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Forcing young children to fast

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Question:

What is the view of parents forcing their children who are five years old or above that to fast the entire day in Ramadhan, especially in the west when days are very long? What age should they be made to fast the entire day?
May Allah reward you with goodness.

Zaynab El-Kateb:

The child is not requested to fast the whole day till he or she reaches puberty.
Before puberty the parents just need to try and train their children on fasting as much as they can bear. For example: They can fast till Duhr or Asr according to the age and the toleration of the child. If the child can fast till Maghrib we encourage him or her in a nice way. The Companions used to busy their children with toys in order to help them to fast. Although never force your child to fast till he or she reaches puberty and this ruling relates to all cases.

We need to help our children to love Allah and Islam, to take them to the path of Jannah, and not just to make them to pray and to fast by force. We teach them to love prayer and that Allah is watching them in any act they do, but do not teach them this by force.

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