How old should one start to perform prayers?
Submitted by on Fri, 26/06/2009 - 22:32
Dear Brother / Sister,
Islam advises that a child should be made used to praying when he is seven and should be made pray when he is ten. In order to have a career or job, a person starts school at the age of six or seven. He faces all kinds of troubles in order to obtain knowledge, attain worldly ranks, and to earn money. Since all of these are done in order to live comfortably in this world, isn’t it necessary to work harder for the eternal life? Isn’t it necessary to endeavor to obtain the high ranks, eternal tastes and pleasures of Paradise?
The way to do it is to know Allah, which is the aim of the creation of man, to believe in Him and to worship him. To this end, man should try to learn the fundamentals of belief, the pillars of Islam, the sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), who was sent as the unchangeable guide, before pubescence. When he enters the pubescent age, he should carry out the orders of Allah and avoid His prohibitions and apply what he learnt. To learn and apply them is not something that man cannot do; Allah burdens no man beyond his capacity. (al-Baqara, 286)
A person who obeys Allah will attain the eternal Paradise, a person who disobeys Him, will suffer punishment and will feel the discomfort and uneasiness in the world.
“You can't teach an old dog new tricks” is a famous proverb. Therefore a person who does not learn the orders of the religion and who does not get used to applying them when he is young will have great difficulty in learning them when he is old. He will find them very hard to do. He will have difficulty in reciting. Therefore it is necessary to say to the children, “Come to prayer” and make them get used to praying before they reach pubescence.
If a person does not receive a strong belief lesson when he is a child, later he can embrace the principles of Islam and belief with great difficulty. It will be as difficult as a non-Muslim’s embracing Islam; he becomes somewhat wild. Especially if he does not see anything about religion from his parents and if he is educated only through worldly sciences, he will get wilder (Nursi, Emirdağ Lahikası, rnk Neşriyat, İstanbul, 2005).
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