Barakah is a term that can be understood as blessing or abundance. As Muslims we believe the source of all blessing and abundance is Allah, the creator and sustainer of all creation. It is important to understand that barakah does not refer simply to an abundance of wealth. Rather, it is a more holistic concept that encompasses the peace of mind that accompanies having enough for one’s needs and being self-sufficient. Barakah also refers to other things, such as health, offspring, efficiency at work, productivity in agriculture or animal husbandry, to name a few. It means being able to accomplish a lot with few resources, doing a lot in relatively little time and experiencing sufficiency is less amounts of food or wealth.
Seeking barakah from Allah is the duty of all people. Only He is able to provide for all his creatures as He sees fit. However, some Muslims have deviated from asking Allah directly for barakah. Instead, they choose to visit shrines, graves and tombs of people who are believed to have been holy men with special spiritual powers who can intercede on behalf of supplicants. And some also believe that amulets, lockets, talismans, tying of threads around trees, special esoteric numbers or alphabets hung on a person or in their homes or at the place of work have the ability to create abundance. Such actions contradict the founding belief in the oneness of Allah and His omnipotence.
The simplest way to understand that our complete dependence should be on Allah alone, is by the fact that we cannot beseech our prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) to ask Allah for anything on our behalf. If the best of all humans, and the best among prophets cannot intercede for us, then how can we seek from the bounty of Allah through any other means other than asking Him to bless us with barakah?
Barakah can be increased by:
- Saying ‘Bismillah’ and invoking Allah’s name in everything we do
- Being regular in Salah (prayers) and the recitation of the Quran
- Giving in charity over and above the compulsory ‘zakah’
- Thanking Allah profusely for all His blessings
- Making dua to Allah to fulfill all our needs
- Maintaining cordial relationships with family
- Honesty in trade and trading only in permissible goods
- Asking Allah sincerely for forgiveness