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.
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