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Holding children in prayer

Bint e Aisha

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Holding children in prayer
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.


Najasa & Its Relation to Prayer:

One of the conditions for the validity of a person’s prayer is that he must be free of filth beyond the excused amount from his body, clothes, and place of prayer (Maraqi al-Falah 291). The excused amount for the urine and feces of a human is that which does not exceed the size of one’s inner palm (Maraqi al-Falah 222).

Ruling & Its Details:

If during prayer, a person deliberately carries a child, and the child has more than the excused amount of filth located on his body or clothes, then the prayer is invalidated. The same ruling applies to a child that sits on the lap of one who is praying if the person holds onto them. (Hashiyat al-Tahtawi 291).

However, if a child holds onto the one praying or grabs their clothes, and the one praying does not reciprocate the holding, this does not invalidate the prayer because the filth is ascribed to the child, not to the one praying (Radd al-Muhtar,1:269-270).

If the person praying is reasonably sure that the child’s clothes are not soiled with filth, then it is permissible to carry the child. If the person is unsure, then they can assume purity, unless there are clear signs indicating otherwise.

Playful actions, such as prostrating over the child or the child hitting the one praying, do not affect the soundness of the prayer.

Helpful Suggestions:

I would suggest trying to schedule your prayers during the child’s nap time, if the toddler’s actions are too disturbing. Otherwise, place him in a play pen or give him a toy to distract his attention from what you are doing. Maybe you can ask your spouse, elder children, or friends to attend to the child while you pray.

If the child is old enough, it may be helpful to turn it into a game. I’ve seen many children imitate their parents praying, especially in sujud.

It is important to help the child comprehend that worship entails peace and concentration. One should teach them these principles with reiteration, compassion, and patience with their young age.

And Allah alone gives success.

Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali



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