Can your children fast? Being a true Muslim, we know this question bothers you the most in Ramadan. What merely is the right age to make them begin? There are Fatwas issued by scholars regarding when a child should start fasting.
Being an adult, you still cherish the excitement of very first fast you kept as a kid. Of course, the sights of Ramadan nights must be vivid in your mind. You still try to dangle on every childhood memory you made but this one is flawless.
When can Muslim Children start fasting during Ramadan?
At what age a child should participate in fasting vary widely in accordance with the narration which goes back to Abu Daawood on the authority of ‘Amr ibn Shu‘ayb from his father from his grandfather that he said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Command your children to pray when they are seven years old, beat them for leaving it when they are ten years old, and separate their beds.”
To get crystal clear on this, Muslim children are not supposed to do obligatory fasting until they have reached puberty. When boys and girls get seven years old, they are expected to fast in Ramadan but if they attain puberty at any level, parents can likely suffice them for this obligatory duty. Even younger children can take part in Ramadan’s observance for part of a day or can try at weekend to practice the fast for shorter hours.
Should Guardians Pressurize their Children Fast?
You know that Islam is a religion of freedom and its fundamentals do not harm anyone by imprinting everything on Muslims. It is already defined in Quran the appropriate time for every ‘Farz’ to pursue. One doesn’t need to be panicky on imposing the rites of Islam on children.
This goes out to parents also whom should leave it upon child whether to keep fast or not and not pressurized them in any way. In non-Muslim countries, there is certainly no expectation of accommodation for Muslim children who are fasting. It’s a pride for Muslim community when you say ‘My child made it to his first fast’.
What to Do When Your Child Insist to Fast?
If your child is barely 5 or 6 years old and he is excited to fast in the holy month then instead of directly bashing him to tears. Show kindness. Make him understand in a polite way that he’s too young for starving without food or water for so many hours. That is not an ingenious option, indeed.
Tell him that he can start from fasting an hour before dinner and it won’t take him long to make the crunching sound out of his mouth, you could easily hear a few minutes after.
What Other Activities a Muslim Child Can Participate During Ramadan?
Aside from fasting, there are other virtuous activities, your little ones can do.
- They may collect coins or money to donate the needy.
- Help cooking meals for Suhoor and Iftar
- Read the Quran with Family
- Make slight prayers