Islam is like a tree whose roots are its beliefs and whose branches are its practices. If the roots are not firm and healthy, then the tree will not survive; the roots only form the foundation of the tree.
Islamic practices are referred to as (as the branches of a tree) such because they are the ways in which the beliefs of Islam are transformed into reality. The different forms of outward worship translate a person's inner love and connection with God into a physical form.
Islam has ten fundamental practices which are the following:
1. Prayers (Salaat).
2. Fasting (Sawm).
3. Khums - the first form of almsgiving.
4. Zakat - the second form of almsgiving.
5. Pilgrimage to the city of Mecca (Hajj).
6. Jihad - a general interpretation of jihad means to struggle against immoral and unethical ways. On a personal level, it is to try to polish, enhance, and forbid things that can hurt or pollute oneself. On a broader scale it serves as a means to defend noble goals, such as the rights, dignity, and freedom of others.
7. Enjoining good (Amr bil-Ma'rouf).
8. Forbidding evil (Nahi Anil Munkar).
9. Supporting those who walk in the path of God (Tawalla min Awliyah Allah).
10. Turning away from the enemies of God (Tabarra min A'daa Allah).