What is mukallaf in islam?
Terminologically the term mukallaf refers to a sane adult Muslim who must carry out religious obligations, avoid religious prohibitions, and is held responsible for the consequences of his/her actions.
In fiqh, a sane person is called ‘aqil, and a person who has reached maturity (puberty) is called baligh.
a) Being a Muslim
Those who are not Muslims are not subject to Allah’s obligations or prohibitions in respect to devotional matters.
b) Being Sane :
Islam addresses the person’s ability to reason. This is why a person, who is not sane or a child who is not yet able to comprehend, is not considered a mukallaf. For this reason Allah says in the Qur’an “Allah does not burden a soul except [with that within]its capacity” (al-Baqara, 2: 286).
c) Being mature
- Maturity or puberty is the period or turning point when a child becomes an adult. Once a child reaches this important point in his / her life, he / she becomes a “baligh”.
Bulugh appears by biological changes in the body (for males by nocturnal emission and for females by the beginning of menstrual cycles). This change is called natural bulugh.Not everybody reaches puberty at the same time. It varies due to genetics, climate or geographic location. The earliest for a boy to reach puberty is generally twelve years and nine years for a girl.A child who has not yet seen the biological signs of puberty until the age of 15 (based on Hijri, i.e. lunar years) is considered baligh from this point (year) onwards. This method is called legal maturity.A mature and a sane Muslim is considered an adult. Moreover, an adult believer is legally required to perform the acts of worship, carry out religious obligations, and avoid what is not permitted. This is roughly equal to 14 years and 7 months according to the calculations of Gregorian or solar years.
Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications