When is the age of maturity for a girl when it is obligatory for her to read prayers and observe Hijab?
I know that we need to teach them practicing these as early as possible but want to see the exact time when they will commit sin if they do not practice these.
The age at which an individual should consider it his responsibility to abide by the directives of the Shari`ah actually relates to his relative mental, intellectual and emotional maturity. It is the time at which an individual internally appreciates the significance of the Shari`ah and the importance of abiding by it. Nevertheless, because the mental, intellectual and emotional maturity of an individual may not always be easily determinable and verifiable, therefore, a surrogate criterion of physical maturity is generally accepted. According to this criterion as the physical signs of adolescence appear on an individual.
Nevertheless, I fully agree with you that if we, as parents, are careful in providing a congenial environment to our children, it would not only help them in understanding the significance of the Shari`ah and the importance of their abiding by it, but shall also promote their own adherence and abidance by the directives of the Shari`ah, without us having to force them to do so.
I hope this helps.
September 7, 2002