What Is the Ruling on Bringing Energetic or Restless Children to the Mosque?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti


What Is the Ruling on Bringing Energetic or Restless Children to the Mosque?


All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

Short Answer

It is permissible to bring energetic young children to the mosque in certain situations or when necessary, as indicated by some hadiths. However, this is subject to observing the etiquettes of the mosque, respecting its sanctity, and ensuring that children do not cause disturbances to the worshippers, the sermon, or the Imam or harm the mosque and its surroundings. Otherwise, it is disliked or even forbidden in some cases to maintain the sanctity of the mosques and not demean them, as affirmed by some authentic hadiths and mentioned by scholars such as Nawawi and others, and Allah knows best.

Long Answer

Islam encourages training and educating children in prayer and bringing them to the mosque to participate in the congregation of Muslims and become accustomed to it, familiarizing them with the rituals and gatherings, among other things.


However, it is necessary to educate children about the etiquette and sanctity of the mosque, and this should be done when they reach the age of discernment. Before that, it requires detailed explanation and clarification. We will first present some hadiths on this matter and then extract the legal rulings along with the opinions of scholars on this issue.

On the authority of Abu Qatada Al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to pray while carrying Umama bint Zainab, the granddaughter of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), and when he prostrated, he put her down, and when he stood up, he carried her.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Narrated Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When I start the prayer, I intend to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I cut short the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions.” [Ibid.]

These hadiths and others indicate the permissibility of bringing undisciplined young children to the mosque.

When Is it Impermissible?

However, bringing them to the mosque is prohibited if it causes more harm than good, such as disturbing worshippers, raising voices, causing harm, and so on.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Let those be nearest to me in Salat (prayer) who are mature and possess (religious) knowledge, then those who are nearest to them in these respects.” He repeated this three times and then added, “Beware of indulging in the loose talks of the markets (when you are in the mosque).” [Muslim]

Imam Nawawi says regarding the portion of the above hadith, i.e., “Beware of indulging in the loose talks of the markets”:

“Meaning mingling, arguing, and disputes, as well as raising voices, disturbance, and the trials associated with them.” [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Ibn Abd al-Barr, in his commentary on the hadith of Anas (Allah be pleased with him) when he prayed behind the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) with a child, said: “This hadith also indicates that if a child is discerning and understands the prayer, he should attend it with the congregation and stand in the row if he is well-behaved and does not play.

It is reported by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab that if he saw a child in the row, he would remove him… This implies that he (‘Umar ibn al-Khattab) did not trust him to behave properly, or he disliked his presence in the row when the elderly were praying behind him.

The basic principle is what we mentioned (it is permissible), and Allah knows best.” [Ibn Abd al-Barr, Kitab al-Tamhid]

“Among the reprehensible innovations are what is done in many places of igniting numerous large candles excessively on well-known nights of the year, like the night of 15th Sha‘ban, resulting in many harms… and among them is the gathering of children and idle people in the mosques, their playing, raising their voices, dishonoring the mosques, violating their sanctity, spreading dirt in them, and other evils that must be prevented to protect the mosques and their sanctity.” [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab]

Imam Malik’s Answer

Imam Malik was asked if it is acceptable for a man to bring a child to the mosque; Malik responded, “If the child has reached the age of etiquette and knows them and does not play in the mosque, then I see no harm in it. But if he’s young, doesn’t understand, and still plays, I don’t like it.”

Ibn Rushd al-Qurtubi says regarding the above (statement of Imam Malik): “The meaning of this issue is clear and does not require further explanation. There is no doubt about the permissibility of bringing a child into mosques. Otherwise, dislike would occur if they do not understand it and play because the mosque is not a place for play and amusement. May Allah grant success.” [Ibn Rushd al-Qurtubi, al-Bayan wa al-Tahsil]


Based on the above, children who are not well-behaved should not be brought to the mosque unless there is a special circumstance, such as being a traveler who enters the mosque at prayer time or not having someone to leave the child with. In such cases, it is permissible to bring the child to the mosque, but with care for the child’s cleanliness and ensuring that they do not disturb the worshippers, the preacher (khatib), the Imam, or cause harm to themselves or the mosque.

Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti

Shaykh Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti is a Syrian scholar born in Aleppo in 1977. He obtained his degree in Shari‘a from the Shari‘a Faculty of Damascus University, a Diploma in Educational Qualification from the Faculty of Education at Aleppo University, and a Diploma in Shari‘a and a Master’s in Shari‘a from the Faculty of Sharia, and Law at Omdurman University in Sudan. He is currently writing his doctoral thesis.

He studied under esteemed scholars such as Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri, Shaykh Mustafa al-Turkmani, and Shaykh Dr. Nur al-Din Itr, among others. Shaykh al-Yakti has worked in teaching and cultural guidance in orphanages and high schools in Aleppo. He served as an Imam, Khatib, and reciter at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and as a certified trainer for Khatibs in Abu Dhabi’s Khatib Qualification Program.

He is involved in developing and teaching a youth education program at Seekers Arabic for Islamic Sciences.

Among Shaykh al-Yaqti’s significant works are “Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni: Bayna Ilm al-Kalam Wa Usul al-Fiqh” and the program “The Messenger of Allah Among Us (Allah bless him and give him peace).”