How to deal with toddlers who divert attention during prayer?


During a virtual mulaqat of the national amila of Lajna Imaillah Bangladesh with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, which was held on 14 November 2020, a member of Lajna Imaillah said to Huzooraa, “Mothers with small children have to pray while holding the children in their arms or putting them on their laps. In that situation, one is naturally more focused on the child than on the prayers.”

She then asked, “Would that not deprive us of the blessings of prayer?”

Huzooraa replied:

“No, you are not being deprived. What you should do is that whenever the child cries, you can put him in your lap and offer your prayer. Then, when you are about to prostrate, you can put the child to the side and continue the prayer. This is a unavoidable situation and Allah knows the state of the hearts. As you are praying with the correct intention, Allah the Exalted shall reward you.

“Nevertheless, you have sufficient time to pray. At Fajr time, children are usually asleep. Otherwise, you can easily offer the Fajr prayer after putting the child to sleep by giving the child a bottle of milk, or by feeding the child first.

“Generally, try to put the baby to sleep and then offer your prayer in peace once you get a break after they have been put to bed or aft er he has been fed. If that break is short, for example, the sun is setting or the sun is rising at the time of the Fajr prayer, then one has no choice but to perform the prayer quickly. Or if your Asr prayer is being lost due to the sun setting, then offer it quickly. However, in general, try to take care of your child’s needs, put him to sleep and then off er your prayer.

“However, if you are compelled to take the child in your arms and off er a prayer, then there is no problem with that, but try to focus on prayer as much as you can. Keep pondering over the words of the prayer.

“Allah gives the reward. He is the Gracious, the Merciful and the Most Forgiving. Allah the Exalted is not cruel at all. He is aware of the whole situation. Thus if, in spite of all eff orts, a woman does not have time and is compelled to pray with her child in her arms, then the reward lies with Allah the Exalted and He does give the reward.”

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