Barakah; abundance, blessings, the unexplainable increase in something, usually considered a type of Karāmat (miracle) gifted by Allah to pious Muslims.
Barakah is something that all Muslims seek. The unexplainable and blessed increase in time, wealth, progeny, and impact is one of the greatest blessings that Allah can grant to His servants.
But how do we gain these beautiful blessings, and is there a way to constantly experience Barakah in our work/careers/wealth?
There are many narrations that indicate the sources of Barakah in work. Here are four of the most important ones.
1. Work for the sake of Allah
Any mundane act can be transformed into an act of worship by purifying our intention. This includes our daily work. When Halal work is done for the sake of pleasing and obeying Allah, it becomes a source of reward and Barakah. This is regardless of whether the work is in itself Islamic or not. A woodcutter, a plumber, an accountant, and a doctor all equally qualify for Barakah when working for the sake of pleasing Allah and earning a Halal livelihood.
Anas ibn Mālik reported:
A man from the Ansar came to the Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, and begged from him. The Prophet said, “Have you nothing in your house?”
The man said, “Yes, a piece of cloth, a part of which we wear and a part of which we spread on the ground, and a wooden bowl from which we drink water.”
The Prophet said, “Bring them to me.” The man brought these articles to him and the Prophet took them in his hands and he said, “Who will buy these?” Someone said, “I will buy them for one coin.”
The Prophet said twice or thrice, “Who will offer more than one coin?” Someone said, “I will buy them for two coins.” He sold them for two coins and the Prophet said, “Buy food with one of them and give it to your family. Buy an ax and bring it to me.”
The man brought it to him. The Prophet fixed a handle on it with his own hands and he said, “Go gather firewood and sell it, and do not let me see you for a fortnight.” The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it. When he had earned ten coins, he came and bought a garment and food.
The Prophet said, “This is better for you than for begging to come as a blemish on your face on the Day of Resurrection. Begging is only appropriate for three people: one in grinding poverty, one in serious debt, and one who must pay a difficult compensation.”
(Sunan Abī Dāwūd 1641)
2. Give a portion of your earnings in charity
Charity increases wealth and causes Barakah. Of course, this is only when it is done for the sake of Allah. If you wish to experience Barakah in your daily life, then try to do an act of charity every day. It does not have to monetary, any action you do that helps another creature is an act of charity.
Abū Buraydah reported:
The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Inside the human being are three hundred and sixty joints, upon each of them charity is due.”
They said, “Who can do that, O Prophet of Allah?”
The Prophet said, “It is spittle in the mosque you clean, or something in the road you move to the side. If you cannot find anything, it is enough to perform two cycles of forenoon prayer.”
(Sunan Abī Dāwūd 5242)
The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Spend in charity and do not count it, lest Allah counts it against you. Do not hoard it, lest Allah withholds from you.”
(Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2451, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1029)
3. Work hard, but remain content and grateful
Muslims should work hard, while acknowledges that their sustenance is already decreed by Allah. Whether we work hard or not, Allah will send us what is written for us. The difference is that when we work hard for the sake of Allah, and accompany this with contentment in our destiny, and gratitude for our sustenance, then we experience Barakah in our earnings. Hard work followed by gratitude and contentment on a daily basis leads to Barakah.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you.”
The Prophet, peace, and blessings upon him, said, “The best wealth is a tongue that remembers Allah, a grateful heart, and a believing wife to help him in his faith.”
(Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3094)
Abū Dhar reported:
The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “O Abū Dhar, do you say an abundance of possessions is wealth?” I said yes.
The Prophet said, “Do you say a lack of possessions is poverty?” I said yes.
The Prophet repeated this three times, then he said, “Wealth is in the heart and poverty is in the heart. Whoever is wealthy in his heart will not be harmed no matter what happens in the world. Whoever is impoverished in his heart will not be satisfied no matter how much he has in the world. Verily, he will only be harmed by the greed of his own soul.”
(al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr 1618)
4. Do work that benefits the ummah
In general, almost every Halal source of income is beneficial to others. This is the nature of Halal business because for a transaction to be Halal, it needs to be mutually beneficial. Every Halal transaction is an exchange of money for a beneficial product or service. However, some careers are more beneficial than others. Seek out sources of income that have the most impact on the ummah (community). The more beneficial your career is to others, the more Barakah you will experience in your life.
Ibn ʿUmar reported:
The Prophet, peace, and blessings upon him, said, “The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. ”
(al-Muʿjam al-Awsaṭ 6192)
If we work for the sake of Allah, our work becomes an act of worship and a source of Barakah for us. This is even more so if the work in beneficial to the ummah. We can increase this Barakah by practicing gratitude, contentment, and charity. These good deeds can turn any Halal source of income into a source of Barakah.
To learn more about Barakah, read my book Getting The Barakah, available here.