The Branches of Religion
To be a sincere and good, practicing
Muslim in the way of Islam and Allah, you should know Fooroo-e-deen. To
consider yourself a lover and follower of Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.), you
should test yourself and practice these ten Practices’ of Faith. They
are of the following:
1. Salat: Prayer
2. Sawm: Fasting
3. Hajj: Pilgrimage
4. Zakat: A poor rate (Charity)
5. Khums: one-fifth tax
6. Jehad: Holy Sacrifice, defense
7. Amar bil Ma’aroof: Enjoining the good.
8. Nahl anil Munkar: Avoiding the bad.
9. Tawalla: Loving Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.)
10. Tabarra: Keeping away from the enemies of Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.)
Salat, or Prayer is Wajib Obligatory for a Muslim five times a day. The
prayers are obligatory on those who have become "Baligh." For
the purpose of fulfillment religious obligation a boy becomes "baligh"
on completion of his fifteenth year, and a girl on completion of her
During Salat, we present ourselves before Allah, and by this, we prove
to Allah that we are His sincere servants. Therefore, we have to know
where, when, and how to offer prayers. Before we offer prayer, we have
to consider the following:
1. Cleanliness of the body and mind.
2. Place (where you are offering your prayers)
5. And the direction of the Kaa’bah.
The following are the Wajib Prayers
1. The five daily Prayers: Salat al Fajr, Salat al Thohar, Salat al Asr,
Salat al Maghrib, and Salat al Isha.
2. Salat al Ayaat.
3. Salat al Tawaf.
4. Salat al Qaza.
5. Salat al Ahad.
6. Salat al Istejara.
7. Salat al Nathar.
8. Salat al Mayyit.
9. Salat al Qasam.
10. Salat al Juma.
11. Salat al Ehtiyat.
Prayer (Obligatory 5 daily Prayers)
Wajib (Compulsory): The offering of these prayers entitles one to
Heavenly reward, while due to neglect the person will get retribution in
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) has said:
"If Allah accepts one's Salat (Prayers),
other good deeds of his will also be acceptable to Him. But if one's
Salat is rejected by Allah, his other good actions will be surely
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) has further said:
"Everything has something to embellish.
And the thing that adorns Islam is the obligatory Salat, five times a
day. Everything has a prop, and the prop for a Moo’min (Faithful) is
this very Salat. Everything needs some sort of light, and for the heart
of a Moo’min this Salat serves as a light. Everything carries some
price, and the price of Paradise is this Salat. Salat is a way of
penitence for a penitent and a source of prosperity. It is through this
very Salat that the devotee can hope for Munificence of Allah, the
acceptance of his supplications and the expiration of his sins."
Imam Jafar al Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
"One who makes light of Salat
and has no regard for it, does not belong to us, and will surely be
deprived of the benefit of our intercession (on the Day of Judgment)."
says the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.w.),
"is the salvation of the true believer, the pillar of faith, and the
light of heaven on earth."
"The best devotion,"
says Imam Ali (a.s.), "is to
abstain from what is prohibited; and the most agreeable of earthly acts
to God, is to pray to Him, for prayer turneth away a decree even though
ordained; it is the key of mercy, and the means whereby needs are
satisfied and every calamity warded off."
says Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.),
‘shall never want".
And he once said to Mir (one of his followers),
"O Mir, pray and do not say whatever is
ordained shall come to pass. Verily there is a rank of nearness to God
which cannot be obtained save by prayers and entreaty".
To the questions, what was the best
devotional act? He replied, that there was nothing more agreeable to
God than praying and entreaty, for God loved those who pray to Him, and
that there was nothing more hateful to Him, than those who are proud and
abstain from devotion and prayer.
Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:
"Offer your prayers regularly, be careful
when you are offering them, pray as often as you possibly can and
through prayers seek the proximity of His Realm. Prayers are made
compulsory for faithful Muslims. Have you not read in the Holy Qur’an,
the reply of those who would by thrown into Hell? When they will be
asked: What has brought you to Hell? They will say, We were not amongst
those who prayed. "
Observance of fasts becomes obligatory from the day following the
appearance of the new moon of the Month of Ramadon till the night when
the new moon of the succeeding month appears.
Fasting helps us train ourselves of our natural appetites and to shun
evil. It doesn't only mean abstaining from food, but from every kind of
evil. Imam Ali (a.s.) says:
"Many persons get nothing out of their fasts but hunger and thirst; many
more get nothing out of their night prayers but exertions and sleepless
nights. Wise and sagacious persons are praiseworthy even if they do not
fast and sleep during the nights."
