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Islam / Popular religion /
Baraka
Arabic: baraka



The Ka'ba is a major source of baraka. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
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The Ka'ba is a major source of baraka. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Black Stone, set in the Ka'ba is often considered to be the most baraka potent object in Islam. It is highly desired to be touched during Hajj. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
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The Black Stone, set in the Ka'ba is often considered to be the most baraka potent object in Islam. It is highly desired to be touched during Hajj. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Woman leaning her forehead on the gate to the Shrine of Husayn. Karbala, Iraq.
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Woman leaning her forehead on the gate to the Shrine of Husayn. Karbala, Iraq.

In Islam, divine blessing that is normally associated with holy men or women, waliy, either in life or in death.
Baraka can be transferred from one person to another, or from a material item to a person. Common in Islam is baraka that comes from local shrines, but the strongest baraka is in Mecca, and then especially, at the Ka'ba. Pilgrims returning, are carriers of baraka, as well as bringing with them baraka in the shape of items from holy places. One of the more popular baraka-carrying items is water from the well of Zamzam.
The concept of baraka is challenged by many inside Islam, where there it is caractherized as a non-Islamic concept, hence a Muslim should avoid believing in and acting to obtain baraka. A middle course here is to allow the belief that there are qualities and powers which can be classified as baraka, but where no detour is made to obtain it. Whenever one passes a place of baraka, the Muslim will show his or her respect, like by uttering an Islamic phrase or touching the place or object in a respectful manner.




By Tore Kjeilen