Branches of the Religion

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Branches of the Religion [1]
Furu al-Din
Salah Prayers
Sawm Fasting
Hajj Pilgrimage
Zakat Charity Tax
Khums 1/5th Tax
Jihad Struggle
Amr bil-Maroof Enjoining the good
Nahi anil-Munkar Forbidding the evil
Tawalla Loving the Ahlul Bayt & their followers
Tabarra Disassociating from the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt
The Furu al-Din (Arabic: فروء الدين) are the branches of religion in the Shiite faith. They are the ten basic branches of religion and practice. They are obligatory on every believing person, female or male, who has reached the age of maturity, buloogh. The Sunni school of thought also shares many of the same practices, but refer to them as pillars. This is not to be confused with the Usool al Din which refers to the five roots of religion, or core beliefs.



Main article: Salah

Salah, the Arabic word for prayers, refers to the five daily prayers obligatory upon every Muslim. The five prayers are named according to the time of day in which they must be performed: (1) Fajr: Morning Prayers (2) Dhuhr: Noon Prayers (3) ‘Asr: Afternoon Prayers (4) Maghrib: Evening Prayers (5) ‘Isha: Night Prayers.


Main article: Sawm

Sawm, the Arabic word for fasting, refers to the obligatory fasts for every Muslim in the Holy Month of Ramadhan. Fasting, in the Islamic sense, is to refrain from food, drink, sex during the daylight hours. Every year, all Muslims are required to refrain from food, drink, and sex from sunrise (imsak) to sunset (maghrib).


Main article: Hajj

Hajj refers to the Islamic pilgrimage that is obligatory on every Muslim at least once in his/her lifetime, given that he/she can financially afford it. The pilgrimage is to the Holy Sanctuary in Mecca, Masjidul Haram, where the Holy Ka’bah is. This pilgrimage consists of circling the Ka’bah (tawaf) seven times, running/walking between the two mountains of Safa and Marwa seven times, stoning of the Shaytan in Mina, and spending a day in Arafat, and a night in Muzdalifah. The rituals of the pilgrimage are largely based on the life of the Prophet Abraham, who is considered the father of monotheism. The time for Hajj is limited to the month of Zilhajj of the Hijri Calendar.


Main article: Zakah

Zakat refers to both the idea of voluntary charity, and the obligatory charity tax of 2.5%. It is paid on one’s capital possessions on things including gold and silver coins, wheat, barely, dates, raisins, camels, cattle, and sheep. There are certain conditions and prerequisites required for the payment of Zakat. Shiites more commonly pay the Khums in the modern day, since capital possessions are no longer as common.


Main article: Khums

Khums is the Arabic word for one-fifth, or twenty percent, which refers to the Islamic tax, payable on one’s yearly income. It must be paid annually and is only obligatory on a person’s net profit. Half of this portion goes to the Saadat, the poor relatives of the Prophet’s progeny (as they are ineligible for charity). The other half is supposed to go directly to the living Imam. As the Shiite Imam is currently in occultation and his wherabouts are unknown, the tax is paid to his representatives, the Marja-e-Taqlid. The money is then disbursed to various projects across the world that are seen to be in the interest of the Shiite community, including projects like orphanages, mosques, community centers, and schools.


Main article: Jihad

Jihad is the Arabic term for struggle, which is commonly associated with Islamic warfare. However, there are two types of Jihad that are obligatory on every Muslim. One of these includes Jihad al-Asgher, the smaller or minor Jihad, which refers to the physical warfare and to defend the religion of Islam or Muslims. It is obligatory on every Muslim to defend the lives and properties of all other Muslims when attacked, and to fight under the order of the Prophet or an Imam. Jihad ul-Akbar, the greater or major Jihad, refers to the struggle that a person must have with one’s own soul, in order to completely submit to the divine will of God.

Amr bil-Maroof

Main article: Amr bil Maroof

Amr bil-Maroof, the Arabic term for enjoining the good refers to the Islamic responsibility that every Muslim has to encourage others towards the right path, and to do good. It includes encouragement of all forms for fellow humans to perform good moral deeds, and to complete the obligatory actions.

Nahi anil-Munkar

Main article: Nahi anil Munkar

Nahi anil-Munkar, the Arabic term for forbidding the evil/wrong refers to the responsibility a Muslim has to discourage others from performing evil acts and actions which have been forbidden in the religion. It is also associated with standing up against oppression and all acts of injustice.


Main article: Tawalla

Tawalla, the Arabic term for friendship, refers to the responsibility of loving the Ahlul Bayt and the friends of the Ahlul Bayt. The Ahlul Bayt refer to the family of the Holy Prophet, and especially his close relatives and the twelve Imams. Due to the love that a believer should have for the Prophet’s family, he/she must also love and treat the followers and lovers of the Ahlul Bayt with kindness and reverence.


Main article: Tabarra

Tabarra, the Arabic term for enmity, refers to the enmity that a believer and follower of the Ahlul Bayt should feel towards their enemies. This concept goes hand in hand with tawalla, due to the fact that if one truly loves the Ahlul Bayt, one will inevitably hate those who hate them.


  1. Branches of the Religion Method of Salat, Sayyid Muhammad Qadi Mar'ashi
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