Children in congregation

Q95 :Is it permissible to allow children to stand in the same line with their elders in congregation prayer?

A95 : If you are speaking of a large mosque in which a congregational prayer attracts several rows of worshippers and there are a number of children in the mosque, then children may preferably form a line behind the congregation. However, some people take this advice as meaning that a young child is not allowed to stand in the same line as grown-ups. This is not true. The Prophet has taught us to encourage our children to pray when they are seven. There is more emphasis requiring to teach them to pray when they are 10. Moreover, younger children are allowed in the mosque. We have the incident when the Prophet was leading the congregation and he prolonged his prostrations for a long while, until his companions felt that he might have suffered something. When the prayer was over, they told him that they were worried about him. He explained that his grandson mounted his back and he did not wish to interrupt the child's fun. There is no doubt that the Prophet's grandson at that time was less than seven years of age. Otherwise, the Prophet would have taught him to pray. There is nothing to suggest that the Prophet's grandson was more adept at purifying himself than other children of his age. If a child's clothes are dry and there is no apparent sign of the child carrying any impurity, then we assume that he has purified himself well. He is allowed in the mosque. He may stand in the same line as older people, particularly if it is feared that by placing him behind the congregation, he will be running around and disturbing the worshippers. Moreover, his father or any other adult who has brought him into the mosque will be all the time worried that the child could run away. It is more preferable in this case that the child stands next to his father or relative. It is sufficient that the child is closing a gap in the line which would otherwise be unfilled.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )