SHAÂ’ER - شعائر
From the root of شعر . The word shu’ur, which means consciousness, is also derived from the same root.
Shaâ’er are the customs, marks of Islam, rules about Muslims and symbols that awaken the consciousness of the individuals and community. They are issues and symbols related to Muslims and concern the community of Islam (Qur’an 2:158). For example, Jum’ah and the ‘Eid salâts, adhan and iqâmah, masjîds, tasattur, sariq, Quranic letters, sawm and Ramadhan, the places which are special for the ‘ibâdah of Hajj like Safa and Marwa, the holy nights like the night of Qadr, the night of Mi’raj and the night of Bara’at.
(Please refer to the compilations on Bid’ah and Shaâ’er)
The most important among the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the Sunnahs which are the symbols of Islam and connected with the shaâ’er. Shaâ’er is an ‘ubûdiyyah concerning the community which is, in fact, a sort of general right. As the whole community benefits through one person performing them, the whole community will be responsible due to its abandonment. Riyâ cannot penetrate in this sort of shaâ’er, and it is to be proclaimed. Even if they are of the nawâfil sort, they are more important than personal fardhs.
The Eleventh Flash-Sixth Subtle Point
“By complying with the commands and prohibitions numerous connections are formed for a person with the many levels of society, and the individual becomes like a species. For many of the commands, especially those that touch on shaâ’er of Islam and the general good, resemble threads to which are tied [people's] honour and through which their rights are set in order. If it were not for them, all those rights and duties would be torn up and scattered to the wind.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 162 )
Bid’ah is the opposite of Shaâ’er. Performing the shaâ’er is the means of the continuation of Islamic life. If the shaâ’er is not practised, Islamic life will be forgotten through the invasion of the bid’ahs, which are called “the lifestyle of civilisation, modern life or moderate Islam” and Islam will remain in the names of Muslims, not in their lives.
“Especially those who are outside of the Islamic tarbiyyah and live by the title of Muslim, since they are unable to find the respect and mutual compassion which comes from îmân, it completely destroys worldly happiness and makes them suffer torments of Jahannam.” Kastamonu Addendum (276)