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This is a sensitive topic and I am sure many of us (including me) were never educated about sex, puberty, adolescence etc. In fact in Muslim society, anything slighly related to the opposite gender (for a male child) is strictly kept secret. A male child may never know how babies are born or that girls have menses or what masturbation is or why their body changes during adolescence etc.

I have heard from some religious people that the responsibility lies with the parents to educate their children about such topics including adolescence, masturbation etc. They say, if the child commits a sin out of ignorance, then the parents are to be blamed and they will be punished for it in the hereafter. Similarly in the case of Muslims being married late, if the child commits a sin before marriage, the responsibility lies on the parents because they should have got his/her child married on time so he had no excuse to sin.

I am looking for credible evidence that says:

  • Who's responsibility it is, from an Islamic point of view, to teach the child about sex, adolescence, molestation etc etc (parents, school, sibling, mosque, someone else?)?
  • Is it true that if a child commits a sin because he was not made aware of the sin, the parents are to be held accountable for it?
  • Bonus question: Islamically what age is considered a suitable age in Islam where parents or someone can start being educated on these matter? I have it it should before commencement of adolescence (because once a adolescence starts, the child may already commit sin) but someone one may argue it should be at start of adolescence.
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  • The children are to be taught Quran and Sunnah from an early age. Within the realm of Quran and Sunnah, sex education, along with everything else, is covered. It's automatically taught and a common topic if we're put through proper education.

The guardian(s) of the children are responsible of their upbringing. The guardian(s) can be parents, but not everyone has a mother or father. So, if the uncle or an adoptive family is raising the child, they're responsible.

  • It's NOT TRUE that if a child commits a sin the parents are held accountable. This is utter nonsense and contradicts the Quran. Allah said, Surah al-Anam 6:164, =

"...And every soul earns not except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another..."

Whether a child or adult commits a sin, if they're not aware of it, they will not be held accountable. Last two verses in Surah al-Baqara are proof.

  • Education starts from the beginning. The child will most likely copy his/her parents or guardian. This happens around the age of 3. Children will begin to adopt things mostly on visual and start to explore everything around them.

If the environment is educational, they will learn well. We should also allow children to explore and not stop them from doing things.

If a child wants to lick a 9v battery, let them. It's not going to kill, they will learn a lesson.

If they want to climb a tree or play in the mud, why stop them? Through experience we gain wisdom.

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