Age to Start Fasting
What age is appropriate for a child to fast ? I have a 9 year old that I’m encouraging to fast but when he can’t handle it I allow him to break he’s fast,
I also have a 4 year old son that doesn’t fast I feel he is very young..
Thank you Selam alaykum
Prayer and fasting only becomes obligatory on a child once he/she reaches puberty. Parents are instructed however, to train their children before puberty to gradually become consistent in their worship and develop a love it.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Tell your children to pray when they are seven years old, and discipline them for [not performing] it when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
So using the analogy of salat for fasting the scholars suggest the following guidelines:
1. Children before the age of seven should be encouraged to fast even for a short time so they get used to these acts of worship. They can fast for an hour or more, whatever is within their capacity.
2. After seven, it is recommended for the child to fast, but not necessarily for the full day nor everyday. The fasting should be gradually increased until the child reaches ten.
3. At ten, the child should be expected to fast.
عن عبدالله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما: أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:
))مُرُوا أولادكم بالصلًة وهم أبناء سبع سنين، واضربوهم عليها وهم أبناء عَشْر،
وفرقوا بينهم في المضاجع((؛ رواه أحمد
وأبو داود، وهو صحي ح
Answered by: Shaykh Mohammed Shakeeb