The Virtue of Caring for Orphans and Their Position in Islam

Hi readers! In this article, I will invite you all to know about the virtues of caring for orphans and their position in Islam. I am very confident, we as human beings in general, and as Muslims in particular, can certainly feel the burden of orphan life. Yeah, right, the orphan. They are little children who have been left behind by both parents, or one of them, no one who takes care of his daily needs, he was not able to meet his daily needs. Sometimes this heart trembles when we think of us or the little children in our family who must be orphans; how do they go on living day by day?

In Islam, orphans get very special attention, very special. Allah said;

 فَأَمَّا ٱلۡيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقۡهَرۡ ٩  

Therefore, as for the orphan, do not oppress (him). (Adl-Dluhaa [93]; 9).

أَرَءَيۡتَ ٱلَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِٱلدِّينِ ١   فَذَٰلِكَ ٱلَّذِي يَدُعُّ ٱلۡيَتِيمَ ٢   وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِينِ ٣  

Have you considered him who calls the judgment a lie? [1] That is the one who treats the orphan with harshness [2] And does not urge (others) to feed the poor [3]. (Al-Maa’uun [107]; 1-3).

يَسۡ‍َٔلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَۖ قُلۡ مَآ أَنفَقۡتُم مِّنۡ خَيۡرٖ فَلِلۡوَٰلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَ وَٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَٰكِينِ وَٱبۡنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِۗ وَمَا تَفۡعَلُواْ مِنۡ خَيۡرٖ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٞ ٢١٥  

They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it. (Al-Baqarah [2]; 215).

فِي ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأٓخِرَةِۗ وَيَسۡ‍َٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰۖ قُلۡ إِصۡلَاحٞ لَّهُمۡ خَيۡرٞۖ وَإِن تُخَالِطُوهُمۡ فَإِخۡوَٰنُكُمۡۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُصۡلِحِۚ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَعۡنَتَكُمۡۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٞ ٢٢٠  

On this world and the hereafter. And they ask you concerning the orphans Say: To set right for them (their affairs) is good, and if you become co-partners with them, they are your brethren; and Allah knows the mischief-maker and the pacemaker, and if Allah had pleased, He would certainly have caused you to fall into a difficulty; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Al-Baqarah [2]; 220).

وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ مَالَ ٱلۡيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِي هِيَ أَحۡسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡلُغَ أَشُدَّهُۥۚ وَأَوۡفُواْ ٱلۡكَيۡلَ وَٱلۡمِيزَانَ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِۖ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۖ وَإِذَا قُلۡتُمۡ فَٱعۡدِلُواْ وَلَوۡ كَانَ ذَا قُرۡبَىٰۖ وَبِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡفُواْۚ ذَٰلِكُمۡ وَصَّىٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ ١٥٢  

And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner until he attains his maturity, and give full measure and weight with justice– We do not impose on any soul a duty except to the extent of its ability; and when you speak, then be just though it be (against) a relative, and fulfill Allah’s covenant; this He has enjoined you with that you may be mindful. (Al-‘An’aam [6]; 152).

Actually. there are many verses of the Qur’an that talk about orphans. But some of the Qur’anic verses I have mentioned above I think are enough to represent the purpose of this article.

By looking at some of the verses above we can conclude some things as follows;

First; in the surah adh-Dhuhaa [93] verse 09 there is a prohibition against rebuking orphans.

Islam as a religion that carries the mission of peace and compassion for the universe forbids the hurting of others, even fellow creatures of Allah Ta’ala. But of the many creatures that exist on this earth, in some verses the orphans are clearly mentioned. Even in this verse there is a clear ban on them. Of course, this prohibition aims to keep their feelings. They have lived a life full of suffering!

Second; in the surah al-Maa’uun [107] verses 1-3 there is a firm threat, that the person who rebukes the orphan is a person who denies the teachings of religion. Islam is very protective and loves the orphans.

In addition to the prohibition of yelling at orphans, Islam also severely punishes those who violate the ban. In this verse it is said very clearly, that the person who snarls at orphans is the believer of religion. Yes, denigrating the religion of Islam. it means that person denies the teachings under the prophet Muhammad.

