Fatwa: # 16945
Category: Character & Morals
Country: United States
Date: 21st July 2008

Title

I want to know if it is permissable for a boy to stay the night at a friends house when he is young and after the age of puberty.

Question

I want to know if it is permissable for a boy to stay the night at a friends house when he is young and after the age of puberty. I DO NOT think it is appropriate because so much abuse can happen and IF it does happen the child feels ashamed and stays silent. Other times if the child DOES say something the family will deny it because of the control the abuser has over the family or because the family is ashamed. My husband and I do not agree on this issue. We have decided it is NOT possible for girls over the age of puberty to stay in our house because it might be a temptation to him and because she does not have a guardian like her father or brother there to protect her and would be similar to traveling alone. We also wont let our girl sleep over at another females house for this reason. Please give me the ISLAMIC perspective with supporting evidence from Quran or Haddith.

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Jazakillah for writing to us regarding your concerns regarding "sleep overs."

This kuffar concept has insidiously crept into the lives of Muslims all over the world. Parents are under the impression that it is just as "cool" to be like their children to give in to this practice. Instead of guiding their children and being role models for them, parents blindly accept these practices and take their children into a life of hell sometimes. They fail to realize or appreciate that sleep overs have no precept in Islam. Children need to be with their parents, sharing, learning and practicing the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi( sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) and the illustrious Sahaba. Children have a right to be protected from all forms of harm. This duty primarily falls on the shoulders of the father. If a father fails in ties responsibility, he will be held accountable on the day of Qiyamah.

Our children spend a greater part of their day imbibing the kuffar culture in school or they primarily obtain secular knowledge and education only. It is the child's right over the parents that he / she also receives knowledge of deen which will give the child a firm footing for the future in this world and the aagirah. As you rightly point out, child sexual abuse and molestation is rife in all communities. Exposure to television and the vile programmes that are screened, porn and exposure to other practices are taking their toll on our Muslim communities.Human beings have lost all forms of decency and even boys of 9 and 10 years end up violating girls and boys who are vulnerable and / or younger than them. The abused children are destroyed for life. The parents often do not even get to know about it because as you point out, the children remain silent. AS they grow up, they struggle with interpersonal relationships, sometimes refuse to marry and the parents cannot understand why this is so. Basically, the children suffer for the rest of their lives. Children don't remain silent due to shame only. Their whole world is turned up side down because of this experience. It is soul destroying.

Unfortunately, these abused children end up abusing other children and the cycle continues ad infinitum. You mention that after girls have reached puberty they should not sleep out. Sister, are you aware that boys and teenagers start abusing or molesting little girls when they are two or three years old because the perpetrators are under the impression that the girls will never speak up and or that they will not remember anything?

My stand on this is very strong and clear. Children accompany their parents on visits to family and friends and they must return to their homes with their parents. Unfortunately, many Muslim children are being molested or abused by male cousins, uncles, grandfathers and even the family drivers. We receive some very painful mail from adults and teenagers who have suffered at the hands of people who are closely related to them or who are in trusted positions and known to the family. Guardians, such as fathers and brothers do not always respect the honor of the daughters and sisters either. The Sunnah are clear that only a husband and wife should share the blankets or sheets in a bed and sleep together. No other two people should share a sheet or blanket in bed. Likewise it is better to separate brothers and sisters from an early age due to the exposure to sex that they are subjected to in the media and other influences. It is also better to instill a sense of Hayah in the children so that they do not undress in front of each other ( this should be as soon as they start understanding the differences between boys and girls). I am not scare mongering. This is the reality of our children's lives in this crazy world.

Finally, there is nothing and no one who can replace the loving, caring and important input that they can get from loving parents. If parents take their responsibilities seriously, they will guide their children with wisdom. Insha'allah, the children will accept their parent's decisions with respect and they will not demand to copy the kuffar. Parents cannot expect this to happen suddenly. There is no point in letting the children do what they want to do till they are about 8 or 9 years old and only thereafter start imposing restrictions on them. Parents have to start imbibing the values and morality of Islam from the time the child is young. Children should feel good about obeying Allah Ta'ala out of love and joy. They should have learnt that to please their parents is to please Allah Ta'ala and that they will obey their parents and not just because they are forced to do so.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Social Dept.

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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