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Tabarruk
  The Understanding of Tabarruk with Ahl us-Sunnah
Author: Salih bin `Abdul-`Aziz bin Muhammad Aal ash-Shaikh
Source: Hadhihi Mafahimuna (Eng trans. and additions by Abu Iyad)
Article ID : TAW040001  [26861]  
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Definitions:

At-Tabarruk means to seek blessings (barakah) in something. It is derived from al-Barakah, which means, or is often translated as blessing.

Al-Barakah is explained by ‘ziyadah’ (increase) and ‘namaa’ (growth).

Hence someone who performs tabarruk is seeking an increase/growth in something. The things for which growth and increase is desired are numerous: possessions, wealth, strength, offspring, success, etc.

Reason For the Talk:

Abu Waaqid al-Laythee: "We went out with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on the campaign to Hunain while we had just left disbelief (kufr) for Islaam. The pagans had a sidrah (lote-tree) called ‘Dhat Anwat’ where they would remain and hang their arms upon it. When we passed by it we said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, won’t you make for us another Dhat Anwat just like their Dhat Anwat?’. The Messenger of Allaah said, ‘Allaahu Akbar! By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, verily these are the ways of the earlier nations. You have said exactly as the Banu Israil have said to Musa, "Make for us a god just as their Gods He (Musa) said, ‘Verily you are an ignorant people’ (7:138)". Certainly, you will follow the ways of those who went before you." [Tirmidhi – Sahih].

The Companions thought that the tree can bring some benefit and repel harm, which is shirk. They sought tabarruk through this tree. The last part of the hadeeth shows that this Ummah will certainly follow the ways of those nations that came before it. Hence, the need to discuss this topic.

The Talk

This increase and growth (ziyadah, namaa) can exist in a number of ways:

  1. In Places
  2. In Physical Essences (Bodies) i.e. Humans
  3. In the Characteristics and Attributes of things

This is in terms of the linguistic aspect. As for the Sharee’ah aspect, then that will be discussed later inshaa’allaah.

1. Places

  • And We have placed therein Mountains on top of it and we have placed blessings (barakah) therein 41:10
  • And then We made to inherit those who were weak and oppressed the eastern and western parts of the earth, in which We had placed blessing (barakah) 7:137
  • We should have opened blessings (barakaat) for them from the heavens and the earth 7:96
  • And say (O Nuh), "O My Lord, cause me to land at a blessed place 23:29

2. Physical Essences

  • And We blessed him and Ishaaq, and from their offspring are those who do right and those who wrong themselves 37:113
  • O Nuh, come down from the ship with peace from Us and blessings on you and the people who are with you (and on some of their offspring) 11:48

3. Attributes of Things

  • But when you enter the houses, greet one another with the greeting from Allaah (As-Salaamu Alaikum), blessed and good 24:61
  • And this is a Blessed Reminder which We have sent down. Will you then deny it? [21:50]

So from the linguistic point of view, barakah, which is increase and growth, can be found in one of the three ways mentioned above; in places, physical essences or in the attributes of things.

The Sole Owner and Distributor of Barakah is Allaah

When one reflects upon the Qur’an one finds that it indicates that barakah is from Allaah and is to be requested from Him, the Most High. It is also He alone Who places it whomever He wills from His servants and in whatever He wills from His creation.

  • Blessed be Allaah, Lord of the Worlds 7:54
  • Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the Dominion 67:1
  • Blessed be He Who sent down the Criterion upon His Slave 25:1
  • Blessed be He who has placed in the heaven big stars 25:61
  • So Blessed be Allaah, the Best of all creators 23:14
  • Blessed be the Name of Your Lord, the Owner of Majesty and Honour 55:78

And this is indicated by the fact that the word "tabaaraka" occurs in the Qur’an being attached only to Allaah and nothing else. And this shows that all the Barakah belongs to Allaah, that it all originates from Him and that He gives Barakah to various categories from His creation.

The General (Restricted) and Absolute (Specific) Types of Barakah

The general restricted type of barakah is found in various things. Amongst them:

1. The Rain is blessed since an increase in tillage, plants, crop and life in general is obtained by it and there is also considerable growth on account of it.

  • And We sent down blessed rain from the sky and produced from it gardens and grain that are reaped 50:9


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