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Reality of Faith and Its Branches

by Sheikh Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Abdul Monim 1  |  Translated by Osman Umarji The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) said, "F...

by Sheikh Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Abdul Monim1 | Translated by Osman Umarji

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) said, "Faith has approximately seventy branches (or sixty some in another narration). The highest branch is [living] the statement 'There is no god except for Allah'; the lowest branch is removing anything harmful from the street. Modesty is also a branch of faith" (Sahih Muslim).

In this statement, the Prophet ﷺ makes it clear that there are several branches of faith that comprehensively define true belief.

It is important to derive from this that some branches are fundamental pillars of belief, where faith cannot be achieved unless one believes in them completely. Additionally, some branches contain obligations that carry rewards and punishments, where one may actually leave the fold of Islam if he defiantly rejects these branches.

Some of these branches are related to character and conduct, with some being obligatory while others are recommended. Additionally, some of these branches are related to dealings like buying and selling, giving and taking, and each of them vary in degree and rank.

All of these branches vary in importance and collectively define the Islamic creed, its character, worship, contracts, and transactions.

The scholars have researched these branches, attempting to count and define them. Below is the analysis of the great scholar Ibn Hibban, which Imam ibn Hajar al-Asqalani agreed with and supported in Fath al-Bari. The following list enumerates the branches of faith, broken down by section, in order to facilitate an easy understanding of the topic.

Branches of Faith

Actions of the Heart (24)

1. Belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He)
2. Belief in the Angels
3. Belief in the Divinely Revealed Scriptures
4. Belief in the Prophets and Messengers
5. Belief in Divine Knowledge and God's Absolute Ability
6. Belief in the Day of Judgment
7. Loving Allah
8. Loving and Hating for the sake of Allah (swt)
9. Loving and Honoring Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
10. Sincerity
11. Repentance
12. Fear
13. Hope
14.  Fulfillment of One's Oath with Allah (swt)
15.  Gratitude
16.  Patience
17.  Satisfaction
18.  Reliance upon Allah (swt)
19.  Mercy
20.  Humility
21.  Not possessing arrogance or pride
22.  Not being jealous
23.  Not being hostile
24.  Not being

Actions of the Tongue (7)

1. Proclaiming that Allah (swt) is One
2. Reciting the Qur'an
3. Learning about Islam
4. Teaching Islam
5. Supplication
6. Remembering Allah (swt) and Seeking Forgiveness
7. Not Engaging in Vain Speech

Actions of the Limbs (38)

Pertaining to Individuals

1. Physical and Ritual Purification
2. Covering One's Body Appropriately
3. Performing the Obligatory and Recommended Prayers
4. Paying Zakah and Giving Charity
5. Freeing Slaves
6. Generosity – Feeding People and Honoring Guests
7. Fasting
8. Performing Hajj and Umrah – Major and Minor Pilgrimage
9. Tawaaf – Circling the Ka'bah.
10. I'tikaaf – dedicating time in the masjid solely to worship God
11. Seeking Laylat al Qadr (the Night of Power) in Ramadan
12. Fleeing an unlawful gathering for the sake of protecting one's faith.
13. Fulfilling Vows
14. Attempting to Better Understand the Islamic Creed
15. Penance – Expiating sins by performing a particular act

Pertaining to Family and Those Close to Us

1. Staying Chaste till Marriage
2. Fulfilling Family Rights
3. Being Righteous to Parents
4. Properly Raising Children
5. Maintaining the Ties of Kinship
6. Obeying one's Master and being Gentle to Servants

Pertaining to the Society

1. Standing up for Justice
2. Sticking with the Community of Believers
3. Obedience to Those in Power
4. Reconciling Between People
5. Supporting Righteousness – Commanding Good and Forbidding Evil
6. Carrying Out Divinely Ordained Punishments
7. Defending

​the beauty of ​
Islam, Muslims, and Society
​ for the good aspects​

8. Fulfilling Trusts
9. Granting Loans
10. Honoring Neighbors
11. Properly Treating People
12. Properly Spending Wealth
13. Responding to Greetings of Peace (Salaam)
14. Responding to Someone who Sneezes
15. Not Harming People
16. Staying Away from Vanity
17. Removing Harm from the Street