Sunday, December 04, 2016


How do you know if there is barakah in your life? So often, it seems to be an almost indescribable quality, a concept that's difficult to recognise due to it being so unquantifiable.
And yet, you will know when you have it.
When the food in your fridge comes together in a wholesome meal that satisfies the family; when your paycheque stretches more than you ever imagined it could; when being with your loved ones fills you with contentment; when you experience joy in the simplest of things; when your fears and worries no longer overwhelm you so much; when difficult times are bearable because you know that they're a means of bringing you closer to Allah; when you don't feel the gnawing urge to make more, spend more, accumulate more; when good things happen unexpectedly and you're eager to share the benefits with others; when you find yourself indifferent to shallow societal standards and are happy with living your life your own way... all of these are signs of barakah in your life.
Outward wealth or meeting arbitrary standards set by others are no marker of how blessed you are. How you feel about what you already have, however, most certainly is.
Verily, Allah is the source of all blessing and He is the Most Generous to His slaves.


I once wrote about how one can tell if there is barakah in their life - how one feels a sense of contentment, of richness and fullness in their lives even when things are, outwardly, difficult.
How, then, does one tell if we *don't* have barakah in our lives?
If barakah is blessing and spiritual fulfillment, then its opposite is its loss.
To be starved of barakah is to find oneself reluctant to pray even the briefest of voluntary rak'aat, to glance at one's mus'haf and think absently, "I'll read it later," only for the glossy emerald green cover and gilded script become dull beneath a thin veneer of dust.
To be starved of barakah is to feel restless and anxious, to feel a gnawing ache for more, to accumulate more, to demand more; to outwardly have all the trappings of success and privilege handed to you on a silver platter, yet there is no true joy or beauty in one's heart.
To be starved of barakah is to have one's bank account filled with wealth earned from haraam; to have debts both material and spiritual strangling one's sense of peace; to eat an extravagant meal that fails to abate the appetite; to constantly crave the next fix, the next big hit, unable to quell the yearning desire for something inexplicably just beyond our reach.
It is terrible and heartrending, a malady unrecognized by doctors or self-help books - but not without cure. Ash-Shaafi, the Healer is also al-Qareeb, the Ever-Close; He is Al-Mujeeb, the Ever Responsive to our calls - and He has promised us that there is always, always, a way out of the abyss.
{He who draws close to Me a hand's span, I will draw close to him an arm's length. And whoever draws near Me an arm's length, I will draw near him a fathom's length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with me.} (Hadith Qudsi)

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