Rulings on Fasting Children-II

Rulings on Fasting Children-II

The ruling on the fasting of the child who has not attained puberty

Q: What is the ruling on the fasting of the child who has not attained puberty?
A: The fasting of the child, as we have already mentioned, is not obligatory on him. However, it is incumbent upon his parent to enjoin it upon him, in order to get accustomed to it. The fasting of the child who has not attained puberty is an act of the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition), for which he receives a reward, and he bears no sin if he leaves it.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Fiqh Al-‘Ibaadaat, p.186
Dealing with the child's insistence on fasting
Q: A young child insists on fasting Ramadan, despite the fact that fasting may harm him, due to his young age and ailment. Should I deal with him harshly to make him break his fast?
A: If he is still young and has not attained puberty, no fasting is obligatory on him. However, if he could do it without difficulty, he may then be commanded to fast. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, used to command their children to fast, to the extent that the young among them would weep, whereupon they would give him a toy to amuse him. Nevertheless, if it is proven to cause harm to him, he should be prevented from it since Allah The Almighty prevented us from giving the children their property, lest they would get corrupted by it, fearing they will harm their bodies is a stronger reason to prevent them from fasting. However, prevention should not be done harshly, because it is not appropriate to deal harshly with children.
Fataawa Wa Rasaa’il Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen: 1:493.
Some problems facing girls
Q: I was fourteen years old when my menstruation started, thereupon I did not fast Ramadan this year; knowing that this goes back to my ignorance and my family's ignorance, where we were isolated from scholars, and had no knowledge about that. I fasted when I was fifteen years old. I heard from a Mufti that when the woman starts her menstruation, fasting becomes obligatory for her, even though she is less than the age of puberty. Please advise.
A: The girl who mentioned that her menstruation started when she was fourteen years old, and did not know that this is considered as attaining puberty, bears no sin by leaving the fast in this year because she was ignorant, and no sin is due on the ignorant. However, when she learnt that fasting was due on her, then, it becomes due on her to make up for the fasting of the month that came upon her after she menstruated. If the girl attains puberty, fasting becomes due on her.
The girl attains puberty by one of the following four:
b-      has pubic hair
c-      discharges vaginal fluid accompanied by sexual arousal
d-     menstruates.
If one of these occurs, she then has attained puberty, and becomes competent for religious obligations, and the acts of worship are due on her, as they are on the mature woman.
Al-Muntaqa Min Fataawa Ash-Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan 3:132.
Expiation for leaving fast out of ignorance, after puberty
Q: I have a thirteen-year-old girl; and we had the belief that the girl should not fast until she is fifteen years old. However, some people said that if the girl started her menstruation, fasting would become due on her. Then, we asked her, and she said that she had started menstruating three years earlier, i.e. when she was ten years old. For this reason, we would like to know if fasting is due on the fifteen-year-old girl or on the one who starts menstruating? If fasting is due on the one who menstruates, what should we do about the last three years? Should she fast them, knowing that we were ignorant of this fact, and had no information about it? Please give us an answer. May Allah reward you.
A: Fasting Ramadan is due on her once she attains puberty. Puberty takes place by one of the following:
a-      turns fifteen years of age
b-      menstruates
c-      has coarse hair growth around the private parts;
d-     discharges vaginal fluid accompanied by sexual arousal, whether she is wakeful or sleeping, even though she is less than fifteen years of age.
Hence, it is due on her to make up for the fasts she has left after she started to menstruate; and also the days on which she menstruated in Ramadan. Furthermore, the expiation is due on her, i.e. to feed a poor for each day because of delaying compensation to the next Ramadan, which is as much as half a Saa‘ of the foodstuff common in that area for each day, if she can afford to do so. If she is poor, then, no feeding is due on her, and only fasting is sufficient. May Allah enable everyone to be people successful in doing what pleases Him.
Majmoo‘ Fataawa Wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi‘ah Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz, 14:173.

Rulings on Fasting Children-I

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