Forcing Young Children to Be Quiet During Prayer

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: Assalamu alaikum.  Is it obligatory to force your 4 year old daughter to keep quiet during the whole prayer?

Is it allowed to pray behind my stepson if he intends to repeat the prayer because he says he cannot concentrate if she is talking and he thinks she should be quiet the whole time?

Is it obligatory to always pray with him , or can i pray alone to avoid fitna?

How far should I make her keep quiet?  As for me, i am used to children’s noise

Answer: Wa’alaikum assalaam warahmatu Allah,

No, it is not obligatory to keep your kids quiet during the prayer; rather this should be regarded as part of their upbringing to teach them to have a veneration for the prayer. To train your 4 year old to practice being quiet during the prayer would be teaching her good etiquette.

You may still pray behind your stepson even if he intends to repeat the prayer unless his intention while being the imam is to pray an optional (nafl) prayer and to pray the fard after it, while you are intending to pray the fard behind him; then this would not be allowed. But if he intends to pray the fard as imam and just intends to repeat it again, this is okay.

No, it is not obligatory to pray with him, though it is superior to do pray in congregation if the opportunity for you is there. However, if this does cause fitnah, then it would be better to pray by oneself, unless praying by yourself will cause an even greater fitnah, in which case you should do that which will cause less tension/fitnah.

As I said, just as you would train your child in other matters, you can train her to be quiet during prayer. You should not be too excessive on either end by demanding her to keep completely quiet after your first request, nor be too complacent by allowing her to make as much noise as she wants even after your requests.

May Allah ta’ala give you tawfiq.

Shaista Maqbool

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani