Esoteric Islam

Hidden Meaning of Baraka in Islam

In Islam, baraka means “blessing coming from God”. However, there are hidden esoteric meanings related to the word “baraka”. In this post, I will satisfy your quest for esoteric knowledge:

  1. What is Baraka in Islam? (Exoteric meaning)
  2. Real definition of Baraka (Esoteric meaning)
  3. How to Attain Baraka?

1. What is Baraka in Islam?

In a basic sense, baraka is the blessings coming from God in Islam. According to Islamic scholars, there are 4 meanings attached to the word “baraka”.

  1. Baraka refers to growth, increase, and expansion.
  2. It represents the concept of continuity (something keeps on coming).
  3. Baraka refers to something that remains in its state.
  4. It is the divine blessing coming only from God.

Putting all definitions together, we can regard baraka as God’s perpetual blessings to man that keeps on growing and increasing.

2. Real Definition of Baraka

Rain – Symbol of Knowledge

According to Sufism teachings, we cannot understand the Quran literally. Every word is a divine code that needs to be decoded. Thus, the word “baraka” in Islam contains within itself a hidden meaning that is only comprehensible to those who possess the key of knowledge.

In Arabic, when we pronounce “barakha” rather than “baraka”, it means “rain“.

“And God sends down rain from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death. Verily in this is a sign for those who listen.” (Quran 16:65)

Rain is the symbol of “the outpouring of Spirit that constantly refreshes and enriches man’s developing thoughts”(Metaphysical Bible Dictionary). It is the descent of potential ideas into substance. The rain that water the earth represents the love of God, which comes into the mind when summoned and needed.

We also see a similar concept in A dictionary of the sacred language of all scriptures and myth by G. A. Gaskell, where he states rain represents the downpouring divine truth (water) from heaven that dispels darkness, illusions, and error.

Therefore, the word baraka cannot be taken in a literal sense, but it to be symbolically understood as a symbol of divine power coming from God.

From the definitions above, we can define baraka as the knowledge that cause ignorance to vanish.

Inner Knowledge

The hidden meaning of baraka contains all of the 4 criteria above. Indeed, it is the hidden meaning that expresses itself into exterior meanings, not vice versa.

When God sends down baraka from the sky, it means that He sends us knowledge from the Universal Mind of God. In a basic understanding, yes, it is the blessing from God, but it should not be taken literally.

The hidden meaning of baraka in Islam is knowledge
In Islamic mysticism, “baraka” means “knowledge”

Knowledge is what nourishes and gives us power. It is the revelation from God that keeps increasing like a growing tree. When you (the tree) receive the knowledge of self (fruit) and you deliver it to other people, this blessing continues to multiply because the people who eat the fruit also reserve for themselves its seeds.

This is the kind of knowledge that is acquired by inner intuition instead of by external senses. In other words, baraka is the inner knowledge, in which you cannot attain by reading books or talking to people.

Divine Power

In Islamic traditions, it is said that the ones who receive baraka have the power to perform miracles such as reading other people’s thoughts, healing illnesses, and reviving the dead. It is not a state but rather a flow of blessings from God.

Those who are blessed with baraka are able to transmit his blessings to other people. It’s like when you receive an apple and you share half of it with others as well.

This divine power is so unique that it is not only attached to people (saints, teachers, prophets) but also associated with places (shrines, temples) and objects (sacred books). That’s why you see many Muslims visit shrines or temples because they believe that by entering the temple, they are affected by baraka coming from God.

Interestingly, you don’t have to be an al-insan al-kamil to receive baraka. You receive baraka through the grace of God, not by drudgingly practicing Dhikr to open up your lataif (chakras, energy centers).

Based on the stage of your nafs (soul development), you will receive the amount of baraka according to your stage. For example, if you believe that baraka is happiness that you receive continually through your daily activities, it is exactly the happiness that you will get because that’s where you are at in the level of development. This level represents the basic understanding of the word “baraka” in Islam.

However, if you see baraka as the divine power that can enable human beings to perform miracles, you would need to do some spiritual works to earn this blessing as this requires a higher stage of development.

3. How to Attain Baraka?

Luckily, you don’t have to go through 4 stages of Sufism or to be on the path of blame (Malamatiyya) to attain Baraka.

As God is the only source of baraka, you must be worthy to receive this divine blessing. By being worthy, I mean to follow God’s guidance, to listen to the ruh (the spirit) instead of the nafs (the ego), to gain more knowledge, to follow Sharia (Islamic laws), to perform prayers, etc.

Whenever you are going to perform an action, ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. Is this action going to be in agreement with God’s will?
  2. Are you going to perform it?
  3. Are you going to do it with sincerity (good intention)?

As prophet Muhammad said: “Unless we have the right intention, our actions have no baraka”, the only way to gain baraka is by submitting your whole self to God. Remember that He is the One who hears and sees all things, who knows that is seen and what is hidden, and who knows your secret motivations behind every action.

I have also mentioned above that bakara means knowledge. Therefore, to increase baraka means to gain more knowledge. But what kind of knowledge?

According to Al-Ghazali, a prominent Sufi Muslim, the most important knowledge is the knowledge of self, then the knowledge of God will intuitively come after:

“Know thyself, and you shall know who God is”.

Blessings will come when we do not restlessly beg God for blessings because being in the presence of Allah is already a blessing.

Through faith, righteous deeds, and excellence in moral standards, you will receive baraka. At that moment, remember to pay attention to your inner “self” because that is where blessings come from.

A Seeker Of Truth - A Student Of Life - A Master Of Self

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