Have you ever planned to get all your tasks done during the day, but time seems to slip out of your hands without getting everything accomplished? Have you ever slept for a solid eight hours but still felt sleepy the next day at work? Has it ever happened that your money that was supposed to suffice until the end of the month was just not enough? Many of us have had these experiences: times when we feel like there is no barakah in our lives, in our time, our decisions, our money and even our abilities. When faced with issues such as these, people typically turn towards their resources and other worldly means to solve their problems. But there might be an underlying issue, and that is this: barakah is missing from our lives and our actions.
Understand What Barakah Actually Is
Barakah is an Arabic word that has three meanings:
- The first meaning is النماء و الزيادة which is “growth and increase”.
Something that possesses barakah increases and grows beyond ordinary expectations.
Let’s look at it like this: according to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But when an action has barakah in it, it defies this law of Newton and even a small action may have a huge reaction! For example, you plant one seed in the ground and expect one tree to grow; but if you plant one seed and it grows ten trees – well, that’s something beyond ordinary expectations. This is barakah. When an initial action is small but the resulting reaction is unexpectedly large, this means the reaction must have had barakah.
- The second meaning is الاستمرارية or ”continuity”.
The Arabs have a saying: ابتركت السماء “the sky has poured continuously, when the rain keeps coming down." So consistency is also among the meanings of barakah. The increase is continuous and not for a limited time.
- The third meaning of barakah is “something that is stable in its place”
The Arabs also say: ابتركت الجمل for a camel that has its feet fixed in the sand. So it’s not only increasing continuously but it is a consistent increase as well. So barakah is an increase that doesn’t lose stability like, say, a Lego tower, which gets more and more unstable as its height increases.
Source of Blessing
Allah says in the Quran; تباارك اسم ربك (55:78) “blessed is the name of your Master”. Which means that whatever you do starting with the name of Allah, it will produce goodness and that goodness will grow and keep on increasing and it will not go away. Barakah is such a blessing from Allah on Muslims.
As Muslims we should always be optimistic because, whatever we do starting with the name of Allah, will grow beyond our expectations.
There is a physical world around us that we see. Islam teaches us that there is also a spiritual world, and barakah is what is beyond our ordinary expectations because it comes from Allah.
What is it Like to be Blessed
Now we look at some examples from the lives of our heroes in Islam, our Islamic scholars.
Imam nawawi RA was known for sitting in at least ten circles of knowledge every single day, and he wrote some of the most important books, including 40 Ahadeeth al Nawawi and Riyadh us Saleheen. He died at the age of 44, yet he accomplished so much in this short span of time. There was barakah in his life.
Imam bukhari RA whose books we all have on our shelves even today and are well known for their authenticity, used to perform ghusl and perform istikhara, and he asked Allah for guidance before jotting down a hadith in his book. He would also finalize each sahih hadeeth in the prophet’s SAW mosque sitting near the Rawdah (the grave of the Prophet SAW) and he would seek barakah from Allah in his work.
Why did he do the extra effort? It’s because barakah is from Allah and He puts goodness in whatever He wills, beyond our ordinary expectations which no statistics, no mathematics, no scientific explanation can ever encompass. And there is a reason why even today, after hundreds of years and in the days to come, imam bukhari’s work will be appreciated and referred to as the most authentic source of knowledge after the Quran.
7 Tips to add barakah in your work life from the Quran and sunnah
These are some of the most beneficial and tested tips through which you can add barakah into your work life..
- Strengthening your faith and acting upon it
Allah says in the Quran:
“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning." (7:96)
Start with increasing your faith, which will be done by obtaining authentic knowledge and acting upon it. If you strive to do that for the sake of Allah, you will notice a change in your life. Secondly read the Quran, at least one page every day. Allah says in the Quran about this book:
“This is a book that We have revealed to you that's full of barakah…” (38:29)
Unfortunately, people today are too busy to find time to read the Quran while the sources of barakah and the path to finding barakah in time can be found in the Holy Book.
