What the Quran really Says about Orphans
Orphans in the Quran
It’s World Orphans Day; and as millions of people pay tribute to orphans around the world, it might seem obvious that children without parents deserve some extra love and care, right?
But history proves that people haven’t always felt this way.
Thanks to characters like Oliver Twist, we know that in 19th century Victorian England, orphans were sent to abusive and unsanitary workhouses and orphanages.
Things weren’t much different in 16th century Arabia, where lineage meant everything and status came from belonging to a tribe. In a society where everybody was nicknamed ‘the son of so and so’, orphans - who had no lineage - were viewed as the lowest of the low.
In the Quran, Allah (swt) complained to the Quraysh about their treatment of orphans:
‘No! But you do not honour the orphan…’ Al Fajr: 1
In choosing an orphan as His Messenger, Allah (swt) raised the status of orphans everywhere. The Quran revolutionized their treatment, and made caring for orphans a compulsory part of the religion.
Here’s what the Quran really says about orphans…
1. Orphans have the right to support
‘They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend [in charity]. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveller. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”’ Al Baqarah: 215
This verse tells us orphans actually have the right to be taken care of. But with every right comes responsibility, and the Quran places this responsibility on the individual, meaning every Muslim should give to orphans in need.
At a public level, rulers have to make sure orphans are being given their share of charity and Zakat. As far as Islam is concerned, this money belongs to them.
2. Orphans have the right to dignity
’No! But you do not honour the orphan…’ Al Fajr: 17
By rebuking the Quraysh for dishonouring orphans, Allah (swt) is simultaneously telling us that orphans must be honoured and respected.
Not only are they entitled to receiving support; they also deserve to have dignity, just like all people do.
3. Taking care of an orphan is worship
In one verse, Allah (swt) suggests that a person who ignores orphans is not really a believer.
‘Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense [the religion]? For that is the one who drives away the orphan’. Al Ma’un: 1-2
In another, Allah (swt) describes the righteous in Paradise as being those who took care of orphans during their worldly life.
‘And they [the righteous] give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive…’ Al Insan: 8
Allah (swt) and Prophet Muhammad (saw) repeat this promise of Jannah across the Quran and Sunnah, which makes you realise the importance of taking care of orphans and children.
Sponsor an orphan today!
On World Orphans Day 2018, we’re celebrating our amazing OrphanKind appeal, where we provide precious orphans with nutritious meals, clothes, healthcare, an education and a dedicated guardian – all in a loving and caring home.
For just 50p a day, you can sponsor an orphan today and give them the happy and healthy childhood they deserve!
MONDAY 12 NOV 2018