Third; in surah al-Baqarah [02] verse 215 the obligation for every Muslim who is able to set aside part of his wealth for orphans.

Islam greatly respects the rights of all people. In the view of Islam everyone is entitled to a decent life, such as food, drink, shelter, clothing, education, health, and so forth. Islam also advises Muslims who have the wealth to give their possessions to the capable. In this verse the orphan is referred to specifically as a party entitled to receive some of the rich Muslim’s wealth. In other words, in the wealth of the rich Muslim there is the right of orphans. The right should be given.

Fourth; in the surah al-Baqarah [02] verse 220 there is a statement that doing good to orphans is good in the teachings of Islam.

To do good to others is a duty of every Muslim. We can also find the command to do good to others. There are so many. In this teaching there are several classes of people who are entitled to receive the goodness of others, among them orphans, as in the letter of al-Baqarah verse 220.

Fifth; in surah al-‘An’aam [06]; 152 There is a ban on touching the property of orphans and may manage their property in a good way. the person who manages the orphan’s estate well should return the property to the orphan if it has entered adulthood.

Could be, orphans when their parents died leaving their inheritance for them. Because they are small children who have not been able to take good care of the inheritance, then for those who are able to be allowed to take care of the inheritance as described in the letter of al-An’am verse 152. But to note here is, that the management should be done in a good way, should not be arbitrary. And, if the orphan is an adult, then all the managed estate must be handed over to him.

The virtues of orphans, other than mentioned in the verses of the Qur’an as mentioned above, are also mentioned in the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad. We can see some of them as below;

من مسح رأس يتيم كان له بكل شعرة تمر عليها يده حسنة 

Whoever wipes the head of an orphan then he gets the reward of every hair that his hand passes. (Abu Na’im, Hilyatu al-Auliyaa’, 8/191).

من مسح رأس يتيم لا يمسه إلا لله كان له بكل شعرة مرت عليها يده حسنة , ومن أحسن إلي يتيمة – أو يتيم – عنده كنت أنا وهو في الجنة كهاتين : وقرن بين أصبعيه 

Whoever wipes the head of an orphan, he does not wipe it except for just hoping that Allah is pleased, then he gets the reward of every hair that his hand passes. Whoever takes care of orphaned women-or orphan man-well in his home, then me and him in Heaven like these two fingers (he connects his two fingers). (Ibnu Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Takhriij Misykaatu al-Mashaabiih, 4/427).

عن سهيل بن سعد رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم : ( أنا وكافل اليتيم في الجنة هكذا ) , وأشار بالسبابة والوسطى وفرج بينهما

From suhail bin Sa’ad radliyallaahu ‘anhu, he said; Messenger of Allah shallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “I and the person who take care of orphans in Heaven like this.” He gestures with the index finger and middle finger and then open between the two. (The hadith is narrated by al-Bukhari, 4892).

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رجلا شكا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قسوة قلبه فقال له : إن أردت أن يلين قلبك فأطعم المسكين وامسح رأس اليتيم 

From Abu Hurairah radliyallaahu ‘anhu, that someone complained to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam about his hard heart. He then said to him, “If you want your heart to be soft then give the poor food and wipe the head of the orphan.” (Ahmad, 2/263, ath-Thabrani, Makaarimu al-Akhlaaq, 1/120/1, and Ibnu al-Jauzi, al-Birru wa ash-Shillah, 306).

خير بيت في المسلمين بيت فيه يتيم يحسن إليه , وشر بيت في المسلمين بيت فيه يتيم يساء إليه 

As good as the house of the Muslims is a house in which there are orphans that he is fostering well, and as bad as the house of the Muslims is a house in which there are orphans that he treated badly. (Al-Husain bin Harb al-Maruzi, al-Birru wa as-Shillah, 195).

If we look at the description above, then we can conclude that the position of orphans in Islam is very special, even taken seriously. All their rights should be given and all that could harm them must be eliminated. It is all mentioned very clearly in so many verses of the Qur’an and the hadith of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

May we all be among the chosen people who can do good to orphans. Even if we can not help and do good to them, may we not include those who harm them. Amen!

I think that’s enough for this article about the virtues of caring for orphans and their position in Islam. Hopefully it can be useful for the peace of mankind on this earth, especially for orphans.

See you again in the next article!


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