What age should one begin to fast?

Shariah has commanded children to not fast. They are allowed to offer some fasts when they are closer to puberty. One should not make children fast as it is sinful.

At the age of 12 to 13, one should start offering some (one or two) fasts and by 18 years, one should become regular in fasting. It is the responsibility of parents to prevent their young children from fasting. Later when the children grow older, the parents should encourage them.

Some young people are not ready to fast till 21 as per development and their physical strength. Hence there is no set age of 18 for fasting. It varies from individual to individual according to their physical strength.

The Promised Messiah’s (as) daughter remarked that the Promised Messiah (as) did not like children fasting consistently and once made her open her fast because she was very young.


One thought on “What age should one begin to fast?

  1. I am 21 and I was started giving a full go from 18 onwards as I felt like this is the set limit. Before that, I would do one or two at least each year. After maybe five fasts, my parents would ask me to stop.
    However, I’m now 21, and I still struggle as my body physically can’t cope with lack of water. I become ill within a few days.
    It’s only been three years where I tried to give a longer go but the after effects on my body made me seriously rethink.
    So perhaps the solution could be:
    To get and fast regularly like once a month or maybe more often as the time approaches for Ramadan/Lent etc. Perhaps that would help our body become more prepared.


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