We all ask Allah for Barakah, we all want Barakah, but what exactly IS Barakah?
In English we translate it to mean ‘blessings’. Unfortunately, this is a highly problematic translation as such a translation limits its actual deep and beautiful meaning.
Arab linguists break down the word Barakah into three main parts or meanings.
The first part of the word Barakah is to do with increase and growth:
“Annamaa’ooh waz-ziyadah, fawqa thawaqqua” – Don’t worry I’ll explain what they mean one by one, insha’Allah.
It means for something to grow (numoo) and increase in number or volume (ziyadah).
So when something has barakah it grows and it increases.
“Fawqa thawaqqu“: above and beyond expectations.
So part of what Barakah means is that logic says when you plant one seed in the ground, you expect one tree to come out of it; but in return you get ten trees! Or after 10 years you come back and you get a forest in return! That is barakah…
You may have heard people say “I remember I started my business in my garage with only 5 thousand rupees my dad gave me, today after 15 years I have branches of my company in 5 different countries”.
That is barakah!
You may hear some people say “in my first year, I struggled to find one student to come to my classes, but today my school has grown so much that I have to turn away students because I don’t have capacity even though I have expanded three times already!”
That is barakah.
The second part of Barakah is “Ibtharakath as-sama” – it’s like when something keeps coming continuously, like when the rain keeps on coming and it keeps on coming and it doesn’t stop. So continuity is also part of the meaning of barakah. It’s not something that is temporary.
Usually when something grows or increases such as a huge building that keeps growing, or the economy suddenly improves beyond expectation, the fear is that the crash is also around the corner. Economies that grow too fast are at a risk of crashing fast too. Or what was fashionable yesterday is outdated today! The companies yesterday have gone bankrupt today!
However, the third part of the meaning of Barakah has something to do with camels. The Arabs call a camel that kneels or sits down as Barakah. This is because anyone who has had any experience with a camel will know that when a camel sits down it’s very difficult to get the camel to stand back up again, and when the camel has sunk in the sand, the camel is extremely stable and stays in its place. Meaning, there is no risk in the camel or the rider falling down, it doesn’t go anywhere.
Similarly, Barakah is something that is stable. It’s not like an economy that rises and crashes, it’s not like the fashion that comes and goes, it is something that stays.
In Surah Ar-Rahman, the first ayath of that Surah is “Ar-Rahman“.
In the last Ayah of that Surah Allah says something about that name.
Allah Rabbul Izzath says “Thabarakasmu Rabbika zil Jalali wal Ikram“, which directly means “The name of your Rabb is full of Barakah, owner of Glory/Majesty and Honour!”
So anything that we do, invoking Allah’s name will have Barakah… Because the name of Allah is full of Barakah.
Finally, when Barakah from Allah comes, know that there is no end to Allah’s Barakah…
May Allah grant you Barakah in your time, in your families, in your health, in your work, in your income, in your food, in your clothes, in your studies and in all endeavours that you pursue… Ameen!
BaarakAllahu lee walakum,
Thakabbal Allahu minna waminkum,
Wassalamu alaikum Wa-Rahmathullahi Wa-Barakathahu!