Is It Permissible for a Child to Lead His Mother in Prayer?

13 March, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. When my husband is out and it is me and children at home, who should lead prayer; I or my oldest son? He’s 7, but knows how to pray properly.

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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:

Your seven-year-old child can lead you and your younger kids in prayer as long as he knows well how to pray and recite the Quran.


Answering your question about if a child can lead his mother in prayer, Dr. Wael Shehab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:

A boy, who knows well how to pray, can lead others in congregational prayers. This is because Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “People should be led in prayer by the one who knows the most Quran among them.” (Muslim)

Also, Amr ibn Salamah al-Jarami said, “My father heard Prophet Muhammad saying, “When the time for prayer comes, let the one among you who knows the most Quran lead you in prayer.” They looked and they did not find anyone who knew more Quran than me, so they made me lead them in prayer, and I was a boy of six or seven years.” (Al-Bukhari)

Given the above, if your son has reached the age of discernment and knows how to offer the prayers, then he should lead you in the prayer.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.