Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Children and fasting

Alhamdu lillah, the children's progress with fasting so far has been over expectations, mashaa Allah. All three boys are fasting full-time, alhamdu lillah. They've benefited from years of "training", mashaa Allah, and the long summer days don't seem to have affected them (nor us adults, subhaanAllah walhamdu lillah).

But someone I'm really proud of, mashaa Allah, is R. She will be seven at the end of this year, and as far as I can remember has never fasted a full day, before this Ramadan. She hasn't missed a single day! On Sunday she woke up for suhoor and kept fasting through-out the day, mashaa Allah, the other days she's had breakfast with her sisters and then fasted.

S has fasted a few half days, and T has fasted some thirds of days (?). T has always had a good grasp of what it means to be fasting, mashaa Allah (could it be because she was born in Ramadan?!). I manage to keep her mind off food before iftar, when she craves something, by asking her "Aren't you a big girl?" "Oh yes, I'm a big girl" she goes, and sticks out her tongue: "Look, I'm fasting!"

Here are some advice about children and fasting (courtesy of sisters on a muslim home ed list), in shaa Allah:

What is the ruling of the fast of a young (child) who has not yet attained puberty?

Response: The fasting of a young (child), as has preceded us, is not obligatory upon him. However, it is upon one who is in charge of his affairs to command him to (fast) and thereby prepare him (for it). And the fast of such a young (child) is (regarded) as a sunnah, in that there is a reward for him fasting, however, there is no sin upon him should he stop.

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen
Fataawa Ramadhaan - Volume 1, Page 237, Fatwa No.182;
Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-'Uthaymeen - Volume 1, Pages 493


Rubbayi' bint Mu'awwaz (Radhiyallaho anha) says:
"Once the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) enjoined on us to fast on the 10th of Muharram. Since then we have always been fasting on that day. Even the children were made to fast with us. When they cried out in hunger, we diverted them with toys made of cotton flakes till the time of Iftaar."

In 'Umar's (Radhiyallaho anho) time, a person was arrested by the police for drinking in Ramadhan.When he was brought before Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho), he said to him: "Woe to you! Even our children are keeping fast in this month."


Ponn Sabra said...

MashaAllah. May Allah accept your children's humble fasts, and yours as well ;-) Ameen.
Mubarak to your kids.

Our girls have always fasted at young ages, mashaAllah--but our homeschooling schedule allows for great ease. Our oldest had no problems when she was 4 yo; but we know she was a very mature and patient girl. Our other 2 started a bit later. Alhumdulilah.

Your post prompt me to think about sharing some tips, inshaAllah. Jazaka Allahu Khayrun!

Oum Anas said...


May Allah accept your fasts and ours, ameen.

Mashaa Allah, same as my boys then. I can't remember from the top of my head how old they were, but they claim, and I think they're right, that they were about 3 or 4. The hadeeth of Rubayyi' had a strong impression on me.

I've started to become a bit lax in encouraging them to fast lately, though, thinking the salaat should come first, but it's pretty clear from the quotes that the Sahaabah would make their young children fast.

Alhamdu lillah, that you were inspired by my post. Wa iyyaki.