Knowledge treasure series                                            1

I and the Sponsor of the Orphan

(will be) in Paradise

 

By: Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Faraj

 

Translated by Keysar Trad

For

Human Appeal International

Copyright Notice

 

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Contents

Click on the Asterisk (*)to move to the selected topic.

A word from the translator    *

The retention of the Yutm noun by women:  *

The Excellence of sponsoring the orphan     *

The reality of sponsoring the orphan:           *

Talking to the orphan with the kindest words          *

The taking of the pledge, and a specific instruction towards the orphans  *

How to be kind to the orphan            *

Be for the orphan as the kind father *

How to use the money of the orphan:           *

What is to be spent on the wedding of the orphan:  *

Taking witness over the money of the orphan:        *

Trustee in marriage to a sponsor:     *

Marrying the orphans:          *

The mixing of the money of the orphan with the money of his guardian:   *

The prohibition of usurping the money of the orphan          *

The reality of the fire in their bellies:           *

Taking from the money of the orphan in justice:     *

The severe warning   *

Protecting the money of the orphan  *

Trading in the money of the orphan  *

A story which carries a lesson.          *

Warning against ill treatment of the orphan *

Kindness to the orphans and the needy        *

Orphan sponsorship program            *

Goals of the orphan sponsorship program    *

Who is the orphan who is cared for by Human Appeals?    *

Overseeing the orphan          *

How do I sponsor an orphan?            *

 

 

 

I and the sponsor of the orphan

(will be) in Paradise

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright

Arabic              First print: 1415 Hijra - 1995

© Copyright: Human Appeal International

United Arab Emirates - Ajman - PO Box 1286

Phone (06)422115                   Fax: (06) 427444

English  First Print 1420 hijra - 1999

Translated into English by Keysar Trad

© Full Copyright for the English translation rests with the translator Keysar Trad

This book has not yet been published, for more information please write to:

keysar@speednet.com.au

http://www.speednet.com.au/~keysar

Mobile: Sydney, Australia 0410 336 922

 

Knowledge treasure series

             (1)

 

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In the name of Allah the Source of All Mercy the All Merciful

Introduction

 

All gratitude to Allah as befits to offer gratitude to Him, peace and blessings upon His most honoured prophet and His foremost messenger, and on his family and companions.

Islam has given the orphan a tremendous position in Islamic society. It has placed on his sponsorship a most sought after honour, and that is the companionship of the prophet Muhammad (may the choicest peace and blessings be upon him) in the Janna where one will find the pleasure of Allah - Glory to Him.

Allah - Most Exalted has honoured the scholar Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Faraj and inspired him to dedicate a special thesis on the sponsorship of the orphan in Islam. The thesis deals with the issue of sponsoring orphans from a legal (Islamic Shar'ia) point, and from the point of honour it brings to the sponsor. Dr Faraj responded to this internal call - and perchance, the wishes of the other well wishers were also with him - he revitalized his energy and requested the assistance and blessing from Allah, and there came this gentle presentation: "I and the sponsor of the orphan in Paradise". The worthy author has given me a preview - with the scholarly humility known in him - before he sent it to the printer. I saw that this book has all the required literary form from both the artistic and the shari'a aspects - both in subject matter and goal. All gratitude to Allah. The author has:

1 - highlighted the honour of sponsoring orphans in Islam,

2 - clarified their financial, educational, and social rights, and

3 - outlined the management of their finances with the utmost of trust, growth, care, and God consciousness.

In this respect, the author - may Allah reward him well - has brought together important information which was interspersed in the hearts of various sources and compositions, linking the branches and the offshoots, and including the simple and the difficult, with the best composition and most beautiful presentation.

Our community indeed needs these subjects which many people have become oblivious to.

Further, I have recommended to the author - the hard worker for Islam may Allah reward him - to add this beautiful composition to the valuable Islamic library which should be present in every Muslim home.

Sheikh Ahmad AlMousa

Islamic and artistic supervisor for the Manar - ul - Islam magazine.

 

 

 

 

Dedication

I dedicate this book to all who have brought tidings of the great companionship with the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) in paradise through sponsoring an orphan. They have succeeded a great success (with the will of Allah), the continuing reward of their deed will not stop until the day of resurrection.

