Should I Force My Kids to Pray?

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

My kids don't pray or read Quran
Can you help me?


Question: Do we have to make children pray and read Quran? There is no compulsion in religion?

Answer: Good question. We thank Allah for the Guidance of Islam and for the answers to many of our every day questions. You are right in asking about this most important subject of salat (prayers) and even more important, the subject of forcing people in Islam.

Children must be instructed and encouraged to do salat from the ages of puberty, the same as adults. The saying of the prophet, "Encourage them in salat at 7 years and thump them at 10. If they don't - lightly tap them (but not harsh).

Note the key word in the hadith above, "encourage". What is it that would encourage our children to do anything?

They must want to do it. There must be some attraction or benefit they want to acheive.

So let them begin with knowing about Allah and who He is and why we want to be close to Him in Jennah (paradise).

Help them to read Quran in Arabic, and learn about the meaning of the words, as this will be something they will really benefit in later years, inshallah.

Set the example for your children yourself. After all, when they see you do something, it is very likely they will try to copy you in all you do. Seeing you fasting, praying, giving charity, being patient, helping neighbors and all things Islam teaches us, sets the course for our children more than any video or lecture I could ever do.

May Allah help you and guide you and your children, always - ameen.

And as to the question about "compulsion" - Well, no one is forced to BECOME a Muslim. However, there is really only one way to be a Muslim, and that is by doing what Allah Commands and following our prophet, peace be upon him.

Teach your children (and others who come to Islam) the pillars of faith (there are 6) and the pillars of action (there are 5).

So, read the whole verse next time (2:256 and 257) This is only talking about those who are coming out of the darkness to true light of Islam.


Thanks for your questions. Answers are based on Quran & Teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him. All answers and advice are based on information provided. We are not responsible for incorrect information from the questions.

FREE QURAN to download: (go to 'goodies')

Want to share Islam? -



#5 Abdul 2013-07-07 12:29
asalamu alaikum,
if the children don't pray, in most cases the parents are to blame. if the parents don't pray then don't expect them to pray. I have nieces and nephews who don't pray age range from 8-13, they only pray when I force them. and some parents push their children to excel in school etc and neglect salaah. death will come to us when we least expect, going Jannah is our main priority.
ma salama.
#4 nudrat 2010-11-27 19:02
salam alaikum,
training of child starts when he/she is able to see n ages as young as 2 years the kids want to repeat what mom n dad are doing so we can encourage them to stand with us in prayer,give them a nice small prayer mat for themselves etc...parents are environment makers for children,they dont hav to force things upon kids if they are sensible n wise.tehy r role models. if parents dont pray they should stop forcing kids to do it n start their own habit first.
seema (comment above) has very nice suggestions.jaz ak Allah khair
#3 dr. seema gul 2010-11-26 04:32
i have four kids and i started training the no 2 and no 3 when they were 7 and 6 yrs old respectively. i would wake them up even four fajar prayers and now they ask me to wake them up for prayers if i dont do so. this is exactly how my father trained me and my brothers for salaat. so i agree that if u start in time then u dont have to force and try to tell them difference between right and wrong as soon as they r able to comrehend language so its deep inside them and even when they go to school they would not be influenced by bad company. few days back i saw and old man walking and i asked him to sit in my car and dropped him at his kids who were with me at the time said to me mama u did very good and i said to them that when u grow up u do good to others the same way. so its a teaching process starting at the earliest possible time and continuing as long as u can.
#2 umabdulkareem 2010-09-15 07:28
Assalamu alaykum

the thing is if you teach your kids starting at seven years old then by the time they are ten you really dont have to force them but just guide them to pray...thats why its a gradual thing from seven until ten then its really smooth sailing as long as you were with them the entire period from seven to ten making sure they pray and pray correctly.
#1 Hagar 2010-08-23 13:14
I absolutely agree with the answer. But I do think that parents should focus on guiding their children in a healthy way and be a good role model for them. When parents will impose things, and punish frequently, and prohibit things, there is a big chance that their children eventually will reject their religion. Parents should allow enough freedom where their children have the opportunity to explore and take initiative. Of course children are still developing, they barely have any experience, and they are less able to control their desires and emotions. Its the parents job to ensure that the development runs smoothly and correct them at the right times. In that case a parent can tap their child or use any other pedagogical manner.

Need permission to post comment