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Teaching the Five Kalimas to the Children

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Daruliftaa.com

Please can you kindly answer the following question within the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The five kalimahs, which are taught in many madaris (Islamic Schools for Children) overlooking other important issues relating to Islam, what is its reality? I live in a society where there is great importance to this factor. I am sure there are other important things that can be taught to the children.

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The five Kalimas (statements) that are taught in the religious schools of the Indian Subcontinent (and by those who originate from there) is for the purpose of instilling in a child’s heart the roots of faith (iman) and belief (aqidah).

The first two of the five Kalimas are necessary and important for every Muslim, for it is bearing testimony (shahadah) on the fact that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace) is his Prophet and Messenger.

The third Kalimah is actually a Dhikr of Allah in glorifying and praising Him. There are great rewards promised in the Ahadith upon this Dhikr of Allah.

The Companion Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah said:

“That I say “Subhan Allah wal hamdu li Allah wa la ilaha illa Allah wa Allahu Akbar” is more beloved to me than whatever the sun has shed its light on.” (Meaning its rewards are more beloved to me than the whole universe and whatever it contains). (Sahih Muslim, 2695 and Sunan Tirmizi, 3591)

The wording of the fourth Kalimah has also been mentioned in the Hadith. Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

“Whosoever says: “La ila ha illa Allah wahdahu la sharik lah lahu al-mulk wa lahu al-hamd wahuwa ala kulli shay in qadir” ten times, will receive the reward of freeing four slaves from the children of Isma’il (Allah bless him).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6404 and Sahih Muslim, 2693)

The fifth Kalimah is a supplication (Dua) in disapproving of disbelief (kufr) and seeking protection of Allah from associating any partners with Him.

Now, the first two or one of the two Kalimas are essential and must be taught to the children, as they represent the basic belief of Islam. However, the other three Kalimahs are the words of Dhikr and Dua.

There is nothing drastically wrong in teaching these Kalimahs to the children in the Madaris, and one should not object to it. However, it must be remarked here that, by teaching these Kalimahs, one should not overlook and neglect other important aspects of Islamic Knowledge. The child is in his initial learning stages of the basics of Islam and we should ensure that he receives adequate knowledge of Islam that will benefit him in this world and the hereafter.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

This answer was collected from Daruliftaa.com, which is headed by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. He’s based in the United Kingdom.

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