The Key to Acquiring Barakah
On one occasion, during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), a group of Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) from the tribe of Banu Al-Ash’ar traveled from Yemen to Madinah Munawwarah for the purpose of hijrah.
Upon reaching the blessed city of Madinah Munawwarah, they had found that their food provisions which they had brought along were depleted. Hence, they decided to send one of their companions to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to request him to make arrangements for their meals. However, when their companion reached the door of the mubaarak residence of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) reciting the following verse of the Qur’aan Majeed:
وَ مَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اِلَّا عَلَی اللّٰہِ رِزۡقُہَا وَ یَعۡلَمُ مُسۡتَقَرَّہَا وَ مُسۡتَوۡدَعَہَا ؕ کُلٌّ فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۶﴾
There is no creature on earth whose sustenance is not undertaken by Allah. He knows its permanent and its temporary place. Everything is in a clear book. (Surah Hud v.6)
Hearing this verse of the Qur’aan Majeed, their companion thought to himself that what is the need to present their request to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) when Allah Ta‘ala Himself has taken the responsibility to provide sustenance for the entire creation? He said to himself, “We, the people of the Banu Al-Ash’ar, are not lower than animals in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala. (Hence, Allah Ta‘ala, the Most Gracious and Merciful, will certainly provide sustenance for us.)”
With this thought in his mind, he did not present the request of his people to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Instead, he immediately turned from the door and went back to his people.
Upon returning to his people, he addressed them saying, “O my friends! Rejoice, for the help of Allah will soon come to you!” His Ash’ari companions understood his statement to mean that he had conveyed their message to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would soon make arrangements for their meals.
Subsequently, they saw two men coming towards them, carrying a large tray filled with meat and bread. The two men handed all the food over to them and left. The Ash’ari Sahaabah then sat down and relished the meal, eating to their fill. Upon completing the meal, they found that ample food still remained in the tray, and they thus deemed it appropriate to return the remaining food to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) so that he could use it as he pleased. Hence, they instructed two of their companions to take the food to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
Later on, when they all presented themselves to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), they thanked him for the food and said to him that they had not tasted food as delicious as the food that he had sent to them. Hearing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was quite surprised and said to them, “I did not send any food to you.” They then explained to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that they had sent one of their companions to him to request him to make arrangements for their meals, and when he returned, he gave them glad tidings that the help of Allah would soon come to them. This led them to believe that the food they had received was sent by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then called the Ash’ari Sahaabi whom they had sent with the request and inquired from him as to why he did not present their request. He then informed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as to what had transpired.
Hearing the entire incident, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed them that the food they received was not sent by him, but rather it was sent to them by Allah Ta‘ala, the Being who has undertaken the divine responsibility of providing sustenance for the entire creation.” (Tafseer Qurtubi 11/73)
Every creature is in need of sustenance for its continuity and survival. However, sustenance lies in the hands of Allah Ta‘ala alone. Hence, qualifications, strength and intelligence are not the basis for determining one’s livelihood. How true are the words of the poet:
A person acquires abundant livelihood despite not possessing intelligence. Another person is left as a pauper, despite having great intelligence. Had the distribution of sustenance been based on intelligence, then the animals, on account of their ignorance, would have all perished.
In the Mubaarak Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) advised the ummah saying, “If you place your reliance and trust upon Allah Ta‘ala as you ought to, then Allah Ta‘ala will provide you with sustenance, as He provides the birds with sustenance. The birds leave their nests early in the morning hungry, and return in the evening with their bellies full.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2344)
Placing one’s reliance on Allah is the key to acquiring success in one’s life as well as the means of gaining barakah in one’s livelihood. However, placing reliance upon Allah Ta‘ala means that one adopts the halaal means to earn a livelihood and one does not violate the commands of Allah Ta‘ala at any time.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “O people, fear Allah Ta‘ala and make a moderate effort in searching for halaal sustenance. If any of you regards his sustenance to be delayed then he should not seek it through an avenue whereby he will disobey Allah Ta‘ala, for indeed the grace (barakah in wealth) of Allah Ta‘ala cannot be acquired through engaging in sins.” (Mustadrak Haakim #2136)
May Allah Ta‘ala bless us with the quality of true tawakkul, grant us abundant barakah in our lives and enable us to abstain from all avenues of haraam and sin.