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01Oct20a Ramadan, boys & more

In my effort to learn more about Islam, I came across the following:

Puberty - Boys Puberty is known in Islamic law as al-bulugh, or Tamyeez, (coming of age as a man and woman). There are three signs of puberty (bulugh):

1. Discharging semen as a result of wet dreams, known as inzaalul-manyyi. Allah (SWT) states: "But when the children among you come of age, let them also ask for permission, as do those senior to them in age..." (Al-Qur'an, 24-59)

In a hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Friday bath (ghuslul-Jum'ah) is mandatory upon anyone who has experienced a wet dream." (Bukhari/Muslim) The point in this hadith is that Islamic obligations are not incumbent on anyone until they reach the age of bulugh.

2. Appearance of hair around the pubic area is another sign of puberty. If a person sees that even without wet dreams, he or she has attained puberty. This may happen at the age of thirteen or fourteen, and parents should inform girls and boys about these signs.

3. Reaching 15 years of age: When the person reaches 15, he or she is a man or a woman, and anything that is obligatory on a man or woman is obligatory on him or her from that time on.

In a hadith reported by Abdullah Bin Umar (raa), he said: "My parents brought me to the Messenger of Allah on the eve of the Uhud Campaign and I was fourteen years old, so the Prophet (saas) did not enlist me in fighting." But a year later in the Campaign of Al-Khandaqq, I was fifteen, so this time the Prophet (saas) enlisted me in combat." (Muslim)

This hadith indicates the age of 15 is the legal age for a Muslim boy or girl to be responsible for his or her religion as well as worldly responsibilities. Some of us who reside in the western world, seem to think adulthood depends on State laws. In some states it is 18, while in others it is 19, or 21, and so on. This is a very serious mistake, as the juvenile will reach puberty (bulugh) and adulthood, but go on without observing his or her Islamic duties, such as Salat, fasting, or being restrained from that which is prohibited



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