Also to those whom Allah sheltered with His care, adopted with His guardianship, and compensated them for the loss of the compassion of the parents, with other Muslims to Allah Most High.

To every person who wishes to participate in the honour of sponsoring the orphan, and who hastens to compete in sponsoring orphans and working for their interests.

 

A word from the translator

I am grateful to Allah for allowing me to offer this humble effort for this crucial program. This book is more in the nature of an academic study. As a result, it is useful as a source of information that can be developed into a number of studies. I have chosen not to include one subsection in the book as I did not consider it to be relevant to the English reader. This subsection (the one paragraph that was removed) details the differing views of the Imams Abu Hanifa, Shafi and Ahmad with respect to the more controversial aspects that relate to marriage. Those readers who have a specific interest in this regard should either consult the Arabic text or investigate this issue in the books of FIQH.

I am also grateful to Allah that we as Muslims in Australia have progressed to the level where we have a number of organisations that offer orphan sponsorship programs..

I am also indebted to brother Bashar Al-Jamal, Regional Director of Human Appeal International for Australia and the South Pacific, for singling me out to do this translation, and offer this service to Islam.

My gratitude also to the following people who helped me proof read the translation, without their efforts, this books would undoubtedly contain many errors: Paul Lamour, Rabei' Trad, Azza Riad, Khaled El Hassan and Siddiq Buckley.

I commend this program to every person who reads or hears about it.

 

Keysar Trad

(translator)

(July 1997) Back to contents

 

 

Preface

All gratitude to Allah the Lord of the worlds, peace and blessings on the most honourable of all creation, our messenger Muhammad and on his family companions, and those who followed them.

Allah has revealed the extent of greatness of His beloved chosen messenger (peace and blessings upon him) with His words: "Did He not find you an orphan so He sheltered you." This indicates that the orphan has a high position and a great honour which attaches to him in every time and place for the reason that the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) was born an orphan. Thus, the orphan should not be saddened at the loss of his parents or one of them, but should be comforted with his great role model the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him). Islam has given a great reward, one beyond description, to the sponsor of the orphan, and the one who goes out for the needs of the orphan. For this reason, the sponsor is in a position beyond other positions, and that is in the esteemed company with the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) in Paradise.

Bukhary has narrated that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "I and the sponsor of the orphan will be in paradise like this, and pointed to his index and middle fingers and made a small gap between them."

So congratulations to the one who hastens to this great company and to achieve this great honour by sponsoring the orphan and toiling to look after him, seeking that his name is recorded in the company of the successful in a paradise the breadth of which is the heavens and the earth prepared for the God conscious.

This book which is between your hands, my Muslim brother, will show you the exalted attributes to stretch the hand of assistance to the orphans and the impoverished, and the prohibition of theft of the money of the orphan or causing harm to him, and the rules which are linked to this. I ask Allah Exalted and Glorified to guide all of us to care for the orphans and take their hands in the most honest and caring way, and to reward the managers of Human Appeal International the best reward, He is indeed All Hearing, All Responding.

Having said this, where I have fallen short, that is from me, and where I have done justice, that is from the blessing and assistance of Allah most High. Indeed, my guidance is from Allah, on Him I rely, and to Him I return." May Allah bless and send peace on His messenger Muhammad and his family and companions, and our closing supplication is: All gratitude to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

The poor to Allah

Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Faraj

 

 

Who is an Orphan

The meaning of the word "orphan in Arabic as defined by Ibn Al Atheer: "When referring to people, the orphan is the boy or girl who had lost his or her parents before puberty."

When the orphan reaches puberty, the descriptive "orphan" no longer applies.

Ibn Al Sakeet said: "With respect to people, the orphan is the child who had lost a father, and with respect to animals, it is the animal which lost a mother. As for the boy or girl who had lost a mother, neither would be referred to as a "yateem", each would be referred to as "Munqati’".

Ibn Barriy said: "The "Yateem" is the child whose father dies, "Ajeey" is the child whose mother dies, "Lateem" is a child whose both parents die."

