Lots of research has gone into this well-written article!
Here’s a snippet:
“As per the title, the child is “The Master” for the first 7 years and this means that formal or strict standards should not be rigorously implemented, particularly in terms of Islamic rituals. How many of us have had the Quran Hifz inculcated into us from the age of 4/5 and onwards or fasting the long hours or knowing the 4 rakaat prayers by say, age 7? When in Surah Baqara (2:256) Almighty Allah Azawajal, tells us that “There is no compulsion in religion”, why do we compel our children to follow rituals so stringently? I am by no means saying that they should not learn the Quran, attempt fasting or know how to pray Salaat. However, it should be proportionate to their age and development. We should explain and inform children, that when they think of Allah – that Allah’s name becomes synonymous with LOVE and MERCY and not FEAR and SHAME. When I was growing up,I learnt a lot when I was young due to fear and peer pressure – not the best way to teach! It was drilled into me by well meaning parents and Islamic classes. Is it time to ease up a little?”