23 Ramadan 2018: Faith First

We were with the Prophet, and we were strong youths, so we learned faith before we learned Qur’an. Then we learned Qur’an (holy book) and our faith increased thereby. (in Ibn Majah)

Before prayer, before fast, before charity, before what is allowable and what is prohibited, even before knowledge … faith comes first.

The prophet described faith as having seventy-odd branches, the most important of which is believing in the one and only god, with those remaining including:

  • Believing in a Day of Judgement (in Muslim)
  • Believing in all divine books (in Muslim)
  • Believing in Angels (in Muslim)
  • Believing in destiny both good and bad (in Muslim)
  • Believing and loving the prophet and all prophets (in Bukhari / Muslim)
  • Modesty, bashfulness and self-respect (in Muslim)
  • Wearing old clothes (not always new ones) (in Abi Dawud)
  • Removing harmful things from the path (roads / sidewalks etc) of others (in Muslim)
  • Good manners (in Tirmidhi)
  • Kindness to one’s family (in Tirmidhi)
  • Loving for others what one loves for themselves (in Bukhari)
  • Cleanliness and washing (in Muslim)
  • Simplicity (in Ibn Majah)
  • Less talk (in Tirmidhi)

What this means to me is that whether it is in self-improvement, parenting, advising friends and in doing good, faith – even if little – is the foundation of worship and not the other way around. It includes love and respect for self and all humanity, being considerate and being genuine in all our dealings and it is the root of all action.

May god bless us with good manners and the ability to recognise and strengthen our faith when it goes weak.

Photo by Matej Reciciar on unsplash