There was once a man who had four sons. When he fell ill (and was nearing his end), one of his sons (was so eager to serve him and enjoy the exclusive privilege of caring for him, that he) told the other three sons, “Either you nurse him in his sickness and forfeit your shares of his estate; or I will nurse him and forfeit my share of the estate.” His brothers were pleased with his proposition and left him to nurse their father on his own.
When the father eventually passed away, then as agreed, the son who nursed him did not take any share from the estate. Thereafter, he saw a dream one night in which a person told him that one hundred dinaars (gold coins) were kept at a certain place, and he should take these coins. He asked the person whether the money contained barakah (blessings), to which the person replied in the negative.
The following morning, when he related the dream to his wife, she insisted that he should take the money saying, “Having some food to eat and clothing to wear is (sufficient) barakah.” However, he, did not agree.
The following night, he again saw a dream in which a person told him of a certain place where ten dinaars were kept. Once again, when he asked if the money contained barakah, the reply was in the negative. He related the dream to his wife the next morning, and she insisted that he should go and take the money, but again, he refused to do so (not wishing to acquire wealth which was devoid of barakah).
On the third night, he again saw a dream in which a person told him of a certain place where he could find a single dinaar. This time, when he enquired as to whether it contained barakah, the answer was in the affirmative. He thus went to the described location and took possession of the dinaar.
As they required food, he then used the dinaar to purchase two fish which he brought home. Thereafter, when he cut the fish open, he discovered an invaluable pearl in the stomach of each fish!
At that time, it so happened that the king was searching for a magnificent pearl to purchase. When he was informed that this man had a unique, magnificent pearl, he bought it from him for thirty mule loads of gold!
However, when the king saw the pearl, he declared that the pearl would look best if it was paired with another pearl to match it. The king’s men thus returned to the man and asked him whether he possessed a second pearl which matched the first. When he responded that he did indeed have one, they offered to pay him double the price of the first pearl! The man sold the second pearl to the king, thus acquiring a total of ninety mule-loads of gold. (Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaaq #21027)
1. Serving our parents and caring for them is not a burden – it is a privilege. It is a means of acquiring their sincere du‘aas and securing abundant blessings which will benefit us in this world and the next. If we truly understood the great rewards that lie in store for those who serve their parents with devotion, we would certainly compete with one another for the privilege of serving them.
2. Wealth is earned by many people – but not every person enjoys barakah. Wealth without barakah will not bring any happiness, peace or contentment. In fact, when we lose barakah, due to impermissible business dealings, dishonesty, etc. then the wealth that we earn, will only cause unhappiness, uneasiness and misery. Thus, the caring son in the incident above, gave preference to one dinaar with barakah over one hundred dinaars without barakah.
3. Barakah is such that a person may not see its effect immediately. At times, a person reaps the fruit of the barakah later on, while at other times the barakah one acquires is enjoyed by one’s progeny long after his demise.
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)