goals of the Shariah. All of these concepts are derived from the Quran and Sunnah and categorized and explained by our pious predecessors.

Conclusion

If any new verdict is to be passed on an issue, it must be done utilizing the proper methodology of ijtihad, and not simply because “I think” or “I feel” or any other weak reason. Fiqh is a system with its own methodology, parameters, and experts. If you are not a Mufti, leave it to the Muftis to work out these details utilizing the proper methodology.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, 0 comments