Orphans in Islam

“Treat not the orphan with harshness” (Qur’an 93:9)
Orphan welfare is a recurring theme in the Qur’an. Verses encouraging good treatment of orphans are found throughout it. Creating a sense of responsibility towards orphans, the Qur’an says:

“They ask you, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: that which you spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good you do, lo! Allah is Aware of it.” (Qur’an 2:215)

Orphans have a unique place in Islam and share an affinity with Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) who lost both his parents by the age of six. His orphaned childhood is the subject of some of the earliest verses of the Qur’an:

“Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter?” (Qur’an 93:6)

This affinity between the orphan and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is expressed with great clarity in the sacred tradition (hadith) There is a promise of Paradise for anyone who looks after an orphan:

“I, and the one who looks after an orphan, will be together like this in the next world”, then he raised his index and middle fingers together. (Hadith Muslim)

The important lesson Muslims have taken from this well-known hadith is that to choose the companionship of an orphan is to choose the companionship of the Prophet himself (Allah bless him and give him peace).

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“Invite to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..”
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2 Responses to Orphans in Islam

  1. Rashid Nzambu says:

    Aaww,

    Thanks for this timely reminder.

    I wish to observe on a trend that is gaining currency amongst we Muslims….ORPHANAGES. This is a Western originated concept that we seem to have adopted with gusto. A lot of literature has been written by orientalists on the failure of the Orphanage-system. The cruelty, commercialism, and the poor end products of the Orphanage graduates.

    We are commanded in the Quran to take up the Orphans into our homes and raise them together with our own children. This way, the benefits of a family environment will accrue to the kids. This is as opposed to institutionalising them in “homes”/Orphanages.

    Please lets endeavor to discourage this practice.

    Shukran.

    Like

  2. admin says:

    wsww,
    Jazakallah brother and I fully concur with your comment. Instead of an orphanage, an orphan trust fund can be established that can support the poor families who yearn to take care of an orphan in their homes. That’s my thought….

    Like

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