Q&A: Children and Taraweeh

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Question:
 
During the month of Ramadhaan many people bring their children along for Taraweeh Salaah. Due to Taraweeh Salaah being lengthy, after a short while the children become playful and disturb the entire congregation. Since the children form their own row right at the back, it is difficult to control them.What can be done to prevent the disturbance.


Answer:
 
It is extremely important that the sanctity of the Musjid be maintained at all times. This includes totally refraining from all worldly talk in the Musjid and raising one's voice in permissible conversation even if nobody is in the Musjid. Thus to raise one's voice while others are in the Musjid and to disturb their ibaadat is a double sin.

As for children, a child under the age of seven years should not be brought to the Musjid at all. If he has already turned seven, the child could be brought to the Musjid provided that he has been trained in the matters of tahaarat (purity) and he has been taught the etiquette of the Musjid. It is the parents responsibility to ensure that the child conducts himself in an appropriate manner in the Musjid.

CHILDREN WILL BE CHILDREN

Nevertheless, while every effort must be made to ensure that young children who attend the Musjid do not disturb others, it cannot be expected that the children will at all times behave as they are told. Children will be children and at times will become playful. Apart from being in their nature to be playful, they sometimes learn the wrong lessons from teenagers and even adults who, in some Musjids, sit at the back chatting away while waiting for the Imaam to go into ruku. Therefore, to minimise the occurrence of any disturbance from the children, the following procedure could be adopted:

MINIMISED

Make three or four children stand at both ends of the rows of adults. Thus if in each row, four children have been made to stand on either side, in three rows twenty four children will easily be accommodated. By adopting this procedure, the children will not be together and they will also be under close adult supervision. Hence the chances of them creating a disturbance will be greatly minimised.

It should be remembered that under normal general conditions, children should not be joined in the rows of adults, unless if there is only one child in the entire congregation. Otherwise, children should form their own row behind the adults. The above procedure is only to be adopted during Taraweeh to avoid the disturbance to the Salaah of others.

[The abovementioned procedure has been advised in accordance to a fatwa published in Al-Balaagh, Karachi, Nov.1996 issue. The fatwa was certified correct by Mufti Taqi Usmani Saheb (M.Z.)]
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