Ibn Khaluweih said: "A bird is orphaned if either the father or mother dies, as they both feed the chick."

Almufaddal said: "The root of the noun yutm is heedlessness or neglect, through it, the orphan was named yateem, as he becomes oblivious to his deceased parent."

Abu ‘Amr said: ""Yutm" is falling away from, from it, the word yateem was taken, because the parent falls away from the child.

 

The retention of the Yutm noun by women:

Abu Sa’eed said: "The woman can be referred to as an orphan, the descriptive can remain with her throughout her life."

Abu ‘ubaida said: " she is referred to as an orphan as long as she is unmarried. When she marries, the descriptive "orphan" would no longer apply to her; AlMufaddal used to serenade:

O Fatem, I will die, so be strong

And do not be frightened, for all women are orphans."

According to the hadeeth: "The orphan girl is asked for her hand, if she remains silent, that is her permission." What is meant by orphan in this hadeeth is the pubescent virgin whose father died before she attained puberty, so the descriptive orphan had been applied to her, this permitted the reference to her as an orphan after puberty. In this respect, the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) was referred to in his adulthood as the orphan of Abi Taleb, because Abi Taleb raised him after the death of his father.

In the Hadeeth of Asha’by: "A woman came to him and said: I am an orphan women, to this, his friends laughed, so he said: All women are orphans, that is; weak."

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Honouring the Orphan

Allah Glorified and Exalted rebuked those who do not honour the orphans and do not encourage others to do honour them.

He, Most Exalted, said: "No indeed, for you do not honour the orphan, nor do you exhort each other to feed the needy." (The Noble Qur`an, sura AlFajr; aya 17)

He also forbade causing harm to, or oppression of the orphans, He Most Holy said: "As to the orphan, do not subdue." (The Noble Qur`an sura AdDuha; aya 9)

Allah has also revealed the severity of the crime of transgression against the orphan, saying: "Do you see the one who belies in the religion, indeed that person is the one who snubs the orphan." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlMa’oun, aya 1 & 2)

He also indicated the excellence of feeding the orphan saying: "And they feed for His love, a needy, an orphan, and a prisoner." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlInsan; aya 8)

He - Honoured and Glorified - also said: "Or the feeding in a day of hardship, an orphan having kinship." (The Noble Qur`an sura Albalad; aya 15)

Allah also reminded His messenger (peace and blessings upon him) of His favour when he was an orphan, in that He gave him shelter and guaranteed his protection, saying: "Did He not find you an orphan and gave you shelter?" (The Noble Qur`an Sura AlDuha; aya 6)

He also enjoined kindness to the orphans, saying: "Do not worship other than Allah, be kind to your parents, your kin, and the orphans." The Noble Qur`an sura AlBaqara; aya 83)

He -Glorified and Exalted - also praised those who spend on the orphans saying: "And brought money for His love to those who are kin, to the orphans, and to the needy." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlBaqara; aya 177)

He Most Exalted also said: "Whatever you spend of good, (spend) in the way of the parents, the kin, the orphans, and the needy." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlBaqara; aya 215)

So be sympathetic towards the orphan my brothers and sisters, and honour him / her, Allah will appoint someone to do the same for your progeny.

 

The Excellence of sponsoring the orphan

There are many references to the great reward for those who sponsor the orphans.

The messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) has indicated the station of the sponsor of the orphan in paradise. According to Sahl Ibn Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him), the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said: "I and the sponsor of the orphan are in paradise like this, and pointed with the index and the middle finger, leaving a small gap between them." (reported by Bukhary, Abu Dawood, and Tirmithy.)

The matter was further clarified through what has been reported on the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "The sponsor of the orphan, whether he is kin or not, I will be with him in paradise like these two, the narrator pointed to the index and middle fingers." (Reported by Muslim)

The meaning in this hadeeth of the expression: "whether he is kin or not" is that it is the same whether the orphan is related to the sponsor such as a nephew, a brother, a grandson, a stepson, etc., or whether there is no kinship between them.

