Friday, February 27, 2015
What is Barakah? البركة
Barakah is an often misunderstood term that many misconstrue to mean something other than what it is. Some go beyond the boundaries of correct understanding and say its kufr or shirk. Well here would like explain what barakah is and what it is not because we are both misunderstanding each other. This inevitability leads to argumentation.
Linguistically barakah means to have blessing or even to kneel down (Hans wehr p.54). When someone is over whelmed by a blessing they often kneel down. Look at the emotional game of football and you often see many people score goals and knell down. But do they know what to actually do? A few Muslim footballers make sujud al-sukr/prostration of gratefulness after scoring.
Barakah is when something has increased blessings because it was in possession of a special person.
Where is your proof brother?
It's in the Quran bruv!
Ponder these passages:
وقل ربّ أنزلني منزلاً مباركاً
“Say: Lord cause me to descend in a blessed manner.”
(Quran: the Believers 23:29)
This is part of the supplication of the Nuh (upon him peace). There is quite a lot of discussion to where the ark landed, Iraq or Turkey are the possible places and maybe others. Below the response of when a prophet asked for blessings it was given to him by Allah (the Exalted).
اهبط بسلام منّا وبركات عليك وعلى اُمم ممّن معك.
“Come down with peace from Us, blessing/barakah upon you and upon the nations with you.” (Quran: Hud 11:48).
Allah (the Exalted) addressed the Prophet Nuh (upon him peace) telling to come down with blessings from Him. Blessings here are plural and this was when the water receded after the flood.
Make me blessed
وجعلني مباركاً أين ما كنت وأوصاني بالصلاة والزكاة.
“Make me blessed wherever I be and advise with prayer and charity.” (Quran: Maryam 19:31.)
The Prophet Isa/Jesus (upon him peace) is making this request to Allah (the Exalted). Therefore, this gives us the proof that the prophets are blessed and can be blessed. Of course the Prophets are free from minor and major sin.
وباركنا عليه وعلى إسحاق...
“We blessed him and Ishaq...” (Quran: Namal 27:8)
Allah (the Exalted) blessed the Prophet Ibrahim and Ishaq (upon them both peace). This further proves our last point. The Prophets are blessed people and so they should be revered as such.
Blessed family of the house
رحمت الله وبركاته عليكم أهل البيت إنّه حميد مجيد
“Allah has shown mercy and blessing upon the family of the house because He is praiseworthy and Majestic.” (Quran: Al-Saffat 38:113)
There are two opinions on this verse. One that it is referring to the blessings upon the family of the house of Ibrahim (upon him peace) and two, this is about the family of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). The first opinion is the strongest but in any case the Ahl Al-Bayt attain the blessings directly or indirectly because they are from the same linage.
Mekkah is blessed
إنّ أوّل بيت وضع للناس للّذي ببكة مباركاً وهدىً للعالمين
“The first house (for worship) for people is that which is in blessed Bekkah (Mekkah); and a sign for the universe.” (Quran: Aali Imran 4: 96)
This is in reference to the Ka’aba which was the first house built for the worship of one God. All the prophets made pilgrimage there. It is called Bekkah in the Quran for three possible reasons. One that Mekkah was the place and Bakkah was the part in which the Ka’aba is in. Or Bekkah was the place mentioned in the bible then removed. Or it was called bekkah because people went there and wept there.
So we have gone from a person or people being blessed and now we affirm that places can be blessed. So why is the Ka’aba blessed because two Prophets rebuild it after it was left previously. It was originally built by Adam (upon him peace) (according to weak hadith) and rebuilt by Ibrahim and Ishaq (upon them both peace).
Blessing of trees
وجعل فيها رواسي من فوقها وبارك فيها وقدّر فيها أقواتها
“We made firm hills rising, blessed it and decreed its substance...”
(Quran: fulsilat 41:10.)
This is referring to the hills that are make the land on the earth firm. According to Imam Tabari the blessings in it are the trees.
Masjid Al-Aqsa is blessed
إلى المسجد الأقصى الذي باركنا حوله
“To the furthest masjid (Masjid Al-Aqsa) which We have blessed.” (Quran: Isra 17:1)
This verse is in reference to the masjid of Al-Aqsa and its surrounding areas which Allah (the Exalted) has blessed. The area is Palestine and its surrounding areas.
