Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
My 12-year-old daughter goes to school. She can’t pray Zuhr on time since she has classes at Zuhr time. She prays it as soon as we get home. Is this allowed and is there any sin?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Salāh is obligatory on every Muslim who is sane and has reached puberty. In boys, puberty occurs by ejaculation, while for girls it occurs when they start menstruating. However, if neither of these occurs, by the age of fifteen in lunar years, then the age of 15 will be considered the point from which all religious obligations begin.
Ali ibn Abi Talib reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The pen is lifted from three people: a sleeping person until he awakens, a child until he becomes an adult, and an insane person until he regains his sanity.”
In another narration, the Prophet said, “A young boy until he reaches puberty.” (Reported by Sunan al-Tirmidhī Hadith No. 1423)
Children should be ordered by parents to pray from the age of seven and should be disciplined if they don’t pray at the age of ten. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Order your children to pray when they reach the age of seven. Punish them if they do not pray when they reach the age of ten, and have them sleep separately” (Reported by Abū Dawud Hadith No.495)
With regards to your specific question, you should make every effort to ensure that your daughter’s religious rights are protected. If the school is not meeting this, you need to raise it with the governing body.
The right to prayer is protected by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and is embedded into UK legislation through the Human Rights Act 1998.
Hashiya al-Tahtawi, p.174, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah
Only Allah knows best
Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham