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    Default Children Praying in the Masjid

    Children Praying in the Masjid

    A child that is below the age of seven does not yet comprehend. This is why we were commanded to order our children to pray when they turn seven since before this age they do not possess the adequate level of comprehension. So the point at which he begins to comprehend things is the age of seven. After reaching this age, a child must be ordered to pray. This is based on the statement of Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam): "Order your children to pray at seven (years of age), and beat them to it (if they fail to comply) at ten. And separate them in their beds." These are Islamic etiquettes that we are required to follow, and included amongst them is: Commanding the children to pray at the age of seven.

    Ordering them to pray doesn't mean that you just tell your child "Pray" and that's it. The understanding that we derive from this command of Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) of ordering our children to pray is that we should teach them "how" to pray. And if this is not so, then the act of you telling your child who is playing by the door: "Go to the masjid and pray" when you have not taught him how to purify himself or how to perform the prayer, does not remove the responsibility from your shoulders.

    You have only fulfilled your responsibility when you have taught him how to purify himself and then you tell him "Go pray." In this circumstance, you have complied.

    Many people are inconsiderate when they bring to the masjid their children - aged seven or less - who are not in a state of purity and have no understanding of how to pray, and then place them in a row of prayer. This row is considered disconnected due to this child standing in it since he is not praying.

    The following statement of the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) applies to people who do this: "Whoever connects the row, then Allaah will connect him, and whoever cuts off the row, then Allaah cut him off."

    You bring a child who does not comprehend the prayer to the masjid and put him to stand in the first row next to you behind the Imaam while the people remain silent out of courtesy. This child is not in prayer. Perhaps he may not even be in a state of purity, i.e. he may have impurities on his body! This is since you took him from the front of the house before teaching him how to purify himself and how to pray. This is incorrect.

    So it is mandatory that you teach him at home how to purify himself and how to pray. Then you should teach him where to stand in the masjid. He should not stand in the front row. Rather, he should stand in the row where all the children are lined up. If a group of people congregate for prayer and they consist of two rows, then the children should stand in the second row, i.e. the last row, after the row of men. This is what the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) instructed us to do. So we must abide by these etiquettes.

    Then when the child reaches ten years of age, and non-compliance and rebelliousness (against this order) arises in him, he should be hit for the purpose of disciplining and intimidating him until he prays and safeguards all of his prayers.

    Children should be separated in their beds at this age also, i.e. each child must sleep by himself (in his own bed). This is the etiquette of Islaam.

    AUTHOR: Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee - http://www.fatwa-online.com/scholarsbiographies/15thcentury/muhammadamaan.htm
    SOURCE: Sharh Shuroot as-Salaat (pg. 7)
    PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com <
    Published on: April 23, 2007

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    The Fiqh of Children at the Mosque
    Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

    Question:What is the ruling for taking young children to the Masjid for Salaat. We have certain brothers in our community who bring their children to the Masjid (Ages begin from 2 years on). These children play, run around, and make noise during Salaat.

    We have 2 opinions in our community in this matter:

    a) The Prophet (SAW) brought his grandchildren to the Masjid, and they climbed on him, etc; so it is permissible to bring them to the Masjid. That the Prophet SAW was merciful and kind towards the children.

    b) That young children are not allowed in the Masjid, because they distract others and make noise.

    Since Group A has proofs from the Ahadeeth, the latter have been made to shut up.


    Categories of Children

    There are three categories of children:

    (1) The first type are those who are innocent and young. They neither understand the etiquette of the masjid nor do they know anything about prayer. They do not have the understanding that the masjid is a place for worshipping All�h. There is also the danger that they urinate in the masjid [f: this happens more often than one may initially imagine!] or play therein and violate its sanctity. Children of five to six years [f: usually] fall in this category. [f: The legal consideration is not the age itself, but being able to uphold the proper etiquette, such as causing and undue nuisance to those praying. This is what the Hanafi scholars mention, and similar details are mentioned in texts of the Malikis, Hanbalis, & Shafi`is. If the parents are reasonably sure that their child will behave, and are not expected to soil the masjid, then there is great benefit, the scholars tell us, in taking them to the masjid.]

