Four-year-old son still sleeping with his mother
Fatwa No: 366235

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. My son is now four years old and sleeps cuddling me only, as he finds comfort there only. My husband stays in Dubai due to his job. My question is that my boy touches my breasts in some way or another as his play while he is lying down to sleep. I have told him strictly many times not to do this and have slapped him lightly at times too, but he finds it something that is his as he remembers his feeding years! Now I feel very disturbed due to this because due to me and my husband staying far, we get less physical time whenever he visits us, so when my boy touches me, I feel some sensations, and I sternly tell my baby to move his hand away and at times slap him too. This leaves him stunned also, and he cannot understand why I did that and cries. Please suggest how I can tackle this growing up kid issue, and is there any effect on my marriage due to this? It scares me day and night.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The child at this age is far from this feeling that you feel, and he is still below the age of being required to perform Islamic obligations. So you should not be harsh with him, nor hit him, for he is not held accountable for his actions. {C}

Nevertheless, he should be kept away from that place and accustomed to sleep alone so that sleeping with you would not have a bad impact on his behavior in the future. This is in addition to what you said about its bad impact on your feelings.

The best way to correct such behavior is as follows:

Try to accustom him to sleep on his own bed, because if a child is trained to do something, he gets used to it. It would have been better if you had started accustoming him at an early age, immediately after weaning, for instance.

If there is a need to advise him in this regard, it would be better at another time; for example, when going out for a picnic.

As for beating such a child, it may be a pure harm and useless; and it may have the opposite result, as he might become more stubborn. Slapping the face is especially forbidden.

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “If one of you fights with his fellow Muslim, let him avoid (hitting) the face...

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “The scholars said that this is an explicit statement about the prohibition of hitting the face, because the face is delicate and carries all beauty; its parts are gentle and precious, and the face includes most of the senses. Hitting the face may cause defect to the senses or impair them, and it may even cause deformity to it. Deformity in the face is a significant matter because it is visible and cannot be concealed. When the face is hit, it is hardly spared from suffering deformity...

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 340663 and 339625.

Allah knows best.

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