Islam is like a tree whose roots are its beliefs (Usool-e-deen) and whose branches are its practices (Furoo-e-deen). If the roots are not firm and healthy, the tree will not survive. But at the same time, the roots only form the foundation of the tree – the tree is not complete without the branches.
The Islamic practices are referred to as such (Branches of Religion) because they are the ways in which the theory of Islam – the beliefs, the roots – are turned into reality. A person’s inner love and connection with the Almighty is translated into a physical form by these different forms of outward worship.
There are 10 fundamental practices of Islam, or Branches of Religion, that every Shi’a Muslim must practice. For the exact details and actual practice of each Furoo-e-deen, please refer to the Islamic rulings as per your Marja-e-Taqleed; below is a very brief introduction on each one:
1. Salat (Prayers)
2. Sawm (Fasting)
3.Hajj (Holy Pilgrimage)
4-5. Zakaat / Khums (Charity / Islamic Tax)
6. Jihad (Fighting for Allah)
7-8. Amr bil maroof / Nahi anil munkar
(Enjoining good / Forbidding evil)
9. Tawalla (Loving those who love Allah and His Ahlul Bayt)
10. Tabarra (Disassociating from the enemies of Allah and His Ahlul Bayt)
The above summaries are taken from the book Invitation to Islam, by Moustafa al-Qazwini.