Barakah

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
4 Causes of Barakah in Work

4 Causes of Barakah in Work

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)

Asmāʾ reported:
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.”
(Quran 14:7)

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)

Summary

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.

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4 Things About Barakah Every Muslim Must Know

About Barakah Definition

4 Things About Barakah Every Muslim Must Know

Barakah is one of those Islamic concepts that many people know of, but don’t know much about. In this short article, I will explain four important things every Muslim must know about Barakah.

1. What is Barakah?

Barakah is often translated as Blessings in English. But that doesn’t tell us much about Barakah and what it actually is.

Barakah can be defined as spiritual blessings in any thing. It is the phenomenon of getting more done with less, in a manner that defies logic.

Three Examples of Barakah:

A) Getting five hours worth of work done in an hour
B) Writing an entire high quality book in a day
C) Money not getting finished despite spending a lot and giving a lot of charity

Barakah can occur in anything: money, time, family, work, results, dawah, writings, effects on others, food, and even life itself. A person who gets more done in a short 35 year lifespan than someone who lived 95 years had Barakah in his life.

Simply put, Barakah can’t be explained in a single English word. So we should stick to using the Arabic word. It is a type of Karamat (miracle) that Allah can grant to any believer.

2. How to get Barakah?

There is no single method of getting Barakah outlined in the Quran and Sunnah. But there are core Islamic concepts that definitely lead to Barakah for those who do it properly and sincerely. These can be listed as:

A) Earning and eating Halal only
B) Fulfilling the commands of Allah
C) Making dua for Barakah
D) Giving Charity
E) Praying Qiyam Al-Layl (Tahajjud)

The above have led to Barakah for thousands of Muslims throughout history. And when done properly with sincerity can lead to Barakah for you and me too.

3. If you have it, don’t question it

A lesser known aspect about Barakah is what to do when you experience it. Based on authentic Hadiths, we can conclude that if someone experiences Barakah, they shouldn’t tell question it. Doing so may lead to the Barakah disappearing.

The following two Hadiths are evidence of this:

Jabir reported that a person came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and asked for food. And he gave him half a load of barley, and the person and his wife and their guests kept on making use of it (as a food) until he weighed it (in order to find out the actual quantity, and it was no more). He came to Allah’s Prophet (ﷺ) (and informed him about it). He said, “Had you not weighed it, you would be eating out of it and it would have remained intact for you.” (Sahih Muslim 2281)

Jabir reported that Umm Malik used to send clarified butter in a small skin to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). Her sons would come to her and ask for seasoning when they had nothing with them and she would go to that (skin) in which she offered (clarified butter) to Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ), and she would find in that clarified butter and it kept providing her with seasoning for her household until she had (completely) squeezed it. She came to Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) and (informed him about it). Thereupon, he (ﷺ) said, “Did you squeeze it?” She said, “Yes.” Thereupon he (ﷺ) said, “If you had left it in that very state, it would have kept on providing you (the clarified butter) without ending.” (Sahih Muslim 2280)

In both of the above hadiths, the Barakah only ended when the individual questioned how it was happening by inspecting it. So if you experience Barakah, don’t question how it is happening. What should you do instead? Read on!

4. Express gratitude to Allah for it

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you are ungrateful, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Surah Ibraheem 14:7)

The key to successful living is an attitude of gratitude. If you experience Barakah in anything, then express gratitude to Allah for it and don’t dwell on how it is happening. Accept it as a gift from Allah and try your best to use it in a way that is pleasing to Allah.

The most basic way to show gratitude is to say Alhamdulillah (All Praise is for Allah) and to use it to earn Allah’s pleasure. But for really amazing occasions of Barakah, we should make Sajdah Shukr (prostration of gratitude). This is done by immediately going into Sajdah and thanking Allah for His Blessings on you.

So there it is, four key points about Barakah that every Muslim must know. We end by asking Allah to put Barakah in this article, this website, these ebooks and all our efforts. Ameen!

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Six tips for gaining Barakah in your life

Barakah refers to blessings that Allah puts into our time, health, wealth, and other resources helping us get more out of these than we would have thought is possible. Many people complain about the lack of Barakah in their time, but that can be avoided. Here are 6 things you can do to earn some Barakah:

1. Establish the Five Daily Prayers

If you are not praying five time a day, you cannot expect Barakah in your time. Praying five times a day is the primary act of worship required from us as servants of Allah, and if we neglect this duty, we should not expect Barakah in other aspects of our lives.

2. Pray for Barakah

If you want Barakah is your time, then just like any other gift from Allah, you need to ask Allah for it. Ask Allah daily in your private duas for Barakah in your time, effort, wealth, health and efforts. A sincere dua does not go unheard.

3. Utilize the early morning hours

The last one third of the night and the early hours of the morning are times which are full of Barakah. Try it out one day, wake up for Tahajjud and then work on some of your most important tasks after Tahajjud and Fajr. You will notice that you will be able to get more done in less time due to the blessings that Allah has placed in this time.

4. Keep your earnings, spending, food and goals Halal

For any prayer to be answered, it must be made by someone who has not tainted his wealth or food with that which Allah has prohibited. Strive your best to earn Halal wealth, spend it properly, purchase only Halal food, and set noble goals. If you do so, you will earn Barakah from Allah.

5. Give a lot of Charity (Sadaqah)

Many of us know that the way to increase the Barakah in our wealth is to spend it on others. The same applies to our time. Volunteer your time for noble causes and you will find yourself with extra time to chase your goals. As the more wealth you give others, the more Allah gives you. Likewise, the more time you spend on others, the more Allah blesses your time.

6. Be grateful for what you have

Allah tells us in the Qur’an:

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

“And remember when your Lord proclaimed, if you are grateful, I shall give you more, and if you are ungrateful then my punishment is severe,”[1]

This means that increase in anything is linked to how grateful we are to Allah for granting us that thing. So if we want Barakah in our time, we must be grateful to Allah for the time He has already blessed us with, instead of complaining about what we don’t have. The formula is simple and applies to any area of life: gratitude leads to increase, and complaints lead to decrease.

[1] Surah Ibrahim 14:07

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