ونجّيناه ولوطاً إلى الأرض التي باركنا فيها للعالمين
“We rescued Lut to a place that we have blessing in the worlds.”
(Quran: the Prophets 21:71)
Allah (the Exalted) rescued Lut (upon him peace) from a people who were openly transgressing the laws of Allah (the Exalted). They were destroyed and Lut (upon him peace) was saved and went to a blessed land. According to Imam Al-Qurtabi the blessed land is Iraq and Sham. Sham meaning parts of Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Iraq.
وجعلنا بينهم وبين القرى التي باركنا فيها قرىً ظاهرة
“We have made between them a village which we have blessed in it a manifest village.”
Quran: Saba 34:18.
Imam Al-Qurtabi states it is a land in between Yemen and Syria. The village is Palestine, Syria and Jordon.
وهذا كتاب أنزلناه مبارك مصدّق الذي بين يديه
“This book was sent to him blessed and truthful to what is before him.” (Quran: Al-An’am 6:92)
This is proof that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) is blessed. So if a blessed individual used or touched something do you not think that would be blessed to? The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) touched a lock of a companions hair and he refused to cut it. Even thought it had grown extremely long! He refused to be parted by what the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) touched! (See Al-Shifa)
So what now of the hair of the blessed being of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) should not that be blessed too? Yes of course!
وهذا كتاب أنزلناه مبارك فاتّبعوه واتّقوا لعلّكم ترحمون
“This book was send down to he who is blessed; so follow him and be fearful so that you are shown mercy.” (Quran: Al-Ana’am 6:155)
This backs up the previous verse. It can also be interpreted that the descend of the book is a blessing or the book is blessed.
وهذا ذكر مبارك أنزلناه أفأنتم له منكرون
“This remembrance is blessed sent to him; and you deny it?” (Quran: Prophets 21:50)
In reference to the Quran, when it is read blessing descend upon the reader.
كتاب أنزلناه إليك مبارك ليدّبّروا آياته
“The book that was sent to you blessed so you ponder its passages.” (Quran: Sa’ad 38:29)
Affirming what we spoke of before.
Blessed olive tree
كأنّها كوكب دُرّي يوقد من شجرة مباركة زيتونة
“It is like a brilliant star that is kindled from the blessed olive tree.” (Quran Al-Nur 24:35.)
Here the olive tree is referred to being blessed. So this indicated that everyday objects can be blessed to because Allah (the Exalted) has deemed them such.
Blessed by the tree
فلمّا أتاها نُودي من شاطئ الوادِ الأيمن في البقعة المباركة من الشجرة
“So when he reached the right side of the valley in pasture blessed by the tree.”
(Quran Al-Qasas 28:30)
This is when Musa (upon him peace) went to see the fire in the distance and the blessed tree was caused to speak by Allah (the Exalted).
ونزّلنا من السماء ماءً مباركاً فأنبتنا به جنّات وحبّ الحصيد
“We sent down blessed water from the heavens so gardens come forth and the harvested seed.”
Quran: Qaaf 50:9.
Here water is described as being blessed. The water that falls on the crops or in reservoirs is the most beneficial water.
إنّا أنزلناه في ليلة مباركة
“We sent it down in a blessed night.”
(Quran: Al-Dhukan 44:3)
Referring again to the Quran being sent on a blessed night.
We have proved from the Quran that people, places, water, the Quran and other objects can be blessed. These blessings are from Allah (the Exalted) and its because of the useage of an item did it become blessed.
Like the blessings that one attains visiting Mekkah or touching a hair of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). The word barakah is mentioned in the Quran as many as eighteen times or maybe even more that we have not been able to find.
It would only be shirk/polytheism if someone thought that the objects were idols that they worshipped. Instead they have items that are blessed because of the original owners of the objects. So we touch what those who Allah blessed touched. Like the Prophets, Awliyah and scholars etc. We love to touch them because of our love for them and nothing else.
This is Sunnah and a proven practice in Islam. When the masjid in Mekkah was cleansed from the idols that were around it a picture of the Prophet Ibrahim (upon him peace) was found and this was taken and kept.
Only those who openly reject the Quran and hadith refuse this. As for the rest of us we accept this as a proven practice.
We hope this has opened our eyes to this evidently plain fact seeking barakah is normal!