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World Orphans Day 

Orphans In Islam 

What is the Importance of Orphans in Islam?’ 

Islam places a strong emphasis on the care and support of orphans, and the Quran and Hadith contain numerous references to their well-being. Here are some key points regarding orphans in Islam: 

The unprivileged, parent deprived kids, are termed ‘Yatim’ in the Holy Quran. They are called orphans which literally stands for children who have been abandoned or ones with deceased parents. Islam being the religion of peace and tranquility endorses the significance of looking after these kids. Moreover, in the Quran, the topic on orphans has been mentioned for over twenty times and is also signified by the Hadith and Sunnah of the Prophet () countlessly. 

Kind Treatment: Islam encourages believers to treat orphans with kindness and compassion. The Prophet Muhammad () himself was an orphan, and he emphasized the importance of looking after orphans. 

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏“‏ خَيْرُ بَيْتٍ فِي الْمُسْلِمِينَ بَيْتٌ فِيهِ يَتِيمٌ يُحْسَنُ إِلَيْهِ وَشَرُّ بَيْتٍ فِي الْمُسْلِمِينَ بَيْتٌ فِيهِ يَتِيمٌ يُسَاءُ إِلَيْهِ 

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah() said: 

“The best house among the Muslims is a house in which there is an orphan who is treated well. And the worst house among the Muslims is a house in which there is an orphan who is treated badly.” 

(Sunan Ibn Majah 3679) 

Charitable Acts: Providing for orphans is considered a virtuous and charitable act in Islam. The Quran mentions the virtue of caring for orphans in several verses, such as in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:220). 

إِنَّ ٱلْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍۢ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا  

Indeed, the virtuous will have a drink ˹of pure wine˺—flavoured with camphor—…. 

٥ 

وَيُطْعِمُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ مِسْكِينًۭا وَيَتِيمًۭا وَأَسِيرًا ٨ 

and give food—despite their desire for it—to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, 

Inheritance & Guardianship: The Quran outlines guidelines for the distribution of wealth among heirs, including orphans. Orphans are to be treated justly and with fairness. The Quran warns against consuming the wealth of orphans unjustly, and it stresses the importance of managing their property responsibly. 

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ مَالَ ٱلْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُۥ ۖ 

And do not come near the wealth of the orphan—unless intending to enhance it—until they attain maturity.  

(Al-Isra 17:34) 

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ لَمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏{‏ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ‏}‏ وَ ‏{‏ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَى ظُلْمًا ‏}‏ الآيَةَ انْطَلَقَ مَنْ كَانَ عِنْدَهُ يَتِيمٌ فَعَزَلَ طَعَامَهُ مِنْ طَعَامِهِ وَشَرَابَهُ مِنْ شَرَابِهِ فَجَعَلَ يَفْضُلُ مِنْ طَعَامِهِ فَيُحْبَسُ لَهُ حَتَّى يَأْكُلَهُ أَوْ يَفْسُدَ فَاشْتَدَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ فَذَكَرُوا ذَلِكَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏{‏ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَى قُلْ إِصْلاَحٌ لَهُمْ خَيْرٌ وَإِنْ تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ ‏}‏ فَخَلَطُوا طَعَامَهُمْ بِطَعَامِهِ وَشَرَابَهُمْ بِشَرَابِهِ ‏.‏ 

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) said: 

“When these Verses were revealed –  

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ مَالَ ٱلْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُۥ ۚ وَأَوْفُوا۟  

‘And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it,’  (Al-Isra 17:34) 

And 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَٰلَ ٱلْيَتَـٰمَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًۭا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًۭا 

 Indeed, those who unjustly consume orphans’ wealth ˹in fact˺ consume nothing but fire into their bellies. And they will be burned in a blazing Hell! 

 (An-Nisa 4:10) 

 The people avoided the property and food of the orphans. That caused hardship to the Muslims and they complained about that to the Prophet (). Then Allah revealed:  

وَيَسْـَٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلْيَتَـٰمَىٰ ۖ قُلْ إِصْلَاحٌۭ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌۭ ۖ وَإِن تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَٰنُكُمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ ٱلْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ ٱلْمُصْلِحِ ۚ وَلَوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌۭ 

‘And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allah knows him who means mischief (e.g. to swallow their property) And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties.'” 

(Al-Baqarah 2:220) 

(Sunan an-Nasa’i 3669) 

Reward for Care: There are numerous hadiths that highlight the rewards and blessings associated with caring for orphans. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that the one who cares for an orphan will be close to him in Paradise, and he demonstrated this by personally caring for orphans during his lifetime. 

قَالَ، سَمِعْتُ سَهْلَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏“‏ أَنَا وَكَافِلُ الْيَتِيمِ، فِي الْجَنَّةِ هَكَذَا ‏”‏‏.‏ وَقَالَ بِإِصْبَعَيْهِ السَّبَّابَةِ وَالْوُسْطَى‏. 

Narrated by Sahl bin Sa`d (ra): 

The Prophet () said, “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together. 

(Sahih al-Bukhari 6005) 

Community Responsibility: Caring for orphans is not just an individual obligation but also a communal one. Muslim communities are encouraged to establish systems that provide support and care for orphaned children. 

Dua (Supplication): Muslims are encouraged to make supplications for orphans, asking Allah to protect them, provide for them, and grant them success in both this life and the Hereafter. 

Overall, the treatment of orphans in Islam is rooted in principles of justice, compassion, and responsibility. Muslims are encouraged to actively engage in acts of kindness and support for orphaned children, recognizing the significance of this responsibility in the eyes of their faith. 

 

 

 

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