    The ruling for such children [f: who are not reasonably expected to behave and will be an undue nuisance to those praying] is that it is not permissible to bring them to the masjid.

    It is the responsibility of the parents to see that they do not bring such children to the masjid. If they do so and the children violate the sanctity of All�h's house, the parents will be sinful because the children themselves are innocent. The masjid trustees can also prohibit such children from entering the masjid.

    There is a limit for every act in Shari'ah. These limits are what we call D�n and we all have to abide by these limits.

    [This is the category of children the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) referred to when he said, �Keep the insane and [small] children away from your masjids.� [Ibn Maja, and others] ]

    (2) The second category is those children who are slightly older. They are between seven to eleven years old.

    Such children understand the status of a masjid and respect it to a certain degree. However, due to lack of a complete understanding, they do not respect it fully. It is permissible to bring such children to the masjid but it is better not to do so [f: if there is still some fear that they may cause an undue nuisance. This goes back to the parents� upbringing of the child and the child�s nature. The scholars mention that there is very strong benefit in bringing children to the masjid especially in non-Muslim countries, where they do not see a lot of Muslims around them, as this is a strong part of developing their Muslim identity.]

    (3) The third category of children is those who are close to maturity. Their ages range from twelve to fourteen. However, a fifteen-year-old child is considered mature even if he does not have any signs of puberty.

    The ruling for this category is that they should be brought to the masjid in order to inculcate the habit of prayer with congregation because prayer becomes obligatory on them the moment they reach the age of puberty. It is obligatory on them to attend the masjid for prayer with congregation. If this habit is not inculcated before puberty, it will take time after puberty as a result of which they will forgo their prayers with congregation. Thus it is imperative to bring the youngsters to the masjid while guiding them at home to respect the masjid. They should be taught not to make a noise in the masjid as it is a sanctified place where the name of All�h is taken.

    The Position of the Children's Prayer lines

    The children's prayer lines should be made after the men's prayer lines has been completed. [al-Bahr al-Ra�iq, Radd al-Muhtar, f: If there is only a small number of children, or it is feared that they may start misbehaving, they are dispersed among the adult lines.] This is the sunnah way. After the prayer has begun, those who arrive later should join the children's prayer lines on the right and left side.

    Moving the children

    Some latecomers move the children further back when seeing them in the prayer lines. Some people hold the child by the ears and drag him to the back. If the child resists, he is carried to the back. Whoever comes late does this. This occurs in many of the masjids. If the child was in the first prayer lines at the beginning of prayer, he reaches the last prayer lines at the end of prayer. This is because most people come late for prayer nowadays. Whoever enters the masjid, does this thinking that it is not permissible to perform prayer next to children.

    This is completely wrong. One should free one's mind of such a thought. You should stand next to the child whether he is in the front prayer lines or the rear one. You may stand on his right-hand side or his left-hand side. This does not affect the prayer of the adults.

    All late comers should stand at the back next to the children. It is not permissible to shunt the children further back. Such an act is sinful By doing this, we are nullifying their prayer and thereby placing that sin on our shoulders.

    Standing in the adults' prayer lines

    If the children that attend the masjid for prayer are not well disciplined and they run around in the masjid, play fools, laugh and talk, then the ruling for such children is that they should be separated and made to stand among the adults. A separate prayer lines should not be made for them. This will prevent them from disturbing others in their prayer. If there are only one or two children, then it is permissible to make them stand with the adults without any kar�hat [abomination].


