Baraka. ‘blessing’ (Arab., cf. Heb., bārakh). In Islam, a quality or force emanating originally from Allāh but capable of transmission to objects or to human beings. The word appears in the Qur'ān in the plural, barakāt, ‘blessings’ (7. 94; 11. 50, 76), and the term mubārak, ‘blessed’, is used, for example, of the Book (6. 92, 155), the Kaʿba (3. 90), an olive tree (24. 33). Muḥammad, prophets, and holy persons in general are especially credited with baraka, and in popular Islam baraka can be acquired by touching a shrine or the tomb of a walī (holy person), and above all from the Black Stone in the Kaʿba. A baraka from God initiates a Sūfī order: see SILSILAH. Great Sūfī shaykhs also become possessed of baraka which is transmitted to others and may remain associated with their tombs, thereby evoking pilgrimage.
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