Assalaamualaikum, I have a question about hijab. I understand that hijab becomes fardh when a girl reaches puberty, and I understand that we should rush into teaching our daughters to wear hijab too early and that we should wait until they are close to puberty to wear hijab. However, is there anything wrong in purchasing hijabs for young daughters, 4+ years old, and encouraging them and teaching them about it without forcing it and with allowing them to wear it when they please and take it off when they please, e.g they where it to leave the house and take it off once the destination is reached or while they are playing? And they are happy with this and wear it happily as much or little as they want. Jazakumullahu khayran
Wa Alaykum us-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
As mentioned in the question, the scholars have said that it is an obligation (fardh) for a woman to wear the hijab when she reaches the age of puberty. However, some of the scholars mention that if a girl reaches 9 years of age, then at this age the girl should be considered as having reached puberty and thus should wear the hijab. And this is because a lot of girls reach puberty at this age [See: al-Haawi al-Kabeer (2/174) of Imam al-Maawardi].
‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “If a girl reaches nine years of age, then she is a woman” [Reported by at-Tirmidhi (no. 1109) and Bayhaqi in Sunnan al-Kubrah (no. 1531)]
Imam ash-Shafi’ee (d. 204 H.) said, “I have seen many girls in Yemen who have began menstruating at the age of nine.” End. [Reported in Hilyatul-Awliyah (9/137) and Siyar ‘Alaam an-Nubala (10/91). Something similar was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim ar-Raazi in Adaab ash-Shafi’ee (no. 49) with a Saheeh chain of narration].
With that being said, it is a good idea for parents to train their daughters to wear the Hijab before a girl reaches the age of puberty. Imam Ibn al-Qattaan al-Faasi (d. 628 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
“The female is of two types: those who are legally responsible and those who are not. As for those who are not, then the speech regarding them is like the speech regarding others who are not legally responsible people. Just like none of them are commanded [to perform the obligations], likewise none of the women who are not legally responsible are commanded to do so. However, these girls are cultivated and trained, and they should be raised with protection and concealment. One additional point that is obligatory upon the parents in regards to the young daughters is to guard their awrah…”. End. [Mukhtasr an-Nadhr fi Ahkaam an-Nadhr (pg. 29)]
Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (d. 1421 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “From what is known is that a person is affected by something when they are young and it will continue to influence them when they get older. So like this, the Prophet (ﷺ) commanded us to command our children to pray at seven years of age and to discipline them. So a child is upon whatever they are accustomed to…” End. [al-Liqaa ash-Shahri (10/66)]
The Permanent Committee said, “It is necessary for him (i.e. the parent) to train the daughter to wear the hijab before puberty so that she is accustomed to it, and so that it is easy for her to adhere to it [later]”. End. [Fataaawa al-Lajnaah (no. 4470)]
It comes in the Hadith of
Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
Good is a habit [Saheeh Ibn Majah no. 182]
Thus, training a young girl to wear the hijab while not forcing her to do so is a good practice and something that will in shaa Allah benefit the child in the long-run.
And Allah knows best
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan