Taken from “Furu-ul-Iman: Branches of Iman” by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi rahimahullah [Adam Publishers]
Thirty branches of Iman are related to Qalb(heart)
1 To believe in Allah
2 TO believe that everything other than Allah is ccreated and Makhlooq.
3 To believe in Angels.
4 To believe in all His books
5 To believe in all His prophets
6 To believe in Taqdeer (predestination)
7 To believe in the day of judgment (al-Qiyamah).
8 To believe in Jannat.
9 To believe in Jahannam
10 To Love Allah
11 To love somebody because of Allah and to hate somebody because of Allah
12 To Love the Prophet Muhammad salalahu alayhi wa salam.
13 Ikhlas (sincerity)
14 Toaba (Repentance)
15 Khouf (Fear)
16 Rija (Hope)
17 Haya (Modesty)
18 Shukr (Gratitude, Thanks giving)
19 To fulfill the promise.
20 Sabr (Patience)
21 Tawadhu (Humility)
22 Kindness to mankind.
23 To be happy with (Qadha-ilahi) predestination.
24 To make Tawakkul (Trust in Allah)
25 To leave Ujub (self-conceit, vanity)
26 To leave Keena (hatred).
27 To leave Hassad (Jealousy).
28 To leave Anger.
29 To leave evil-wishing.
30 To leave love of the world.
Now we will mention the excellence (Fadeelat) and some description of each of the above mention things in brief in different sections.
Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam said,
“Iman means to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Prophets, His books, the day of judgment and Taqdeer (predestination) and that all the virtues and evils (are under His divine power). (Bukhari and Muslim)
To believe also in Jannat, Jahannum and revival after death have been mentioned in a Hadith narrated in Muslim Shareef (A famous book of ahaadith), in addition to the above things.
In another hadith quoted in Tirmizi (Another famous book of Ahadith) it is narrated that:
“None can become a mumin (one who has iman) until he believes in Taqdeer in such a way that he believes without slightest doubt that whatever has to come, can never be avoided and whatever has nto happened, would not have ever happend.”
For having faith (Iman) in Allah, it is necessary to believe in His essence, His Attributes and in His Oneness i.e. to believe that He is One and Only One.
It should be known that as Allah Ta’ala is unique and unparalleled in His Essence, so is He unparaelled and unique in His Attributes. Therefore, it is very dangerous to talk about His Attributes by using imagination and specify their different states and causations. In this regard the Aqaids (Beliefs) of majority of common muslims are safe as they believe in the Sifaat (Attributes) of Allah Ta’ala in general and do not bother to go in their finer details. Sahabah al-kiram and Salaaf as saliheen (radiallahu anhum) also used to believe in the same way. Later on, when innovators [Ahle-bidat] those who incorporated new things in Islam, which were not in Islam increased in number, Scholastic philosophy (ilm-e-kalam) came in to being. At this stage people talked more about the attributes of Allah which in turn led to carelessness in the law suits and other Ahkaam of Shari’ah.
For instances, Allah Ta’ala says in Qur’an:
“The Most Gracious is Firmly Established on the Throne”
Now to try to make inquiries about the word “Istawa”, what is meant by it? and what are its different interpretations? Is really a job of great courage when one does not know the reality of one’s own attributes, how can he know the attributes of the Creator (of all worlds).
One should, simply believe that whatever has been said [by Allah and His Messenger, Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam] is the absolute reality and that His “Istawa” will be like His essence, His existence (As His existence, essence is unique and unparalleled and impossible to appreciate in this world, as is His essence unique, so is His “Istawa” also unique, unparalleled and impossible to appreciate as it is). What is the need to make inquiries about it when it is neitehr our entrusted duty nor will we be asked about it. Of course, one should certainly believe that “Istawa” will not be like our “Istawa”, as Allah Ta’ala says:
“There is nothing whatsoever like Him”
Now question remains that how is this “Istawa”, one is not to argue about it. It should be left to Allah.
Similarly, in a Hadith it is narrated:
“Our cherisher (Allah Ta’ala) descends towards the sky, which is immediately above the world, every night.”
Now one will start thinking what is meant by this descent (nazool) (as Allah Ta’ala is everywhere with His Knowledge) how does it take place? The purpose of Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam in informing the Ummat about this is first to make the people to engage in thikr and ibadaat of Allah Ta’ala with eagerness and fervour and presence of mind during this time. One should try to do the same during this time (in which Allah Ta’ala makes descent towards the Asman-e-Dunya), otherwise one will waste his whole life and will never be able to know the reality of things
“No one knows this realty.
Everyone is dying without knowing it”
Allah Ta’ala says:
“But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not entirely clear, seeking discord and searching for it interpretation.” (3:7)