005  Barakah of our lives and possessions

Dear readers,

In Denizli high school we used to have a physics teacher whose name was Hakkż Motorcu. He used to give us a hard time. At one of these times, he had made an exam asking about refractive index of light and everyone in the classroom failed. He was a man who is quite into innovation. I took part in the research team he established at our high school for the first time. After a while he left Denizli when he was assigned to Yeni Mahalle High School in Ankara.

Many years passed. I think it was around the second month of my working at Biological Control Institute in Antalya, and director called me to his office. Pointing at the man with white hair, who was sitting in front of him, he said "Have a look. Do you know this man?" I had a look, and recognized Motorcu teacher. He had grown old but his face keeps the fatherly smile he has ever had. I kissed his hands. We embraced eachother. I learned it just there; Motorcu teacher was from Antalya. After working for a while in Ankara, he had come to Antalya high school. Following that, he was retired. He started cultivation after buying a farm at a place which is close to the city center. We often visited him together with our friends after we learned where he would be. Motorcu teacher is not alive anymore. He was been attacked by one of his workers. He passed away, by leaving only the memories behind. He was a good man with faith and honesty. He had courage both in his words and actions. May Allah (swt.) rest him in heaven.

One day, we were sitting at the veranda of his farmhouse and chatting. I donít know what brought the conversation to this point. He told me: "Dear ›smail, there is a local shop on the road here. The shop throws away the emptied gasoline cans. I go and get those. I open up the top of the cans and attach a handle. I use them as a water bucket. When they are old enough and they cannot be used as water bucket anymore due to the holes formed at the bottom, I cut them half at the middle, fill with soil and plant flowers in. When they are quite corroded, I crumble them into pieces and bury under the trees as a source of iron mineral."

Precious readers, my purpose with telling you this story, is to move you away from dull atmosphere of the abstract issues, and to create a solid example in your mind, regarding the concept of "barakah" (plentifulness due to the blessing of Allah). Think of a piece of steel sheet. It starts with functioning in carrying gasoline, which is one of the most important needs of people. Then we carry water with it for years to give life to plants. Then it becomes the home of beautiful flowers. Then even its smallest atoms serve the plants nutrients and simultaneously serve some microorganisms as source of energy, through oxidative reaction.

"Barakah", is an Islamic term which does not have a complete equivalent in other languages. By shortest explanation, it means "a small amount of possessions yielding plenty of benefits". Various verses refer to barakah as follows:

"Allah will deprive usury, but will give increase for deeds of charity" [Bakara, 276]

ďAnd this is a Book which We have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming (the revelations) which came before it:Ē [Enam, 92].

Prophet (s.a.w) gave importance to the fact that the goods were be fertile rather than having more possessions. There are many hadiths which relate to barakah concept. In these hadiths he said:

"The meal which is eaten by reciting bismillah, will have barakah." [Ibni Maja]

"Swearing many oaths during the shopping, will take away the barakah of the possessions." [Muslim]

"There is barakah in commerce; but it goes away when treachery is involved." [Bukhari]

"Whoever leaves home at early hours will have barakah with their works." [Bazzar]

"Those who perform the salaat will have barakah with their daily earnings (or with what Allah gives)." [M. janna]

"Singers and moneylenders will have no barakah with their earnings." [Daylami]

"Those who are consent with what is given to them will have more barakah with it, those who arenít will not have barakah." [Ahmad]

"Oh my Allah, please forgive my sins and give barakah with what you giveth to me!" [I. Ahmad]

Precious readers, possessions and services, are means to meet our needs along with our enthusiasm and needs which develop in parallel to them. The Goods with barakah, as in Motorcu teacherís example of gas cans, will establish the basis for peace and prospering of its owner and many other living creatures; as for the possessions with no barakah; they will end up like the fine porcelain plates which are broken as a sacrifice to the savage entertainment pleasures of the miserable audience who enjoys such stuff at night clubs: such possessions disappear without offering any benefit to any living creature.

May our God, Allah increase the barakah of our possessions. May he include us among his subjects who have barakah with their lives, possessions and works and among those who have halal earnings.

Be entrusted to Allah.