Lesson 1: Usool ad-Deen, The Roots of the Tree of Islam

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful



The "Usool ad-Deen" course has been put together by volunteer experts and teachers in the Mohammad (PBUH) Scientific and Cultural Foundation Center for Kids and Teens (Khaane Koodak va Nojavan in Farsi). This course is appropriate for children between the ages of 8 to 12. It aims to make students familiar with the basics of Shia Islam, including beliefs and doctrine...


Lesson 1: Usool ad-Deen, The Roots of the Tree of Islam


Written by: Zahra Moradi, Zahra Entezar Kheyr and Sara Entezar Kheyr

Translated by: Marzie Salehi

Edited by: Ali Mansouri


Note to Instructor: A true Muslim must, first and foremost, know and believe in the Usool ad-Deen. Praying, fasting, and going to the mosque are not necessarily sufficient for being a true Muslim, without sincere faith in the Usool ad-Deen (Roots of Religion).



{The teacher will start the lesson by drawing a picture of a strong, healthy tree on the board and will ask the students:}

Children, what will happen if one of the tree’s branches breaks off? Will the tree die?

{After hearing answers from a few students, the teacher will continue:}

As you mentioned, the tree will survive even if its branches are cut off. After a while, those branches will gradually grow back.

What about the tree’s roots? Would the tree survive if the roots are cut off?

{The teacher will continue after hearing the answers given by a few students}

A tree with dead roots ― caused by a lack of water, an insect attack, or salt added to the soil ― will die very quickly even if it has healthy and sturdy branches.

My dear children, Islam is like a tree. A tree with roots, branches, and fruits.  

The roots of the tree of Islam are “Usool ad-Deen” (the roots of religion). Today we will discuss them.

The branches of the tree of Islam are “Furoo ad-Deen” (the branches of religion). Some examples include praying and fasting.

The fruits of this tree are good morals such as truthfulness, trustworthiness, and kindness.

{The teacher will draw a picture of a rootless tree and a tree with five roots, on the board to illustrate this point.}

Just like a tree completely depends on its roots, our religion completely depends on its principles. If Usool ad-Deen (the roots of religion) fade away, our religion will die out. No matter what happens, the dried branches of the tree of religion will not give any fruit. Thus, our Salaat and Sawm will not benefit us and we will not attain better morality and proper behavior.

In conclusion, we must take care of the Usool ad-Deen of Islam as the roots of our tree of religion. The stronger our belief in Usool ad-Deen grows, the more we will live in the way Allah has directed, making us become better humans in society.

All Muslims should know the roots of their religion. If the roots are weak or non-existent, then the religion itself will fade away.

The roots of the tree of Islam include five principles:

-  Tawhid (Belief in the Oneness and Unity of Allah)

Adalah (Belief in Divine Justice)

Nubuwwah (Belief in Prophethood. Allah has sent 124,000 prophets to guide the people. The last one among them was Prophet Muhammad (PBUH))

Imamah (Belief in Imams. After the last prophet, Allah assigned 12 Imams to guide us.)

Qiyamah (Belief in Day of Resurrection, when all people will be judged by Allah for what they have done).


We will gradually become more familiar with these principles. Remember that we will not necessarily be considered to be true Muslims, even if we pray, fast, and wear Hijab, until we know, understand, and deeply believe in the Usool ad-Deen.

Overall, the Usool ad-Deen represent the roots of the tree of religion.


{The teacher will ask the students the following questions and wait to hear the following answers:}


How many roots does our religion, Islam, have?

Excellent, Five.

Let’s name the Usool ad-Deen together.

Tawhid, Adalah, Nubuwwah, Imamah, Qiyamah

Great! Now let’s all make signs for each principles (Usool ad-Deen), so we don’t forget them.

{The teacher will teach the children the following signs, which will help them easily memorize the Usool ad-Deen.}

The Principles of Religion for Children-Tawhid

1-  Tawhid: Make the number one with your finger to show the “Unity and Oneness of God”.

The Principles of Religion for Children-Adl

2-  Adalah: Hold your palms flat out in the air. Move them up and down to imitate a scale of justice. Hold one palm up higher than the other. Show the scale reaching a balance to signify, “Allah’s Justice”.

The Principles of Religion for Children-Nubuwwah

3-  Nubuwwah: Make an Amameh (turban) on your head using hand gestures to sign “Prophethood”.

The Principles of Religion for Children-Imamah

4-  Imamah: Show the numbers 1 and 2 next to each other to show the number 12 to signify “12 Imams”.

The Principles of Religion for Children-Ma’ad

5-  Qiyamah: Pretend to blow in a horn to represent the Angel who will blow the Soor followed by the resurrection.


Main Source: Mohammad Foundation


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