At what age it becomes fardh for a Muslim to start praying (5 fardh prayers) and fasting (in Ramadan) regularly.

Is there any difference in opinion among Imams of Fiqh regarding this?

Also, does the age differ for boy and girl?

It would be very much helpful if you cite sources.


1 Answer 1


According to "reliance of the traveler" (the translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller), to my knowledge the most important shafi'i manual of fiqh, prayer is fardh from the time a person enters puberty, as is fasting. Puberty is one of:

  • the first wet dream
  • the first menstrual bleeding
  • or it is assumed to have begun by age 15 (by lunar calendar, i.e. the months of islam)

Thus the only way age matters here is that even if puberty doesn't set in by the age of 15, a person becomes obligated from then on. The determining factor is puberty.

You can find the rulings under the following headings in reliance of the traveler:

  • obligation to pray: f1.1 (f1.2 relates the ages of 7 when a child should start being admonished to pray if it is able to eat, drink, and clean himself on his own, and the age of 10, when he should be beaten for neglecting it)
  • obligation to fast: i1.3
  • definition of puberty: k13.8

While this is from a shafi'i source, I have not seen any other opinions from any of the other sunni madhhabs, with the caveat that I do not know whether they also impose an upper bound on age, and if so, which one.

  • This is the source or major former answer which has been deleted due to "plagiarism" islamqa.info/en/ref/65558 it is mainly quoting hanbali sources!
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:48
  • 1
    @Medi1Saif I think this was meant to give sources supporting what I said from another madhhab, but just in case, is there something that needs correction?
    – G. Bach
    Oct 7, 2016 at 12:02
  • I'm no expert in comperative fiqh but what you've quoted looks like a more or less accepted and common view.
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 7, 2016 at 12:05

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