Children in the mosque
Often elders who come in late to the mosque asks children and teens who are in the rows ahead to move to the back to make space for them. The children are often disappointed. Can you please comment?
It’s a common practice by the way and lets get to the bottom of this. In the hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him), mentioned regarding children that they should be in the back row etc. they way he organised the rows for prayer, men, children, women and this is the way it should be but bearing in mind he educated them so that they are aware of this so when they go to the mosque they know the rules and regulations and they are familiar with this and the family, children, parents all knows this; so there’s no embarrassment because they know where they should be.
However in the context which we have now; there is widespread lack of awareness and we rarely bring our children to the mosque and they know very little. So we want them to love the mosque rather than have negative associations with it.
Reprimanding them and treating them harshly, with the stick mentality will not give them a good experience or happy memories of the mosque. It will make them hate going to the mosque because they keep being told off. They will feel they are treated as babies, when they feel they are grown up and they shouldn’t be treated in that way.
Therefore we should respect them and allow them to go to the mosque and even stand in the same row as us. We should also teach them how to behave and stick to the etiquettes of the mosque.
Teach children the etiquettes of the mosque
You might have a very young children coming to the mosque, playing and even running around and they will be put off if they are shouted at. You should, of course teach and train your children not to cause disturbance for those around them, but teach them gently, so they do not get bad experience.
Accommodate young children in the mosque
I have seen Turkish mosques, where they have a a crèche for the children at the back with toys where they can play. Whilst the salah is taking place they are playing in the back and laughing without causing too much noise and disturbance but they love the mosque. We should also create this space for children in the mosque suitable for our times, space, community etc.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Sunday Hadith Class
Transcribed by Rose Roslan
From the collection of hadith in Ibn Hajar al Asaqalani’s Bulugh al Maram. Taken from the last chapter in his book, which is Kitab al Jami (The Comprehensive Book), which is a collection of etiquettes.
- Culture vs Islam
- Children in the mosque
- Ghazali on how to organise your wird
- When you make room for others, Allah makes room for you
- The link between manners, moral values and feelings
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