(The Source of All Goodness)

Al-Barr Meaning:

The Beneficent One, The Doer of Good, The All Pure.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Barr (in Arabic: ٱلْبَرُّ), The One who is the great benefactor, the most righteous, and the source of goodness. He is ample in kindness and desires good to people bestowing them with health, wealth, and happiness. He is ever merciful and compassionate. He is The One who covered them with His sustenance and specified whoever He willed among them by His support, protection, and special mercy.

Mentions of Al-Barr:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root ba-ra-ra (ب ر ر) which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to be devoted, affectionate, gentle to be just and proper, honest, truthful, to have regard for the circumstances of another, to be beneficent, to bestow bountiful gifts, to reward for service, recompense, to behave courteously, to do good, to be benign, gracious, kindly, to be pious, virtuous, righteous to be ample, extensive.

The name al-Barr occurs once in the Qur'an.

إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلُ نَدْعُوهُ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْبَرُّ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

Innaa kunnaa min qablu nad’oohu innahoo huwal barrur raheem

English Translation:
"Indeed, we used to supplicate Him before. Indeed, it is He who is the Beneficent, the Merciful.”" — (Qur'an 52:28)

This name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ, al-Barr, speaks to His essences of kindness, generosity, and mercy. To enumerate His kindness is an impossible task. We will never be able to grasp all the ways in which He has blessed us. If we were to show our gratitude, it would never be enough. There are just so many layers to His mercy and kindness: His gift of creation, to instill in us a soul, to protect us every day from harm, to give us the earth and the ability to enjoy all its fruits, to listen and answer our prayers, to forgive our sins and reward us for our good. He's given us guidance through His Prophets (may peace be upon them) and His book so we can live a purposeful life instead of meandering about aimlessly. He had no obligation to make the path to Him so clear. The path to Him could've been hard, reserved only for the rare truth seekers. Truly, Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is the doer of good and most compassionate. In Surah Baqarah verse 185, "Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship."

شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِيٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ هُدٗى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡفُرۡقَانِۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٖ فَعِدَّةٞ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ وَلِتُكۡمِلُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ

Shahru Ramadaanallazeee unzila feehil Qur’aanu hudal linnaasi wa baiyinaatim minal hudaa wal furqaan; faman shahida minkumush shahra falyasumhu wa man kaana mareedan aw ‘alaa safarin fa’iddatum min ayyaamin ukhar; yureedul laahu bikumul yusra wa laa yureedu bikumul ‘usra wa litukmilul ‘iddata wa litukabbirul laaha ‘alaa maa hadaakum wa la’allakum tashkuroon

English Translation:
"The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful." — (Qur'an 2:185)

Even in the treatment of good deeds versus bad. You would think a just God would reward an action based on it's merit but Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is greater. He is Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent) and Ar-Raheem (The Merciful). The Prophet ﷺ speaks of how if you intended to do a good deed, but for whatever reason it was not done, you will have written for you, by the angels, a good deed. But this does not discourage from the actual act, because "if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him with Him from ten to seven hundred times to many more times." However, the same standard is not applied for a bad or evil thoughts, it will not be recorded until put into action. [1]

The believer benefits from knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Barr. He sees the kindness of His Lord, which increases his love and gratitude towards Him. We understand how His mercy will always be available if sought after. Furthermore, we ask ourselves, how can we be among the doers of good? A'isha, the wife of Allah's Apostle ﷺ, reported that Allah's Messenger ﷺ said: A'isha, verily Allah is kind and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness). [2]

Why withhold kindness? Why withhold the goodness and ripple effects it can create? Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ tells us He loves kindness and rewards His servant when he's in service to others. Hearing the right thing at the right time can have a profound effect on the trajectory of a person's life. It can unlock dreams unimagined. Words of encouragement can give courage and strength to one suffering, almost like a cure to an illness or a plant in need of water. But of course, the other side of the coin reads words can create havoc if we're not careful. Fights, wars, and ties of kinships have all been severed just from the movement of the tongue. It is more powerful than we like to give it credit. Narrated Abu Musa: Some people asked Allah's Messenger ﷺ, "Whose Islam is the best? (I.e., Who is a the best Muslim)?" He replied, "One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands." [3]

Jarir b. Abdullah reported Allah's Apostle ﷺ as saying: He who is deprived of tenderly feelings is in fact deprived of good. [4]

This is something Prophet Muhammad ﷺ understood and taught, which is likely part of the reason why he was so beloved. He never missed the opportunity to spread love. Don't assume your child knows you're proud of them... take the time to tell them. Don't assume your spouse knows you love them... make it a point to tell them. It is best for us and really for everyone to not be deprived of feelings of affection and kindness because if you do, you will have stopped goodness and create a void that can be filled with shaitan. The repercussion will also be felt on the day of judgment as we've limited the goodness that's receivable in our accounts.

[1] Sahih al-Bukhari 6491
[2] Sahih Muslim 2593
[3] Sahih al-Bukhari 11
[4] Sahih Muslim 2592c

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