- Focus on the purpose
Let’s beware of where our focus is. Our focus should be on the purpose – the reason why -- we are doing something. Unfortunately many people think of their work as just a burden, filled with monotony. However, if we focus on the fact that work provides purpose to our lives and is a means for us to earn sustenance for our families, we begin to see our work as much more meaningful and purposeful. When we have a sense of purpose at work, we feel more passionate and committed, and this gives us positive energy and contentment. Focus on the fact that Allah has given us these tasks so that we may earn and spend on our families, which is a great reward for us.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man spends on his family, hoping for reward, that is (counted as) an act of charity for him.” (Bukhari: 55)
- Remain in the state of wudhu
Wudhu is a high level of piety and purity. When a person is in the state of wudhu, nothing but goodness comes from wherever he places his hands. Our esteemed Muslim scholars would never write anything down or do any important task without first performing wudhu or ghusl beforehand. What this means is that wudhu is a state of spiritual purity and it is conducive to bringing barakah into the work that you are performing.
- Keep your tongue moist with the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah SWT
As mentioned earlier Allah says: “blessed is the name of your Lord”
If you find yourself experiencing monotony in your work life, take a break for a few minutes and do some extra adhkaar, and you will see barakah in your time and in the work that you were doing.
Fatima RA the daughter of prophet Muhammad PBUH once came to her father and complained of excessive household work and requested a slave [to lend a hand in the chores]. Her hands were blistered from grinding the flour in the mill. Prophet Muhammad PBUH went later that evening to her house, Ali RA, Fatima's RA husband was also there. Prophet PBUH lied down between them and asked them “should I not advise you of something even better than you asked me for? When you go to sleep say:
‘subhanAllah’ 33 times, and say ‘Alhamdulillah’ 33 times and say ‘Allahu akbar’ 34 times. It will be better for you than a slave.” (sahih bukhari: 3113)
This hadeeth is a perfect example of attaining barakah in one’s endeavors through the dhikr of Allah.
When you are free from work, especially at night, it is also best not to let your thoughts run wild and experience unnecessary anxiety; rather remember Allah and take His blessed name.
- Always be grateful
Allah SWT promises in the Quran:
“If you give thanks, I will definitely increase for you (the blessings)” (14:7)
Being grateful not only makes you feel contented with what you have, it also allows you to attain barakah in whatever blessing you were grateful for originally.
So if you wish to increase your blessings and barakah in life, begin with being grateful for what you have.
- Do istighfaar
Allah promises in the Quran:
“Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance” (71:10-11)
Rains in the Quran also symbolize blessings.
“And we sent down from the sky blessed water….” (50:9)
Allah send blessings to a person who seeks forgiveness. And as we all wish to receive blessings from Allah, so we need to develop the habit of doing istighfaar in our free time.
- Develop a habit of sadaqah
Allah says in the Quran:
“Verily those who give sadaqah, men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold, and theirs shall be a honourable good reward (Paradise”. [Quran 57:18].
From this prophetic hadeeth we know that charity will not decrease our wealth (again an aspect no mathematics can encompass), and instead we hear testimonials from people who proclaim that their wealth had barakah after they started giving to charity.
In sum, Barakah in life is attained through having a good connection with your Master. Always strive to improve your relationship with Allah so that everyday you are closer than the day before. In so doing, you will have barakah in your work life, as well as in other areas of your life.
Wudhu, as mentioned earlier is said to be the highest form of purity and it is obligatory to be in a state of wudhu to perform the salah or read the Quran. Being in a state of wudhu is highly virtuous of a man, “on his deathbed, Umar (ra) advised his son Abdullah (ra) that ‘performing Wudu’ during the days of winter’ is one of ‘the characteristics of īman (faith)’. [Source: Laṭā’if al-Ma’ārif]
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A student of knowledge did my tafsir of quran course in English language from Alhuda international Islamabad. That's when I first read the meaning of quran and decided to take on this message to others in whatever capacity I have and grab every single opportunity for it. I am a calligrapher, an arts and craft enthusiast and a good orator and writer. I have been volunteering with one of the most popular youth Islamic organizations in Pakistan called ‘Youth Club’ for the last year and a half. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and nutrition sciences.