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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
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I want to make my children keen to
pray, because they will pray once
then forget about prayer many
times. I always advise them and
pray to Allah to guide them. How
can I encourage them and make
them love prayer?.


Praise be to Allaah.
There is no doubt that prayer is
very important and is the most
important matter in Islam, as it is
the foundation of religion, the
means of success and a sign of
piety (taqwa). It is the first thing
for which a person will be brought
to account on the Day of
Resurrection: if it is sound, then all
his deeds will be sound, but if it is
lacking, then all his deeds will be
Undoubtedly doing one’s utmost to
give a child a sound Islamic
upbringing and teach him to
establish prayer and fear Allah in
word and deed, is a sign of success
and being guided.
Allah, may He be glorified and
exalted, said to His Messenger
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) “And enjoin As‑Salaah
(the prayer) on your family, and be
patient in offering them [i.e. the
Salaah (prayers)]” [Ta-Ha 20:132 --
interpretation of the meaning].
i.e., urge your family to pray and
encourage them to offer both
obligatory and naafil (voluntary)
prayers. The command to do
something is also a command to do
everything without which that thing
cannot be done, so it is a command
to teach them what makes prayer
valid or invalid, and what makes it
complete or perfect.
Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 517
And Allah says of His Prophet
Ismaa‘eel (peace be upon him):
“And he used to enjoin on his
family and his people As‑Salaah (the
prayers) and the Zakât, and his Lord
was pleased with him”
[Maryam 19:55 -- interpretation of
the meaning].
And Allaah says to those who
believe (interpretation of the
“O you who believe! Ward off
yourselves and your families
against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is
men and stones, over which are
(appointed) angels stern (and)
[al-Tahreem 66:6]
i.e., enjoin them to do good and
forbid them to do evil, and do not
neglect them lest they be consumed
by the Fire on the Day of
Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/240
Abu Dawood (495) and Ahmad
(6650) narrated from ‘Amr ibn
Shu‘ayb from his father, that his
grandfather said: The Messenger of
Allah (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him) said: “Instruct your
children to pray when they are
seven years old, and smack them if
they do not do it when they are ten,
and separate them in their beds.”
Classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-
Albaani in al-Irwa’ (247).
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have
mercy on him) said:
Pay attention to your family
members and do not neglect them,
O slave of Allah. You have to strive
hard to guide them. Instruct your
sons and daughters to pray when
they are seven, and smack them if
they do not pray when they are ten,
a light smack to help them obey
Allah and help them get used to
praying on time, so that they will
adhere to the religion of Allah and
know the truth, as it says in the
saheeh Sunnah of the Messenger of
Allah (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him).
Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (6/46).

With regard to the means of
disciplining children and raising
them with the prayer and to respect
its importance, it may be summed
up as follows:
-It is essential that there be a real
life example, in the parents’ being
keen to offer the prayers on time.
-The father should be keen to take
his sons with him to pray, and the
mother should be keen to tell her
daughters to pray regularly at
-Explaining the importance of prayer
and that it is an important pillar of
Islam, without which one’s religious
commitment cannot be complete.
-Encouraging them to establish
prayer on time, and explaining that
Allah has promised Paradise for
establishing prayer, as Abu Dawood
(425) narrated that ‘Ubaadah ibn al-
Saamit said: I bear witness that I
heard the Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) say: “Allah, may He be
exalted, has enjoined the five daily
prayers: whoever does wudoo’ for
them properly, prays them on time,
bows properly in them and focuses
with proper humility (khushoo‘), has
a promise from Allah that He will
forgive him. And whoever does not
do that has no such promise from
Allah; if He wills He will forgive him
and if He wills, He will punish him.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Whoever would like to have a
promise from Allah, let him pray,
and whoever does not care to have
a promise from Him and to expose
himself to His wrath and
punishment, let him forsake prayer!
And one may also quote hadeeths
which mentioned promises and
warnings with regard to prayer.
-Making the most of all available
means to give gentle advice, provide
books and audios that speak of
prayer and explain how important it
-Encourage children to keep
company with those who pray
regularly, whilst instilling positive
motives in their minds to compete
in establishing prayer and attaining
-Offering moral and material
support, such as giving gifts,
offering words of praise and
encouragement and so on.
-Following the example of the
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) in means of
dealing with the issue of prayer, as
mentioned above in the hadeeth of
Abu Dawood, such as instructing
them to pray when they reach the
age of seven, then smacking them
(lightly) if they do not pray when
they reach the age of ten, whilst
paying attention to wisdom with
regard to the matter of smacking:
using it if it is thought most likely
to be of benefit, and only being
strict and harsh at the appropriate
-Using means such as shunning and
forsaking if a child stops praying or
neglects prayer; this is a kind of
effective punishment that is
prescribed in Islam.
-Offering a great deal of
supplication (du‘aa’) and beseeching
Allah, asking Him to guide them to
the straight path and make them
pious people who pray regularly.
This in fact is one of the greatest
means of guiding one’s children,
although many people neglect it.
-The parents should never tire of
reminding, advising and disciplining,
even if the children neglect prayer
repeatedly, and they should never
despair of their children’s being
guided. No one knows when a word
will be of benefit or not.
For more information, please see
the answers to questions no. ,
and .
And Allah knows best.


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