My eight-year old son, the eldest son, prays all the prayers with me at the mosque except the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer as I do not wake him up, but let him pray at home after walking up. Mostly, no one enjoins him to do so. My question is: at any age shall I begin to wake him up for the Fajr Prayer?
Actually, Allah has ordered parents to order children to pray at the age of seven, the age of discretion, and to beat them if they neglect it when they are ten. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and beat them for it (prayer) when they become ten years old; and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
Children should be ordered to offer all prayers not a specific prayer. They should perform Fajr Prayer in the same manner they are ordered to offer `Isha’ Prayer. The person in charge should differentiate between the ten-year old boy, as it is obligatory to wake him up for Prayer and the one who does not reach that age like your son as in his case it is not obligatory to wake him, but it is preferable.
This is the opinion of Sheikh Ibn `Uthaimin (may Allah have mercy on him) when he was asked by a father about a son at the age of nine, should he wake him up for the Fajr Prayer?
He replied that if the person has children, male and female, at the age of ten, he must wake them up. If they are under the age of ten, it is better to wake them up but not obligatory. This is based on the earlier hadith.
Source: Translated and adapted from Al-Aluka.net.