She Reached The Age Of Puberty But She Did Not Fast Ramadaan
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I am a sixteen year old girl. My periods started
when I was thirteen, but in that year I did not fast
Ramadaan completely. I only fasted seven days, and my
parents did not make me fast, because they thought
that I was not accountable (to do so). Should I fast
the days that I missed, or what should I do? Please
advise me, may Allaah reward you with good.
Praise be to Allaah.
Whatever the case, you have to fast once you have
reached the age of puberty, which in the case of a
girl is when she starts her period, gets pubic hair,
experiences erotic dreams or gets pregnant. Having
one’s periods is one of the signs of puberty, so you
have reached puberty and are accountable, so you have
to fast in Ramadaan. In any case, you have to make up
the month that you did not fast; you cannot clear
yourself except by making up those fasts and
repenting, because you were accountable at the time
when you did not fast. Your family made a mistake by
being too lenient with you. You are not a little
child, and you have to repent from this negligence.
And Allaah knows best.
From Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd,
How Can We Help Children To Get Used To Fasting?
-- The Awqaf - Living Shariah
I have a son who is
nine years old and I would like you to help me to
learn how I can make my son get used to fasting
Ramadan in sha Allaah, because he only fasted 15 days
of Ramadan last year.
Praise be to Allaah.
We are very happy to see questions like this, which is
indicative of great care and concern for children and
for raising them to worship Allah. This is good care
for those whom Allah has entrusted to the parents'
A boy of nine years of age is not one of those who are
accountable for fasting according to sharee’ah,
because he has not yet reached puberty. But Allah has
enjoined parents to raise their children to do acts of
worship. Allah commands them to teach their children
the prayer when they are seven years old, and to smack
them if they do not do it when they are ten years old.
The Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to
make their children fast when they were small so as to
make them get used to this great act of worship. All
of that is indicative of great concern to raise one's
children with the best of attributes and deeds.
With regard to prayer:
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him) said: “ Teach your children to pray when
they are seven years old and smack them if they do not
pray when they are ten years old, and separate them in
their beds.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (495) and classed
as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
With regard to fasting:
It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh ibn
‘Afra’ (may Allah be pleased with her) said: On the
morning of ‘Ashoora’, the Messenger of Allaah
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sent word
to the villages of the Ansaar around Madeenah, saying:
“Whoever started the day fasting, let him complete his
fast, and whoever started the day not fasting, let him
complete the rest of the day (without food).”
After that, we used to fast on this day, and we would
make our children fast too, even the little ones in
sha Allaah. We would make them toys out of wool, and
if one of them cried for food, we would give (that
toy) to him until it was time to break the fast.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1960) and Muslim (1136).
‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said to one who
was drunk during Ramadan: “Woe to you! Even our
children are fasting!” And he hit him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari
in a mu’allaq report, Bab Sawm al-Subyaan (Chapter on
the fast of children).
The age at which parents should start teaching their
children to fast is the age when they are able to
fast, which varies according to the physical
constitution of each child, but some scholars have
defined it as the age of ten years.
For more details on that please see the answer to
question number 65558, in which there is important
With regard to means of helping children to get used
to fasting, that may involve a number of things, such
1. Telling them of the virtues of fasting and that it
is one of the most important means of entering
Paradise, and that in Paradise there is a gate called
al-Rayyaan through which those who fast will enter.
2. Prior experience of getting used to fasting, such
as fasting a few days in the month of Sha’ban, so that
fasting in Ramadan will not come as a shock to them.
3. Fasting part of the day and increasing the time
4. Delaying sahoor until the last part of the night.
That will help them to fast during the day.
5. Encouraging them to fast by giving them rewards
each day or each week.
6. Praising them in front of the family at the time of
iftaar and sahoor, because that will raise their
7. Instilling a spirit of competition for the one who
has more than one child, whilst remembering that it is
essential not to rebuke the one who is struggling.
8. Distracting the one who gets hungry by letting him
sleep or play permissible games that do not involve
effort, as the noble Sahaabah used to do with their
children. There are suitable programmes for children
and cartoons on the trustworthy Islamic channels with
which you can distract them.
9. It is preferable for the father to take his son --
especially after ‘Asr -- to attend the prayer and
lessons, and to stay in the mosque to read Qur'aan and
10. Arranging visits during the day and night to
families whose young children are also fasting, so as
to encourage them to carry on fasting.
11. Rewarding them with permissible trips after iftaar,
or making the kinds of food, sweets, fruits and juices
that they want.
It should be noted that if the child becomes too
exhausted, you should not insist that he completes the
fast, so that this will not make him hate acts of
worship or lead to him lying or make him sick, because
he is not yet one of those who are accountable. It is
important to pay attention to this and not be harsh
with regard to telling the child to fast.
And Allah knows best.