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Is a child responsible
for his sins?
|Q.: If a person committed unlawful acts before the age of puberty, would he still be accountable for them? Does it make a difference what the unlawful acts were?
A.: A person is not held accountable for what he does while he or she has not yet reached the age of puberty. A person is not punished for anything he/she does during this period. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, has stated: ‘The pen has been raised for three persons (meaning they are not held accountable for what they do): one who is sleeping until he gets up, a child until he reaches the age of puberty, and an insane person until he becomes sane.’
As to the authenticity of this Hadith, it is recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Al-Haakim, who has graded it sahih (correct) according to the conditions stipulated by the Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim. At-Tirmidhi has classified it as ‘hasan’ (good)
Source: Islamonline Fatwa Committee
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