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There has been some debate between some friends and myself about at what age should parents start covering their daughters with hijab or niqab? Should it be from birth? when she starts school (mixing with boys)? At an age when potential husbands are being searched? when she starts puberty.... or should we simply speak with her at young age and explain that Allah desires females cover themselves and let her decide whether she would like to fulfill Allah's wishes or go against his will?

Thank you all for your responses.

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Brother, please remember that she has to be aware of the purpose of hijab and it shall be her choice as if she does not agree and is forced to do so this is not Iman and there is no benifit of doing so as it is not in the niya and she may be forced to it, explain to her and make her aware, remind her of the sins she may gain from disobeying Allah and inshalah Allah will Guide her, Inshalah no evil shall harm her –  Aboudi Aug 28 at 2:55

2 Answers 2

According to Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, wearing hijab becomes mandatory only after she has reached puberty.

His complete fatwa (#20475) can be found on IslamQA.com; the following extract is taken therefrom (emphasis added):

A person is not considered to be accountable until after reaching puberty. Before puberty he or she is not accountable, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Pen has been lifted from three: from the child until he reaches puberty, from the sleeper until he wakes up, and from the one who has lost his mind until he recovers.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4402). Based on this, then a girl has to put on complete hijab when she reaches puberty.

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When they reach puberty ( get their period because that is when their sins start being counted) and the prophet said in a hadith when they reach their menstrual age they should be covered. But starting like a few years before that is good for practice so when the girl has to start she wont be shocked and upset and will already be used to it and know about it. Even before they start you should dress them modestly like no tights and skinny jeans and always cover their backsides and not force them to wear tight clothing.

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