What Baraqish did…



In a town far far away, in a time long forgotten a man owned a guard dog he named Baraqish. One day, she kept barking nonstop that the people thought there must be something seriously wrong. As nothing was out of the ordinary in their town, they sent one of them outside of the town to check and he came back with a warning that a group of thieves is heading towards them. They decided to hide in a nearby cave until the thieves passed through their town. As they were hiding in the cave and the thieves were almost gone, Baraqish noticed them and started barking. This alerted the thieves of the location of the townspeople and they were captured. This is the story of the Arabic saying “على نفسها جنت براقش”, which translates to “Baraqish brought destruction upon herself”.

Coming back to more recent times… three of us were at a community event discussing the lectures and other matters. One of my companions made a passing comment that I should take on a leadership position in one of the organisations we know.  While I was considering this I noticed that our third person did not seem to like that suggestion.  I felt disappointed and even belittled. How can this person think like this?

When I calmed down from this internal shock, the Arabic saying “Baraqish brought destruction upon herself” came to mind … how odd?

I was Baraqish! I have been shying away from taking on leadership positions. Was it because of a misplaced sense of humility? Was it due to self limiting beliefs? Could it have been a result of previous negative experiences? Or a combination of some, other or all of the above?  Whatever were the reasons, one of the outcomes was a projection that I cannot do this. So if my companion had doubts about my ability, it is because (knowingly or unknowingly) I had doubts in my own abilities. That is a shame because each one of us has been created honourable and thus in a place of privilege and responsibility:

{And We have certainly honoured the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.}

Quran 17:70

When I decided to write about this incident I was going to stop around here but God in his grace had granted me another insight. When I noticed the change in face features and body language of my ‘disappointing’ companion, I can tell you now that I read too much into them. I really had no basis to think that those set of features meant disapproval or disagreement. For all I know, they could’ve meant “Aha, I just had an idea!”, or “Why didn’t I think of that?” or even “Did I remember to bring my charger?”.  So again, I was Baraqish! I created a negative story and got sucked into its dark cloud.

Thankfully, neither of these presumptions brought destruction upon me … once I was able to look at the situation from a different perspective. I am thankful that I learned about a character that I have and would like to change. I am thankful that I had a practical experience in the uselessness of ‘mind reading’ others.

 {And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]}

Quran 14:7


Arabic Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Middle-Eastern Tales in Arabic and English             



2 thoughts on “What Baraqish did…

  1. ” the uselessness of ‘mind reading’ others.’ ‘… This phrase had me pausing in contemplation for a long time.
    Very insightful and deeply reflective blog. May Allah reward you for the time and effort you spend sharing the knowledge and insight Allah blessed you with.

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