    We should also remember the way shown to us by the Prophet Sallall�hu alaihi wasallam when dealing with children. They should not be mercilessly treated and beaten up. The Prophet Sallall�hu alaihi wasallam said, "One who does not have mercy on our young ones and does not respect our elders is not from amongst us." An�s Radhiall�hu anhu served the Prophet Sallall�hu alaihi wasallam for ten years but not once did The Prophet Sallall�hu alaihi wasallam reprimand him for doing something or for not doing something.

    Thus it is against the sunnah to severely reprimand or beat a child. Furthermore, a severe reprimand seldom has a lasting effect. The child may refrain temporarily from that act but will repeat it later. The child should be taught with love and affection that the masjid is not a place for mischief and playing. The child will respect you and insha-All�h will not repeat his mischief again.

    May All�h grant us the ability to refrain from committing wrong acts, �m�n

    Translated by: Moulana Ebrahim Muhammad (Madrasah Arabia Islamia, Publication Department)
    Print Edition Published by Madrasah Arabia Islamia, Azaadville, Krugersdorp, South Africa
    First Edition: J. Th�niah 1420 A.H. September 1999

    Edited and slightly annotated by Faraz Rabbani

    وَلَوْ سَلَّمَ سَاهِيًا إنْ بَعْدَ إمَامِهِ لَزِمَهُ السَّهْوُ وَإِلَّا لَا بَابُ حَمْلِ الْمُحْدِثِ وَالْمُسْتَجْمِرِ فِي الصَّلَاةِ وَثِيَابِ الصِّغَارِ وَمَا شُكَّ فِي نَجَاسَتِهِ 597 - ( عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ { أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُصَلِّي وَهُوَ حَامِلٌ أُمَامَةَ بِنْتَ زَيْنَبَ , فَإِذَا رَكَعَ وَضَعَهَا , وَإِذَا قَامَ حَمَلَهَا } . مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ ) .

    قال السفّاريني في غذاء الألباب: (2/308-309)

    مَطْلَبٌ : يُصَانُ الْمَسْجِدُ عَنْ صَغِيرٍ وَمَجْنُونٍ وَيُسَنُّ أَنْ تُصَانَ الْمَسَاجِدُ عَنْ صَغِيرٍ . قَالَ فِي الْآدَابِ الْكُبْرَى : أَطْلَقُوا الْعِبَارَةَ , وَالْمُرَادُ , وَاَللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ - : إذَا كَانَ صَغِيرًا لَا يُمَيِّزُ غَيْرَ مَصْلَحَةٍ وَلَا فَائِدَةٍ . وَعَنْ مَجْنُونٍ حَالَ جُنُونِهِ . وَتَبِعَهُ فِي الْإِقْنَاعِ وَغَيْرِهِ . وَذَلِكَ لِمَا رُوِيَ عَنْ وَاثِلَةَ بْنِ الْأَسْقَعِ رضي الله عنه أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ { : جَنِّبُوا مَسَاجِدَكُمْ صِبْيَانَكُمْ وَمَجَانِينَكُمْ وَشِرَاءَكُمْ وَبَيْعَكُمْ وَخُصُومَاتِكُمْ , وَرَفْعَ أَصْوَاتِكُمْ وَإِقَامَةَ حُدُودِكُمْ وَسَلَّ سُيُوفِكُمْ , وَاِتَّخِذُوا عَلَى أَبْوَابِهَا الْمَطَاهِرَ وَجَمِّرُوهَا فِي الْجُمَعِ } رَوَاهُ ابْنُ مَاجَهْ وَرَوَاهُ الطَّبَرَانِيُّ فِي الْكَبِيرِ عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ وَأَبِي أُمَامَةَ وَوَاثِلَةَ . وَرَوَاهُ فِي الْكَبِيرِ أَيْضًا بِتَقْدِيمٍ وَتَأْخِيرٍ مِنْ رِوَايَةِ مَكْحُولٍ عَنْ مُعَاذٍ وَلَمْ يُسْمَعْ مِنْهُ . قَوْلُهُ جَمِّرُوهَا أَيْ بَخِّرُوهَا وَزْنُهُ وَمَعْنَاهُ .

