Ruling on allowing children to enter masjids

Question: Is it permissible for children to enter Masjids (Mosques)? How do we respond to those who consider it not permissible?

Answer: It is recommended to bring children to the Masjid so they will become accustomed to offering Salah (prayer) in congregation, if the child has reached the age of discernment. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Command your children to pray when they are seven years old and beat them for (neglecting) it when they are ten years old, and do not let (boys and girls) sleep together.”

As for the account that the Prophet (peace be upon them) said:

“Keep your children and the insane away from your Masjids”,

it is unauthentic.

However, if a child has not reached the age of discernment, it is best not to bring him to the Masjid, as he is unaware of the meaning of Salah or congregation. Also, the child may disturb those offering Salah.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

[Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’, 5/263]

Keeping masjids safe from the playing and disturbance of children

Question: Someone in our village brings his minor children who have not reached the age of seven to the Masjid (mosque). Sometimes, they raise their voices and distract those who offer Salah and cause them to lose concentration. When some of our Muslim brothers advised him not to bring them, he said: The Companions used to bring their children to the Masjid during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and when the Messenger heard the cry of a baby, he used to not lengthen Salah. What is the ruling in this regard? Could you kindly explain?

Answer: It is obligatory to maintain Masjids and keep them safe from the playing of children and their annoyance because Masjids are built for worship. Those who bring their children with them to teach them Salah (prayer) should discipline them and train them not to play in the Masjids or play with the Mushafs (copies of the Qur’an) there.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions

[Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’, 5/264]

Coeducation

All praise is due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and Companions. To commence:

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has read the request for Fatwa submitted by Jam`iat Al-Shari`ah Wal-Dirasat Al-Islamiyyah (Faculty of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies), University of Kuwait to his Eminence, the President of the Committee No. 269 in 8/2/1404 A.H., which states:

With regard to the suffering which students of the University of Kuwait face owing to co-education, especially as some girls wear indecent clothes, some scholars are still of the opinion that co-education is permissible. Their evidence is that men and women mix when performing Tawaf for Hajj or `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). It should be noted that Zina (adultery) is common among the students who violate Islamic rulings in the name of freedom. They go on journeys where boys and girls sit in seclusion.

The university has become a platform for the latest fashions, make-up and hairstyles. It should be mentioned that many students are unmarried.

Therefore, we ask you to issue a Fatwa and clarify what is right from what is wrong and guide us to that which is right. We hope you will give us a detailed answer for our questions which will be printed and distributed to the students. The questions are as follows: What is the ruling on mixed education substantiated with evidence and your reply to those who say that it is permissible relying on the fact that men and women mix during Tawaf? Who is responsible for the sin of the spread of free-mixing in the university? It should be noted that we reproach co-education and if we leave the university, corrupt will greatly increase. Can the need for abstracting buildings, saving expenditure in addition to the lack of teachers, equipment and labs be a pretext for the permissibility of co-education to save the expenses on facilities and teachers?

The Committee reply comes as follows:

First, mixing between males and females in education is unlawful and an abominable act because it leads to temptation and corruption and is likely to lead to prohibited matters. Its evil consequences such as temptation and corruption is hard evidence that it should be prohibited.

There a significant difference between mixing in education and mixing during Tawaf. During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), women used to perform Tawaf behind men. They used to wear their veils without mixing and without direct contact. The same was the case when they went to the Musalla (a place for Prayer) for Salat-ul-`Eid (the Festival Prayer). After delivering the Khutbah (sermon) of Salat-ul-`Eid for men, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to give sermons to the women. So, there was no mixing between men and women at all. Likewise, when women went to offer Salah (Prayer) in the Masjid (mosque), they used to cover themselves well with their garments and pray behind the men in rows that were far from the men’s rows. May Allah help the officials in charge of education in Muslim countries to bring co-education to an end! May Allah set their conditions right; He is the All-Hearing and Answerer of Supplication!

Second, rulers and scholars are responsible for co-education, as they give Fatwas and they should execute them. Also, they are the woman’s guardian. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges, The Imam (ruler) is the guardian of his charges and is responsible for them and the man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for them and the woman is the guardian of her husband’s house… ” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Third, the need to reduce expenditure on facilities, equipment and teachers does not make it permissible to allow co-education. Education is obligatory if it is within the scope of capability. Some co-ordination would solve many problems. Women’s wearing according to the legal code of dress in Islam would bring many aspects of temptation to an end. Finally, whoever intends to do good and follow the Shari`ah, Allah will make things easy for him, and guide him to the Straight Path as Allah (Exalted be He) says (interpretation of the meaning):

And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). [Surah Al-Talaq, 65:2]

And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. [Surah Al-Talaq, 65:3]

To His saying (interpretation of the meaning):

and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him. [Surah Al-Talaq, 65:4]

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

[Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’, 12/163-166]

The age at which a child is obligated to fast

Question: When does it become obligatory for the child to fast, and what is the age limit?

Answer: A child is ordered to pray when he reaches the age of seven, and beat them to do so at the age of ten, and it becomes obligatory upon him when he reaches puberty. And puberty is determined by:

1) Excretion of sperm due to (sexual) arousing;
2) Appearance of pubic hair around the private parts;
3) Having wet dreams, if sperm is excreted;
4) Reaching the age of fifteen years.

And similar is the case for a female, in addition to her coming on her menses.
The source for the aforementioned is what Imaam Ahmad and Abu Daawood have related on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):

«Order your children to pray at seven and beat them to pray at ten, and separate them from each other in bed».

Also, ‘Aa.ishah (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhaa) related on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):

«The pen (of obligation) has been lifted for three (individuals): the sleeper until he awakens, the young child until he reaches puberty, and the mentally ill until he comprehends».

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 Academic Research and Fataawa, comprising:
Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Baaz;
Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee;
Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Ghudayyaan;
Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Qu’ood

[Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 1, Page 233, Fatwa No.177; Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Fatwa No. 1787]

Published: 6 December 2000

The hijaab of a young girl

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