Commanding The Children To Pray

The Messenger of Allâh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stated: “Command the children to pray at the age of seven, punish them for not praying at the age of ten and separate between them in the beds.”

The noble Scholar Shaykh Muḥammad Amān al-Jāmi (raḥimahullâh) stated:

The young child who is under the age of seven (in most cases) doesn’t understand. Based upon that, we have been commanded to command our children  with the prayer at the age of seven because they do not understand (in most cases) before that. The child’s point is seven years of age, then he is commanded with the prayer based on the statement of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Command your children to pray at seven years of age, dicipline them for not praying at the age of ten and separate between them in the beds.” This are the Islamic mannerisms (that are upon us to observe); therefore it’s befitting to hold to them.

Commanding the children to pray at the age of seven does not mean that you say to the child: ‘Pray’ and that is it. The command of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) which mandates that we command our children with the prayer (entails) that we teach them the prayer. If not, then you saying to the child who is at the door: ‘Go to the Masjid and pray’ and you haven’t taught him (how to make) the purification, nor have you taught him how to pray, you have not fulfilled the covenant (that’s binding upon you to command the children with the prayer at the age of seven). You only fulfill the covenant (that is binding upon you) when you teach him (how to make) the purification and you teach him the prayer, then you say to him ‘Pray’. In that case, you have carried out (the command).

Due to the laxity of many of the people, a parent may take his child who is seven years of age or under seven years of age to the Masjid without purification and without knowing (how to perform) the prayer. He stands him (the child) in the rank, and as a result of that the rank is considered broken due to the standing of this child in the rank. That is because the child is not praying. The statement of the Messenger of Allah is applicable to him: “Whoever  connects the rank, Allah will connect him. Whoever breaks the rank, Allah will break him.”

You bring a child (to the prayer) that doesn’t understand the prayer and you stand in the first rank behind the Imam and the child is with you. The people are quiet (about the matter) out of appeasement and the child is not in the prayer. It’s possible he (the child) is not in a state of purification, even to the point of his body (not being free from impurities) because you  took him from in front of the door (straight to the Masjid) before teaching him (how to make) the purification and the prayer. This behavior is a mistake. It is obligatory that you teach him in the house how he is to purify (himself) and how he is to make the prayer. Then teach him where to stand. He’s not to stand in the first rank, he’s to stand where the children stand.

If the followers make up two ranks, for the children is the second rank. Meaning (by that) the last of the ranks after the ranks of the men. This how the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught us. Therefore it is obligatory upon us that we hold to these (Islamic) mannerisms  (and teachings). When the child reaches ten years if age and there takes place from him something of not carrying out (the command to pray) and rebellion, he’s to be punished with physical discipline and one that will frighten him (not a physical discipline to cause bodily harm) in order that he prays and preserves the prayer. Also at this age separation is to be made between them in the beds. Every child sleeps alone. This is the mannerisms of Islam.”

Source: Sharh Shuroot  As-Salaah, p. 33


Translated by Abu Yusuf Khaleefah
7th of Sha’bān, 1437 (05-14-2016)
Masjid Nur Allah, NYC

Original Arabic

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : مروا أبنائكم بالصلاة لسبع وأضربوهم عليها لعشرٍ وفرقوا بينهم في المضاجع

:قال الشيخ محمد أمان الجامي رحمه الله تعالى

الصغير الذي دون السبع لايعقل لذلك أُمرنا أن نأمر أطفالنا بالصلاة بسبع لأنهم قبل ذلك لايعقلون، وحده سبع سنين ثم يأمر بالصلاة لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: (مروا أبنائكم بالصلاة لسبع وأضربوهم عليها لعشرٍ وفرقوا بينهم في المضاجع) هذه أداب إسلامية ينبغي التقيد بها

أمر الأطفال بالصلاة لسبع وليس معنى أمرهم أن تقول له صلي بس، يلزم من أمر رسول الله عليه الصلاة والسلام ايانا أن نأمر أطفالنا بالصلاة أن نعلمهم الصلاة، وإلا فكونك تقول للطفل الذي عند الباب: إذهب إلى المسجد صل وأنت لاعلمته الطهارة ولاعلمته كيف يصلي، لا تخرج من العهده وإنما تخرج من العهده إذا علمته الطهارة وعلمته الصلاة ثم قلت له صلي؛ هنا إمتثلت

وأما تساهل كثير من الناس قد يحمل طفله إلى المسجد ابن سبع أو دون سبع على غير طهارة وبدون معرفة للصلاة فيوقف في الصف؛فيُعتبر الصف مقطوعًا لوقوف هذا الطفل في الصف لأنه غير مصلٍ ينطبق على هذا الشخص قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام: ( من وصل الصف وصله الله ومن قطع الصف قطعه الله)

تحمل طفلاً لايعقل الصلاة فتقف في الصف الأول خلف الإمام وهو معك، والناس تسكت مجاملةً وهو ليس في الصلاة، ربما ليس على طهارة حتى في بدنه لأنك أخذته من أمام البيت قبل أن تعلمه الطهارة والصلاة، هذا تصرف خطأ، فالواجب أن تعلمه في البيت كيف يتطهر وكيف يصلي ثم تعلمه أين يقف، لايقف في الصف الأول وإنما يقف حيث تقف الأطفال

إن كان المأمومون يتكونون ويتألفون من صفين فلهم الصف الثاني أي آخر الصفوف بعد صفوف الرجال، هكذا أدبنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيجب أن نلتزم بهذه الأداب، فإذا بلغ الطفل عشر سنين وحصل منه نوع من عدم الإمتثال والتمرد يضرب ضرب تأديبٍ وتخويف حتى يصلي مع المحافظة عليه

وفي هذا السن يفَّرق بينهم في المضاجع كل طفل ينام منفردا، هكذا أدب الإسلام

شرح شروط الصلاة ص ٣٣