In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Young boys are allowed to lead adults in Prayer. Imam ash-Shafi`i says that young boys can lead adults in optional and obligatory Prayers.
2- Though other schools of fiqh allow the young boy to lead adults in optional Prayers only.
In his response to the question in point, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
They do not need to know all the intricate laws of jurisprudence. They only need to know the conditions, essentials and rules of prayer; what breaks wudu (ablution); what breaks prayer; and how to compensate for mistakes.
In addition to these, they should also have command of at least the minimum Qur’anic memorization necessary to lead prayer.
However, when they are with other adults, they should not rush to lead prayer unless they are asked to because of their knowledge and capability.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has told us that of all the people to lead prayer, the most qualified is the one who is most knowledgeable about the Qur’an.”
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.