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Taking Children to the Masajid‏


Shaykh Abdul Kareem bin Abdullah al-Khudayr [May Allaah Preserve him] said:
There would be children present in the lessons People of Knowledge. Small children would attend without there being any age limit; this is unlike the view of the majority scholars who say that children below the age of five are not allowed to narrate Hadeeth. They say, after the age of five, children have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong; they would attend and not be distracted. Nor would they distract others. For example, nowadays some fathers bring their children to the masjid, children as young as one or two years old. They distract the people praying, they break the rows because sometimes they are laid to sleep next to the father who is praying in the row and they don’t stand properly with the rest of the congregation. If this is going to be the case, the children should not attend because bringing them has no benefit. Furthermore, the norm in this matter is that the child should be with the mother. So when the Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him] was leading, he heard a child crying who was its mother so he made the prayer short. It is not the father’s role to bring the children to the masjid and look after them there, unless there is no mother then it would be legislated for him to bring the child. Just like when the Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him] brought Umaamah to the masjid to show and set an example that it is permissible to bring children to the masjid. However, this wasn’t done regularly.
There is a story I can narrate for those who bring their children to the masjid. One day, a father brought his two year old child to the masjid and when the prayer began, the child started playing with the Mushafs. The people were not able to pray and the father didn’t move a muscle! However, when the child went close the fan in order to play with it, the father broke his prayer and attended to the child. The Book of Allaah, he doesn’t move. He has no fear, he doesn’t realize the damage that was caused and he doesn’t reflect on the harm he caused by not breaking his prayer. The religion is the peak of all matters. So it is for the student of knowledge to pay attention to this and for him to inform others. And to Allaah we complain.
Yes, if they can benefit they should attend but if the children won’t benefit then they shouldn’t. There was once another person who went to Masjid al-Haram for Salaat al-Jumu’ah with his child; and the child destracted the people from hearing the Khutbah as he was crying loudly. By the end of the Salaah, the father missed the Salaah because he was sitting attending to the boy. The people prayed, he missed the Salaah in congregation and he had to pray by himself. How can the father exempt himself from the Salaah because of a child, the child has a mother and the family has its own accommodation. Unfortunately, people just blindly follow each other.
To Allaah we complain.
Sharh Al-Fiyyah al-‘Iraaqee Fee Uloom al-Hadeeth by Shaykh Abdul-Kareem bin Abdullah al-Khudayr [May Allaah Preserve him], Tape 21; 25-28 minutes
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