In both direct and indirect ways, Muslim childhood is significantly shaped by a variety of Islamic traditions, rituals, and injunctions. Among these, some place explicit demands on the child in terms of religious observance, and thus have important symbolic meaning relative to identity formation and adult life, while others are less demanding but nonetheless play a role in the child’s religious upbringing and self-experience. For those that regularly interact with Muslim children and their parents, and even for those that are merely curious about Islam, it is important to understand the nature, background, and contemporary expressions of these traditions.

Classical Islamic Literature

Those portions of classical Islamic literature that discuss child-rearing often divide youthhood into five periods: (1) infancy, the period prior to the ability to ...

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