"O ye who believe, fasting is
prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may
exercise self-restraint." Holy Qur’an (2;183)
"So everyone of you who
witnesseth this month should fast in it." Holy Qur’an (2;185)
According to Islam, it prescribes all the details about the fast, as to
when to fast, how to fast and when not to fast and when to make up the
defaulted fasts and how if one cannot fast at all owing to reasons of
health, the compensation for it. The following verse from the Holy
Qur’an gives only the basics of the fundamentals of the Islamic fast:
"For a fixed number of days, but
whose among you is sick or on a journey then (he shall fast) that number
of days; and those who are hardly able to do it, may effect a redemption
by feeding a poor man, and (even so) who so of his own accord performed
a good deed, it is better for him; and that ye fast is better for you if
ye know." Holy Qur’an (2:184)
3. Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Going to Mecca for pilgrimage is called Hajj. The pilgrimage becomes
obligatory on one who has funds enough for his return journey as well as
maintenance of his family during his absence. It is a physical and
spiritual exercise, as well as a scientific and religious journey
testing Muslims in his/her mind, body, and resources. The Hajj is
performed on the ninth of the last month of the Islamic Calendar,
Zilhajj. "Proclaim among people
for the Hajj so that they come to you on foot or on camels of any kind
from deep and distant places." Holy Qur’an (22;27)
"The Hajj of the House of Allah
(Kaaba) is obligatory on every one who has means for the journey to
it." Holy Qur’an (3;97)
"Verily, the First House made for
mankind is the one in Mecca. Blessed and a Guidance for the worlds. In
it are clear signs indication the standing place of Abraham. Whoever
entereth it is secure and purely for God requires Mankind to make the
pilgrimage to the House if they can afford to journey thither, and
whoever denies it, then verily God is Self-sufficiently independent of
the worlds." Holy Qur’an (3;95-96)
Zakat (Poor rate)
This is payable at the rate of one out of every forty, on the value of
one's capitol possessions such as gold and silver coins, wheat, barley,
dates, raisons, camels, cattle and sheep, after satisfying certain
conditions. "And offer prayers,
and pay Zakat, and bow down with those who bow down (in worship)." Holy
Qur’an (2:43) The Holy Prophet
(s.a.w.w.) described Zak’at as money taken from the rich and returned to
the poor. It literally means ‘purification’ as used in the Holy Qur’an:
"Take of their wealth a charity,
to purify them and cleanse them thereby, and pray for them, verily thy
prayer is assurance (of peace) for them; and God is All Hearing and All
Knowing." Holy Qur’an (9:103)
Islam wants every man to live in honor and dignity. That’s why it has
made taxes a duty for the rich to help the poor. It helps make life
happy and comfortable for everyone.
5. Khums (1/5 tax)
Paying one-fifth of the amount of a year's saving (after deducting all
legitimate expenses from the earnings of that year) is called Khums.
Sasaats (descendants of the Holy Prophet) have a aright over half of
this amount which should be paid to those amongst them who are poor and
needy. The other half belongs to the Imam and should be paid to his
Khums can be given in seven ways:
1. Booty - everything taken as spoils in war.
2. Mineral - diamond, gold, rock - salt.
3. Treasure - gold, silver, jewelry that came from under earth or where
hidden somewhere else.
4. Precious - taken out of seas, oceans, such as pearls, shells, etc.
5. Land - Example: Land brought by a non Muslim from a Muslim. The
amount of Khums is 1/5 of the total value.
6. Amalgamation - lawful and unlawful things determined separately.
7. Profit in Business - the net yearly income.
"And know that out of all wealth you may
acquire, one fifth of it is for Allah, and for the messenger and for his
Kinsmen, and the Orphans, the poor and the wayfarer." Holy Qur’an
Jehad (Holy Sacrifice, defense)
Jehad means to strive or fight in the way of God. Jehad literally means
"strive", and as striving can be of various kinds and in
different ways, it includes also fighting when it becomes the only
alternative to defend the faith and the faithful.
Every adult male Muslim, who is not
sick and has no other feasible disability is required to fight against
those who attack Islam. Jehad should be exclusively in the way of God
and never for any territorial ambition. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.)
himself never started any war unless it was thrust upon him by the
enemies. The Holy Qur’an states:
"And fight in the cause of God (against)
those who fight you but be not aggressive; for verily God loveth not the
aggressors." Holy Qur’an (2:190)
7. Amar bil Ma’aroof (Enjoining
Amar bil Ma’aroof means to enjoin what is right, and exhortation to do
good. It is required for every Muslim to be good, to be regular in
prayers, fasting, Zak’at, Khums, taking part in Jehad, performing Hajj,
being truthful, remaining honest, and to enjoin his other brethren to do
the same. "Let there arise out
of you, a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is
right and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain
felicity." Holy Qur’an (3:104)
8. Nahl anil Munkar (Avoiding
Nahl anil Munkar mean forbidding what is wrong, and avoiding the bad
(Prevention of evil). A Muslim has to keep himself away and safe from
every evil and wickedness, and should preach to others abstinence from
it. It is wajib on every Muslim to abstain from what is forbidden in
Islam such as gambling, drinking wine, telling lies, committing
adultery, sodomy, backbiting, robbing, extortion, breaking promises,
being disloyal, and doing dishonest things.
"Let there arise out of you, a band of
people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and
forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity." Holy
"O’ my sons! Establish prayer and enjoin
the good and forbid the evil, and be patient against what befalls thee;
verily this is the task of steadfastness." Holy Qur’an (31:17)
Tawalla (Loving Ahl-lul Bayt ‘A.S.’)
Tawalla means to love and respect the Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.) And to be
friendly with their friends. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) said,
"I leave among you, two Weighty Things,
one of them is the Book of Allah, and the other is My Itrat (progeny),
who are My Ahl-lul Bayt (People of My House ‘A.S.’). After me, you
shall not go astray if you adhere to both as the cistern of Kauthar in
"Verily, verily Allah intended but to keep
off from you (every kind of) uncleanness, O ye people of the House and
purify you with a thorough purification."
Holy Qur’an (33:33)
10. Tabarra (Keeping away from
the enemies of Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.)
Tabarra means to keep away from the enemies of Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.).
"And those who followed shall
say: Had there been for us, then we would renounce them as they have
renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense
regret to them, and they shall not come forth from the fire." Holy
Qur’an (2:167) This source of
Information was taken from:
1. S. Ghaffari. Foroo-e-Deen. Published by Ahl-lul Bayt Islamic