What Does Establishing the Shaa’ir of Prayer Mean?

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


In a recent response by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan on your website about the obligation to pray at the mosque, the term “establishing the Shaa’ir of prayer” was used. What does this phrase mean?

Here is the answer:
What is the Majority Opinion on Congregational Prayer?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Shaa’ir refers to a sign that distinguishes one group from another. [Majma‘ al-Lughat al-‘Arabiyya; Mu‘jam al-Wasit]

Salah is that salient feature that distinguishes believers from non-believers. Congregational prayer is legislated for this salient sign (Shaa’ir ) of the believers to manifest. The obligation is fulfilled as long as it is manifest, whether performed in a masjid or elsewhere.

I hope this helps.

And with Allah alone is our success.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 


In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.