Is praying behind an immature child permissible?

Fatwa ID: 02751

Answered by:  Moulana Muhammad Imad Ali​

Question:

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!

Zaid prayed Fardh Salah behind his non-mature son, does Zaid have to do Qadha of the salah, because, on a Hanafi Fatawa website it says the Fardh Salah is valid, he doesn't have to do Qadha of the prayed Salah?

What about Taraweeh Salah, is that valid, if prayed behind a child, due to differences of opinion amongst scholars?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Answer:

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh,

In the Hanafi Fiqh, it is not valid for an adult to pray their obligatory or nafl prayers including the Taraweeh prayer behind someone who has not yet reached puberty. Children are not legally responsible, and so any prayers they do pray are counted as nafl prayers, hence an adult who is praying a fardh prayer cannot follow an imam who is praying nafl prayers.[1]

Some opinions state that a child can lead Taraweeh prayers in Ramadhan, this is not the strongest position in the Hanafi Fiqh. However, if one finds that his masjid took the other opinion and appointed a child who is a hafidh of the Qur’an as the imam for Taraweeh prayers because no one else was qualified in the community, based on there being a valid difference, there may be some leniency in this case.

If an adult prayed behind a child in the past, they need not make up their prayers because there is a valid difference of opinion on this issue between the Sunni schools of law.

[1] Hidayah p.124 v.1

Only Allah knows best

Written by Moulana Muhammad Imad Ali

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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