Explanation of "the branches of faith" Hadith
.It was authentically reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:"Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya' (This term "Haya'" covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together; amongst them are self respect, modesty, bashfulness, and scruple, etc.) is a part of faith."It was also reported in Sahih Muslim: "Faith has over seventy branches, the uppermost of which is the declaration: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith."In another narration: "Faith has over seventy branches".Explanation:This great Hadith explained the branches of faith which are over seventy or over sixty branches, and the word "more" or "over" mentioned in the Hadiths includes the range from three to nine.Those branches contained the head of faith which is monotheism: "La Ilaha Illa Allah [No God but Allah]," and this testimony is the gate of Islam until you reach the last branch which is removing harm from the road.As for the Prophet's saying: "Faith has over seventy or sixty branches," the meaning is: The qualities of faith do not exceed this number and they are different. So, it contains the actions of the heart, the actions of the organs, and the actions of the tongue, and many other branches are branched from the bodily actions such as benefits resulting from charity, enjoining good and forbidding evil, and the call to Allah (Glory be to Him).As for the Prophet's saying: "The uppermost of which is the declaration: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" In another narration at Ahmad "The most sublime and high is saying: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah." It does not become the highest and the most sublime but after a person believes in it sincerely and truly.This testimony is the word of monotheism and the highest branch of faith and by which faith and its people become high. Therefore, when we fight disbelievers, we fight them so that the word of Allah [None has the right to be worshipped but Allah] would be superior, and a person will not be a sincere fighter but after he becomes sincere in uttering this testimony.So, the meaning of "There is no deity but Allah" is the utterance which confirms the belief of the heart because most people say this testimony but do not act accordingly. People concerning this testimony are different: Some of them utter this testimony by tongue but they are still disbelievers by actions such as the hypocrites who were at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).Some of them utter it while they are truthful.Some of them utter it while they are hesitant: A person utters it but does not stop committing of sins and the testimony does not exhort him to observe patience, be satisfied, and be grateful to reach the highest degree of faith because if a person utters a sublime and high word without believing in it by heart, it will not avail him.Therefore, whenever this word becomes high, fearing Allah regarding His Prohibitions becomes high. Therefore, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: "Who will be the luckiest person, who will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection? Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: O Abu Hurayrah! I have thought that none will ask me about it before you as I know your longing for the (learning of) Hadiths. The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.". This is the purpose of saying it, to be sincerely and truthfully said so as to act and fulfill obligatory duties with certainty and avoid prohibitions with certainty. A person is rewarded for all his actions even when he avoids prohibitions; he receives a reward if he avoids them sincerely and truly. So, a person recalls the sins and punishment he shall receive if he commits them, so he avoids them out of fear and reverence for Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) and His Commands and Prohibitions.When the ranks of people are different in uttering this testimony, and the best of them is the one who says it sincerely and truthfully, their actions also differ according to certainty.Therefore, when two persons offer Salah, fast Ramadan, perform Hajj, and give in charity, one of them may receive a higher reward than the other even if the one who received the higher reward worked a little because he was sincere. As for the other, he did not have certainty as the first, so their actions were as wide as the gap between the heaven and the earth.The opposite of this branch is disbelief in Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) because as faith is divided into branches, disbelief is also divided into branches. The branches of faith are the acts of obedience and the branches of disbelief are sins and heresies, therefore the testimony of faith is the clincher between Islam and disbelief and between Paradise and Hell-Fire, and it is the partition between Paradise and Hell-Fire and by which people have been categorized into happy and wretched.The one who utters this great word deserves the brotherhood of faith even if he is the farthest person, whereas the one who refuses to utter it deserves enmity even if he is the closest person to you because the first has become higher than anything by faith, so he became closer than any relative.The testimony of faith contains negation and affirmation: None has the right to be worshipped [this is negation], but Allah [this is affirmation].Behold! How did the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned at the top of these branches a word that no one can act on behalf of another in uttering it; it must be said by a person himself.Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned an easy action but its benefit is multiplied which is removing harm from roads which shows the greatness of this religion and thisShari`ah which listed this quality under the branches of faith which many people have neglected these days.Of the branches of faith which the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned in the Hadith is (Haya') which is a good manner that exhorts a person to leave out bad manners and actions, and urges the soul avert from committing these vices because they are againstHaya' that is approved. It is also defined by: A manner that is generated from seeing the blessings of Allah and seeing negligence in thanking Allah for them, then Haya' is being generated.Moreover, Haya' is described by full of goodness as was authentically reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from the Hadith of `Imran ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) that "once Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) passed by an Ansari (man) who was admonishing to his brother regarding Haya'. On that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Leave him as Haya' is a part of faith." Showing shyness in seeking knowledge is not part of Haya' and refraining from forbidding people from committing sins is not part of Haya' because this is weakness and cowardice.There are many branches between faith and disbelief, and the greatest branch after the testimony of faith is the pillars of Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not mention or specify other branches but he mentioned them by numbers so as a Muslim would exert efforts in searching for them and find out the ways of goodness, therefore, Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And do good that you may be successful." [Surat Hajj: 77].So, a Muslim should hasten to goodness, and when a person exerts efforts in doing one of the acts of obedience, he should not say: This is the required branch, but he should exert efforts in all acts of obedience until he completes all branches. Al Bukhari reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There are forty virtuous deeds and the best of them is theManiha of a she-goat, and anyone who does one of these virtuous deeds hoping for Allah's reward with firm confidence that he will get it, then Allah will make him enter Paradise because of Hassan (a sub-narrator) said, "We tried to count those good deeds below theManiha; we mentioned replying to the sneezer, removing harmful things from the road, etc., but we failed to count even fifteen.".This explains the multitude of the ways of goodness and they are limitless. So, whatever a person exerts effort to do the acts of worship, he will not count the ways of goodness as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith of Thawban (may Allah be pleased with him): "Try to go straight, although you will not be able to do so. Act, and the best of your actions is Salah. And only a believer is constant in his ablution." It is obligatory on believers to exert efforts without counting these righteous deeds, therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) said as was reported by Al Bukhari from the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So, you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, afternoons and during the last hours of the nights."The meaning is: The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned that these great branches are like principles that contain branches. It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslimfrom the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah's Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, 'O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.' So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Raiyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity." Abu Bakr said: "Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Messenger! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from those gates. Will there be any one who will be called from all these gates?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "Yes, and I hope you will be one of them."Likewise the news that were reported about reconciling between quarreling people, carrying luggage of people, guiding lost people, and so on of the qualities of goodness and the branches of faith.So, a Muslim should exert efforts in doing the acts of obedience especially in this time which we need to call to Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted), enjoin good and forbid evil, and advise people through the modern communication means which facilitate this mission. Therefore, a believer should exert efforts in doing these actions to get the reward, and Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) is the Most Grateful, the Most Forbearing, and All-Knowing.I ask Allah (Glory be to Him) to help us doing the righteous deeds and to grant us sincerity in words and actions.May Allah send His Peace and Blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all his Companions!
أغمِضْ عن الدُّنيا عينَكَ، وولِّ عنها قَلبَكَ،
وإيَّاكَ أن تُهلككَ كمَا أهلكَت مَن كان قَبلكَ،
فقد رأيتُ مصَارعَها،وعاينتُ سوءَ آثارِهَا على أهلها،
وكيف عَريَ مَن كَسَت،وجَاعَ مَن أطعمت، ومات مَن أحيت.