Is it permitted to take children to the Masjid?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

If there is a genuine fear that the child is carrying impurity then it is prohibited (Makruh Tahriman) to take the child to the Masjid. If that is not feared then it is fine to take the child to the Masjid, unless the child is likely to disturb others.

«إِنَّ هَذِهِ الْمَسَاجِدَ لَا تَصْلُحُ لِشَيْءٍ مِنْ هَذَا الْبَوْلِ، وَلَا الْقَذَرِ إِنَّمَا هِيَ لِذِكْرِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وَالصَّلَاةِ وَقِرَاءَةِ الْقُرْآنِ»

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Indeed the Masaajid (mosques) are not meant for urine and filth. Rather, they are for the remembrance of Allah, prayer, and the recitation of the Qur’an.’ (Sahih Muslim 285 – 100).

The Major concern with regards to taking children to the Masjid is that of impurity. Thus, if there is a genuine fear that the child is carrying impurity then it is prohibited (Makruh Tahriman) to take the child to the Masjid.

With older children who do not wear nappies, the concern regarding impurity is decreased. The remaining concern is that of disturbing others. In such a case, it is Makruh Tanzeehi (somewhat disliked) to take the child to the Masjid. As for children who do not disturb others, it is strongly recommended to take them to the Masjid.

عَنْ وَاثِلَةَ بْنِ الْأَسْقَعِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: جَنِّبُوا مَسَاجِدَكُمْ صِبْيَانَكُمْ، وَمَجَانِينَكُمْ، وَشِرَاءَكُمْ، وَبَيْعَكُمْ

Wathilah bin al-Asqa’ narrated that The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Keep your children, your insane, your buying and your selling away from your mosques (Masaajid).’ (Sunan Ibn Maja, 750).

In the Hadith narration above, the Prophet ﷺ commands us to keep children away from the Masjid. However, the Hadith is certainly weak. And according to some scholars it is very weak. Therefore, it cannot be used as a proof for prohibition.

وَأَمَّا السُّنَّةُ فَحَدِيثُ جَنِّبُوا مَسَاجِدَكُمْ صِبْيَانَكُمْ وَمَجَانِينَكُمْ وَتُعُقِّبَ بِأَنَّ الْحَدِيثَ ضَعِيفٌ. (فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري)

As for the Sunnah, the Hadith: Keep your children and your insane away from your mosques (Masaajid). However this has been refuted by the fact that it is a weak Hadith. (Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari).

Imam Ibn Abideen summarised the ruling in accordance with he Hanafi Madhab:

وَيَحْرُمُ إدْخَالُ صِبْيَانٍ وَمَجَانِينَ حَيْثُ غَلَبَ تَنْجِيسُهُمْ وَإِلَّا فَيُكْرَهُ
وَالْمُرَادُ بِالْحُرْمَةِ كَرَاهَةُ التَّحْرِيمِ لِظَنِّيَّةِ الدَّلِيلِ. وَأَمَّا قَوْله تَعَالَى – {أَنْ طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ} [البقرة: 125]- الْآيَةُ فَيَحْتَمِلُ الطَّهَارَةَ مِنْ أَعْمَالِ أَهْلِ الشِّرْكِ تَأَمَّلْ؛ وَعَلَيْهِ فَقَوْلُهُ وَإِلَّا فَيُكْرَهُ أَيْ تَنْزِيهًا تَأَمَّلْ. (رد المحتار على الدر المختار).

Imam al-Haskafi: It is prohibited to bring children or insane people (into the Masjid) if it is likely that they are carrying impurities. Otherwise it is Makruh.

Imam Ibn Abideen: What he means by prohibition is Makruh Tahreemi because the evidence is speculative. As for the words of Allah Most High: And purify my house for those performing Tawaf. (Surah al-Baqarah, 125). It could refer to purification from idolatrous practices. Due to this, his saying ‘otherwise it is Makruh’ refers to Tanzeehi. So reflect. (Radd al-Muhtaar).

Thus, the ruling regarding taking children to the Masjid differs depending on the circumstances. If the child is carrying impurity or likely to soil the Masjid, then it is prohibited (Makruh Tahriman). If there is no such fear of impurity, but the child will disturb others, it is Makruh Tanzeehi. If none of this is applicable, then it is preferable to take children to the Masjid.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (14.10.2022)

See also:

Is it permitted to allow Christians to pray in the Masjid?

See also video: