Travelers on the Path of Knowledge

Knowledge is an ocean and a few drops just aren’t enough. -Unknown

The 77 Branches of Faith September 25, 2006

Filed under: Islam,Reflections — musaafir @ 6:20 am

This past weekend, Lena and I went to the last part of the SunniPath Study Tour in New York ( The focus of the lecture were the 77 branches of faith. Before I went to the lecture, I had gotten an email with the same subject. I am going to post it here before any reflection on what Shaykh Faraz Rabbani or Shaykh Abdallah Adhami said. By the way, I want to take the course on SunniPath called “The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith” in the fall semester, and if anyone else is, let me know inshAllah. 🙂

The 77 Branches of Faith
by Imam Ashraf Ali al-Tahanawi

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said “There are over 70 branches of faith. The highest is to bear witness that ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’ (la ilaha illallahu muhammadur rasulullah). The lowest is the removal of harm from the road. “

1. Belief in Allah

2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.

3. To believe in the existence of angels.

4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.

5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.

6. To believe that Allah Most High as knowledge of everything from before-hand and that only that which He sanctions or wishes will occur.

7. To believe that Resurrection will definitely occur.

8. To believe in the existence of Heaven.

9. To believe in the existence of Hell.

10. To have love for Allah Most High.

11. To have love for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

12. To love or hate someone solely because of Allah.

13. To execute all actions with the intention of religion alone.

14. To regret and express remorse when a sin is committed.

15. To fear Allah Most High.

16. To hope for the mercy of Allah Most High.

17. To be modest.

18.To express gratitude over a bounty or favour.

19. To fulfill promises.

20. To exercise patience.

21. To consider yourself lower than others.

22. To have mercy on the creation.

23. To be pleased with whatever you experience from Allah Most High.

24. To place your trust in Allah Most High.

25. Not to boast or brag over any quality that you posses.

26. Not to have malice or hatred towards anybody.

27. Not to be envious of anyone.

28. Not to become angry.

29. Not to wish harm for anyone.

30. Not to have love for the world.

31. To recite the testimony of faith (kalimah) with the tongue.

32. To recite the Quran.

33. To acquire knowledge.

34. To pass on Knowledge.

35. To make dua.

36. To make the zikr of Allah Most High.

37. To abstain from the following: lies, backbiting, vulgar words, cursing, singing that is contrary to the Shariah.

38. To make wudu, ghusl, and keep one’s clothing clean.

39. To be steadfast in offering salaat.

40. To pay zakaat and sadaqatul fitr.

41. To fast.

42. To perform the Hajj.

43. To make i’tikaaf.

44. To move away or migrate from that place which is harmful for one’s deen.

45. To fulfill the vows that have been made to Allah.

46. To fulfill the oaths that are not sinful.

47. To pay the kaffarah for unfulfilled oaths.

48. To cover those parts of the body that are fard to cover.

49. To perform the ritual slaughter.

50. To enshroud and bury the deceased.

51. To fulfill your debts.

52. To abstain from prohibited things when undertaking monetary transactions.

53. Not to conceal something true which you may have witnessed.

54. To get married when the nafs desires to do so.

55. To fulfill the rights of those who are under you.

56. To provide comfort to one’s parents.

57. To rear children in the proper manner.

58. Not to sever relations with one’s friends and relatives.

59. To obey one’s master.

60. To be just.

61. Not to initiate any way that is contrary to that of the generality of the Muslims.

62. To obey the ruler, provided what he orders is not contrary to the Shariah.

63. To make peace between two warring groups or individuals.

64. To assist in noble tasks.

65. To command the good and prohibit the evil.

66. If it is the government. it should mete out punishments according to the Shariah.

67. To fight the enemies of deen whenever such an occasion presents itself.

68. To fulfill one’s trusts (amana).

69. To give loans to those who are in need .

70. To see to the needs of one’s neighbour.

71. To ensure that one’s income is pure.

72. To spend according to the Shariah.

73. To reply to one who has greeted you.

74. To say Yarhamukallah (‘Allah have mercy on you’) when anyone says Alhamdulillah (‘All praise is Allah’s’) after sneezing.

75. Not to cause harm to anyone unjustly.

76. To abstain from games and amusements contrary to the Shariah.

77. To remove pebbles, stones, thorns, sticks, and the like from the road


Ramadan Mubarak! September 22, 2006

Filed under: Islam,Reflections — Lena @ 10:07 pm

Insha’Allah, my family and I will be starting Ramadan tomorrow….so Ramadan Kareem! Subhan’Allah it came so quickly!!

Allahumma balighna Ramadan wa Allahumma balighna Laylat-ul-Qadr!!!

Alright, I meant to post a few weeks ago, but I didn’t….so I will put here some points I especially liked from the ISNA conference, which insha’Allah are all things we can apply during this month as well as throughout the year.

“The reward for one cooling the flame (of desires and temptations) within themselves is receiving the coolness of Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, His shade, on the Day there is no shade but His.”

–Br. Mokhtar Maghroui, In the Shade of the Throne: The Young Worshipper

In the Shade of the Throne: Love for the Sake of Allah: Imam Suhaib Webb:

-Allah swt will say: “Where are those who loved for My sake?” They they will come forth and be placed on thrones and be the envy of prophets.

Certain Rules For Friendships:

1) Try to Control Anger–we cannot control our emotions, we can only control how we act based on them…therefore, if you feel angry, hold back from acting on it.

2) Have a Good Suspicion for your people

3) Be Merciful–“If I want Allah swt to practice His mercy, then I should practice mercy.”

3 Areas/Threats to Brotherhood:

-Fiqhi Issues–issues of approaches; have mercy in our chests for fellow Muslims, realize we all have the same single goal of pleasing Allah, subhana wa ta’ala.

-Relating to ‘Ibidat–unity of Muslims; cannot condemn something with your hand (i.e. if someone is eating something you see as haraam)

-Related to Diseases of the Heart: the greatest one that can destroy brotherhood is envy, envy leads to ignorance and harm. (He discussed ways to remove envy…insha’Allah I will put that up another time)

–A point I especially liked was this incorrect concept of replacing fard with sunna. That is, when there are disputes over taraweeh (whether it’s 8 or 20) and he actually went to a masjid and saw a divider so that some people could pray 8 and others 20. We allow this sunna of taraweeh overpower our fard of brotherhood and unity

“The Dry Eye is from the Hard Heart; the Hard Heart is from Abundant Sinning; Abundant Sinning is from Forgetting Death; Forgetting Death is from False Hopes; False Hopes is from Love of the Dunya; Love of the Dunya is the root of all evils.”

–poem, Imam Suhaib Webb, In the Shade of the Throne: Tears of Remembrance

The Prophet (sala Allahu ‘alayhi wa salaam) will walk into Jannah and find some of his Ummah already there and he will ask, “How did you get here?” And they will say, “We worshipped Allah subhan wa ta’ala secretly so He put us into Jannah secretly.”

–Imam Suhaib Webb, In the Shade of the Throne: Tears of Remembrance (this was one of my favorites)

I developed this immense respect for Imam Suhaib Webb throughout the ISNA weekend, as well as for Br. Mokhtar Maghroui and Imam Zaid Shakir. May Allah subhana wa ta’ala preserve and protect our scholars and increase them in their knowledge and allow us to benefit greatly from their knowledge.

Insha’Allah this is beneficial (Alhamdulillah, it was a really good reminder for me, I am happy I held it off). If there is anything incorrect then it is from my shortcomings, and anything true and correct is from Allah, subhana wa ta’ala.

May Allah allow us to truly benefit from this amazingly blessed month and may we develop a closer relationship with the Qur’an, our Prophet (sala Allahu ‘alayhi wa salaam), and most importantly with the One, our Creator and Master, Allah, subhana wa ta’ala. May we be among those who Allah subhana wa ta’ala sheds His mercy on in this month, His forgiveness, and may He save us from the Hellfire. May He bless us with His shade on the Day there is no shade but His. May He increase us in our ikhlas in our relation with Him.


Pea Story September 16, 2006

Filed under: Random,Reflections — musaafir @ 7:24 pm

An email from a friend:

Babs Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peasI paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller.  Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. Sure look

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”
“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.””Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?”

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it.”

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is
blue and I sort of go for red.  Do you have a red one
like this at home?”

“Not zackley. but almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you
and next trip this way let me look at that red marble.”

“Sure will Thanks Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, “There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.
When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps.”

I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering. Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts,
dark suits and white shirts, all very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

“Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim “traded” them.  Now,at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size, they came to pay their debt.”

“We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she confided, “but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in the world.With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.


Sinning and Turning to Allah September 12, 2006

Filed under: Islam — musaafir @ 8:24 am

Again if you are part of the SBU MSA please don’t read this.. It’s coming out in the Minaret this week inshAllah..



Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover September 9, 2006

Filed under: Islam,Reflections — musaafir @ 11:15 am