    قال الإمام الدردير (رحمه الله تعالى) في الشرح الكبير: (1/334)

    ( وَ ) جَازَ ( إحْضَارُ صَبِيٍّ بِهِ ) أَيْ بِالْمَسْجِدِ شَأْنُهُ ( لَا يَعْبَثُ وَيُكَفُّ إذَا نُهِيَ ) عَنْهُ الْوَاوُ بِمَعْنَى أَوْ الَّتِي لِمَنْعِ الْخُلُوِّ فَأَحَدُهُمَا كَافٍ عَلَى الْمُعْتَمَدِ فَإِنْ انْتَفَيَا حَرُمَ .

    في الدر: (ما يكره في الصلاة)

    وَيَحْرُمُ إدْخَالُ صِبْيَانٍ وَمَجَانِينَ حَيْثُ غَلَبَ تَنْجِيسُهُمْ وَإِلَّا فَيُكْرَهُ

    “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

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    Jazak Allah khair.

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    Question # 127781:Can a boy be sent back from the first row if he joins it?


    If a young boy goes to the first row for the prayer, is it permissible for us to send him back so that a grown man can pray in his place?.


    Praise be to Allaah.

    The Messenger (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) enjoined that people of knowledge and virtue should come forward to pray and should be close to him. He said: “Let those who are most wise and dignified be closest to me, then those who come after them, then those who come after them.”Narrated by Muslim (432).

    But this hadeeth does not mean that others are prohibited from coming forward; rather it is meant to encourage those who are most wise and dignified to come forward to pray so that they will be behind the imam, in the first rows. But if they are lazy and fail to attend the prayer, then whoever gets to the front row or behind the imam first is more entitled to it, even if he is a young boy.

    Ibn Hajr al-Haytami said in al-Isnaaf (2/41):
    Al-Majd ibn Taymiyah favoured the view that the boy should not be sent back from his place if he got there first. He said: and this is the correct view.

    Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: The correct view is that if they -- meaning boys -- come in the front rows, it is not permissible to send them back, and if they get to the front row or the second row first, then those who come after them should not make them stand up and move, because they attained the right first that others did not attain. So it is not permissible to send them back because of the general meaning of the hadeeths which speak about that, because making them move back will put them off prayer and will put them off competing in that, and that is not appropriate.

    But if people have come together for a trip or for some other reason, then the men should form rows first and the boys second, then the women after them if there are women present. But as for taking them out of the row so that adults who came after them can take their place, that is not permissible.

    With regard to the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him), “Let those who are most wise and dignified be closest to me”, what is meant is to encourage those who are wise and most dignified to hasten to come to prayer and to be in the forefront of the people. It does not mean that those who got there before them should be pushed back for their sake. End quote.

    Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (12/400).

    Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (3/4):
    If the boys reach a place first, then they are more entitled to it than others, because of the general meaning of the evidence that the one who reaches something first that no one else has reached before him is more entitled to it. The mosques are the houses of Allaah in which the slaves of Allaah are equal, so if a boy reaches the first row first -- for example -- and sits down, then let him stay where he is, because if we say that boys should be removed from the best place and we put them all in one place, that will lead to them playing about because they are together on their own in one row. End quote.

    The Shaykh also said:
    It is permissible for boys to be in the row even if they interrupt the row, because they are human beings; they are not stones or pillars, so they do not break up the row and it is not permissible for anyone to make them leave their places, even if they are directly behind the imam in the first row, because it is not permissible to move them from their places; end quote.

    Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (106/24).

    Based on the above, the one who is most entitled to the first row, even if he is directly behind the imam, is the one who gets there first, even if he is a boy, and even if there is someone who is superior to him. In that case it is not permissible to make him move back.

    And Allaah knows best.


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