Commanding your Children to Perfom Prayer

Amr bin Shu’aib reported on his father’s authority that his grandfather (radi Allahu anhu) said, that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Command your children to perform Prayer when they are seven years old, and beat them for (not offering) it when they are ten, and do not let (boys and girls) sleep together.”

[Abu Dawud]

Commentary:

This Hadith highlights the following points:

  1. The importance of the prescribed five daily prayers.
  2. When warranted by the situation, it is permissible to beat children for their proper upbringing and education. But this should not be in any case violent and aggressive. It should rather be done in a manner that the child does not suffer any physical injury and receives the right type of training. It is an absurd theory that children should be given a free hand, and leave alone the corporal punishment, they should not even be rebuked on doing something wrong. Suitable punishment is essential for their proper training and education.
  3. Muslim jurists have written that like Salat, other injunctions of Shari’ah should also be instilled in the minds of children, and if possible, they should also be given practical training for their performance. For instance, they should be made to observe Saum (fast) occasionally in accordance with their age and capacity during the month of Ramadan, so that the importance of obligation of fasting is impressed on their minds in an early age. This exercise will prove very fruitful when they attain maturity. They will then be conscious that for a Muslim, fasting in the month of Ramadan is compulsory like the five daily Salat.
  4. A child generally does not attain maturity at the age of ten years, but nevertheless he does acquire some sense. It is, therefore, necessary that rather than putting children in one bed they are provided separate beds once they reach the age of 10, especially children of the opposite sex.

And Allah Knows Best!

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