ISLAM AND THE ORPHANS

The pure and true religion of Allah ordered its member to have mercy and to be merciful towards all creatures. In this regard our prophet Muhammed peace be up on him said:

"Like this it is asked from believers to be adorned with mercy, and to deal with kindness towards one and other, especially toward those who are in need of mercy".

The orphans are among those who need mercy and they ask from us to deal with them in good way!

Our religion shows a great deal of sympathy for orphans. We see and understand that clearly when we look at the Qur' an we will see that the word "orphan" is mentioned 23 times in 12 different forms in 12 different surah or chapters.

Some may think that it is a common sense that we should treat orphans with mercy. Yet all other religions teach that you should not kill for example. If these religions depended only on common sense then there would have been no need to teach that you should not kill, since it calls for even less common sense not to kill another person.

We would like to mention to you that our beloved prophet Muhammed (peace be up on him), was an orphan. His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was still a child. Therefore his uncle Abu Talib took care of him. Allah, God in Arabic, had protected him, raised him and trained him properly. In this regard Allah says:

" Did He not find you (O Muhammed) an orphan and gave you refuge?" (93:6)

Here are some examples of the teachings of the holy Quran regarding orphans:

Harshness to orphans is a sign of a non-believer:

"Have you considered him who calls the judgment a lie? That is the one who treats the orphan with harshness." (107:1-2)

Take care of the orphans and be good to them:

"Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers. The companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For God loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious." (4: 036)

Spend you wealth in charity and give the orphans:

"They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for." (2:215)

To stand for justice for them:

"…. As also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that ye stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which ye do, but God is well-acquainted therewith." (4:127)

True believers are devotees to Allah in everything they do:

"They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive -(Saying): We feed you for the sake of Allah alone, no reward do we desire from you or thanks. We only fear a Day of distressful Wrath from the side of our Lord."(76: 7-10)

In case there are some orphans happen to inherit a wealth, as in the case of the death of a wealthy parents. Islam as a universal way of living that covered all aspects of life, did not leave it up to the caretaker to abuse the wealth of the young orphan -or orphans. The caretaker is warned to be careful, honest and just about the orphan’s wealth and how to spend it to the orphan’s benefits. Now we share some ayat –verses- that teach us how to deal with orphans, in case we happen to be the caretakers of their wealth, and their goods:

"…Come not near to the orphan's property, except to improve…"(6:152)

It is a big sin to use the wealth of orphans for our selves or for your family unjustly. In this regard Allah Says:

"Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire." (4:10)

When they reach the age of maturity, they are to be given the command of their wealth:

"To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your won. For this is indeed a great sin." (4: 2)

Another clarification as to when we should give them their property back:

"Test the orphans till they reach the marriageable age; then, if ye find them of sound judgment, deliver over unto them their fortune. And devour it not by squandering and in haste lest they should grow up Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans); and whoso is poor let him take thereof in reason (for his guardianship). And when ye deliver up their fortune unto orphans, have (the transaction) witnessed in their presence…" (4:6)

From the above verse, we also learn that it is good to take human witnesses when you faithfully discharge your trust; but remember that, however fully you satisfy your fellow-men when you give your account to them, there is a stricter account due from you to Allah. If you are righteous in Allah's eyes, you must follow these stricter standards.

Allah informed us that bad dealing with orphans give bad result as he tells us:

"And as for man, when his Lord tries him, then treats him with honor and makes him lead an easy life, he says: My Lord honors me. But when He tries him (differently), then straitens to him his means of subsistence, he says: My Lord has disgraced me. Nay! But you do not honor the orphan. Nor do you urge one another to feed the poor…" (89:15-18)

Finally, it is a part of righteousness to spend your wealth on them:

"…It is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer…" (2:177)

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