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The Classical Works
  Kitab ul-Eemaan of al-Qaasim bin Sallaam (Chapter 1)
Author: Al-Qaasim bin Sallaam
Source: Eng. Trans. by Abu Rumaysah
Article ID : AQD040001  [22364]  
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3. As for the hadeeth in which nine are mentioned then it is the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) that he said, "indeed Islaam has landmarks and lights as does a road. From them are: that you believe in Allaah and do not commit shirk with him, establish the prayer, give the zakaah, fast in Ramadaan, make pilgrimage to the House, enjoin the good, forbid the evil, that you give the salaam to your family when you enter amongst them, and that you give salaam to the people as you pass by them. So the one who leaves any of this [then he has left a portion of Islaam, and the one who leaves all of them] has thrown Islaam behind his back." {6}

4. So the ignorant people thought that all these ahaadeeth were self contradicting due to the variation of numbers in them, but they are, and all praise is due to Allaah, by His Mercy far from contradiction. For their difference lies in the fact that the obligations of Faith were revealed in stages. So each time Allaah revealed a new obligation of faith, it increased the number (of tenants of faith) until they reached seventy tenants as occurs in the hadeeth that is established from him (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) that he said, "faith is seventy and odd branches, it’s most excellent is the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except for Allah, and it’s lowest is removing the harmful thing from the road." {7}

So even if the number mentioned is greater they still do not contradict those ahaadeeth that came before it for those refer to the foundations of faith whereas these refer to the branches of faith.

So we believe, and Allaah knows best, that this is the last statement with which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) depicted Faith because the number finished at this, and with it the characteristics of faith were completed as is testified to by the saying of Allaah,

"This day have I completed your religion for you, and perfected my favour upon you" (5:3).

5. Taariq bin Shihaab reported that, "the Jews said to Umar bin al-Khattaab, may Allaah have mercy upon him, ‘indeed you recite a verse which had it been revealed amongst us we would have taken that day as an Eed,’ and this verse was mentioned. So Umar said, ‘indeed I know when it was revealed and on what day it was revealed. [It was revealed] on the Day of Arafah and the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) was standing on Arafah’". Sufyaan said, "I do not know whether he said ‘on the Day of Jumu`ah’ or not" {8}

6. From ibn Abee Ammaar who said, "ibn Abbaas recited this verse while there was a Jew in his presence. So the Jew said, ‘if this verse had been revealed amongst us we would have taken that day as an Eed.’ Ibn Abbaas replied, ‘it was revealed on the day of Eed, the day of Jumu`ah, the day of Arafah.’" {9}

7. From Sha`bee who said, "it was revealed upon him (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) while he was standing on Arafah when shirk had vanished, and the sign posts of the Jaahiliyyah had been destroyed, and not a statute remained hanging in the house" {10}

8. So Allaah, Exalted is He, mentioned the completion of the religion in this verse, and it was revealed eighty one days before the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) as is reported from ibn Juraij.

So if faith was complete by mere affirmation while the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) was in Mecca as stated by these people then there would be no meaning to completion (of the religion), for how can something be completed that is already complete and come in its final form?!

Abu Ubaid (the author) said: so if someone were to ask you, 'so what are these seventy branches branches?' It would be said to him: these have not been named for us collectively so that we may mention them, but knowledge does allow us to say that they are from the actions of obedience to Allaah and taqwa But even though they may not have been mentioned in any specific hadeeth, if you were to scrutinise the various narrations you would find them dispersed throughout them, did you not hear his saying concerning removing the harmful thing and that it was a branch of faith? And likewise his saying in another hadeeth, "modesty is a branch of faith" {11), and in a third, "shame is branch of faith" {12}, and in a fourth, "ascetism is from faith" {13}, and in a fifth, "fulfilling contracts/promises is from faith" {14} So all of these are from the branches of faith, and from them is the hadeeth of Ammaar, "three (characteristics) are from faith: giving in charity freely, being just even at the expense of yourself, and spreading the salaam amongst the people" {15}

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