Question: What is the ruling concerning the young girls who have not reached the age of puberty? Is it allowed for them to go out without covering themselves? Can they pray without wearing a head covering?
Answer: It is a must that their guardians bring them up and teach them the manners of Islaam. They should tell them not to go outside unless their bodies are covered. This is in order to avoid any temptation and to get them used to the virtuous manners so that they will not be a source of spreading evil. They should be ordered to pray with head coverings. If they pray without it, their prayers are sound. This is because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:
«Allaah does not accept the prayer of a female who has reached the age of puberty except if she is wearing a head covering (khimaar).» This was recorded by at-Tirmidhee, Ahmad, Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah.
And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.
[The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Verdicts, Fataawa al-Mar.ah]
Published: 6 February 2000