Prayers - At What Age is it Compulsory for Children?
  • Question:

    At what age does it become compulsory for children to start praying and fasting?


    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    As for praying, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught that one should enjoin their children to pray at 7 and then discipline them at 10. What that means is that its an obligation upon the parents to teach them the prayer by 10.

    As for fasting, it is recommended to teach them early and we find that the sahaba were keen on teaching their kids to fast. Rubayya Bint Muawadah says: “We used to make toys out of wool and took (them to the mosque) along with us. When they (the children) asked us for food, we gave them these toys to play with, and these made them forgetful till they completed their fast." (Muslim)

    The general rule for all obligations is that people become accountable once they reach puberty. It’s the parent’s job to prepare them before that time comes.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Director – Islamic Learning Foundation
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