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The reality of sponsoring the orphan:

Sponsoring the orphan is to fulfill all his needs, and to look after all his interests, including feeding, clothing, and soundly investing his money if he has any. If the orphan has no money, then to spend on him and clothe him, only aiming for the Face of Allah Most Exalted and Glorified.

Almanawy said in Fayd AlQadeer in explaining the Hadeeth: "I and the sponsor of the orphan (will be) in paradise like this." Means that the one who cares for the orphan and looks after his interests, whether using his own money or the money of the orphan - and irrespective of whether kinship exists or not between the orphan and the sponsor - he will be in paradise like this, pointing to his index and middle fingers and leaving a small separation between them. Meaning that the sponsor is in paradise with the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) except that his degree may not reach the same level, but will be very near. The relevance of this nearness of degree is the fact that the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) was sent to a people who did not comprehend the matter of their religion, so he was a trustworthy guide for them and a teacher, similarly the guardian of the orphan works to sponsor a person who is not fully developed so he guides and helps develop this person.

The sponsored orphans will not go astray; for whilst they had lost their fathers and mothers, there will still be those who will sponsor them amongst their relatives who will take the place of the parents when these parents are gone. This sponsorship crystallizes for these orphans by law. Those who sponsor must take heed of the advice of the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) with respect to the orphans, and must fulfill the obligations of sponsorship for the orphans in order to achieve the great station with Allah Most High.

If there are no people on whom the sponsorship is incumbent by law, the orphan will not be lost in Muslim society. For this reason, it is essential to find in the Islamic community welfare bodies that sponsor the orphans with assistance from philanthropists who rush to their sponsorship, because of the greatness of the reward of the sponsor of the orphan. For this we, saw the honourable companions of the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) taking special care to be kind to orphans, including inviting them to share their meals. Imam Bukhary related in his book "AlAdab AlMufrad" that Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar would not take a meal without sharing this with an orphan.The excellence of striving for the orphan:The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) clarified the excellence of striving to support the orphans, according to Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him): The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Whoever fosters three orphans would be as if he had prayed his nights, fasted his days, and came and went proclaiming his sword in the path of Allah, and I and he would be in paradise as two brothers as these two are brothers, and he brought together his index and middle fingers."

(Reported by Ibn Majah)He also indicated the excellence of sheltering the orphan until he becomes independent, according to Zarara Ibn Abi Awfa, according to one of his compatriots named Malek or Ibn Malek, he heard the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) saying: "Whoever takes an orphan from amongst the Muslims to his food and drink until he becomes independent of him, Paradise becomes immediately incumbent for him, and whoever‘s parents reach old age, or even one parent, and he is not kind to them, he will enter the fire, and Allah will make him distant, and any Muslim who gives freedom to a Muslim slave this (giving of freedom) would be his liberator from the fire." (narrated by Abu Ya‘la, Tabarani, and Ahmad on good [Hassan] authority)He also revealed to us the excellence of eating with the orphan, according to Abi Musa (may Allah be pleased with him): The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Any meal that an orphan sits to would never be approached by Satan." (Narrated by Tabarany in AlAwsat, and AlAsbahany, both according to the narration of AlHassan Bin Wasel, AlHafez Abul Hasan May Allah rest his soul used to say: It is a good (Hassan) Hadith, AlAsbahany also narrated it according to Abi Musa) He (peace and blessings upon him) also indicated the station of the house which honours the orphan, according to Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them): the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him said: "The most beloved of houses to Allah is a house which has an orphan who is honoured." (Narrated by AlTabarany and AlAsbahany)

The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) also taught us that striving for the widows is like Jihad in the path of Allah, the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "The striver over the widow and the needy is equal to the Mujahid in the path of Allah, and (is like) the person who spends his nights in prayer and his days in fasts." (Narrated by Bukhary and Muslim)

Spending in the way of Allah has a great reward, and it is privacy in this world and the next (meaning that your sins will not be exposed to others). Imam Ahmad and AlTabarany reported that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Whoever spends on two daughters, or two sisters who are related to him taking account of what he spends on them until Allah Most Exalted makes them independent by His blessing, or suffices them, it would be a veil for him from the fire."

He also indicated the excellence of the woman who devotes herself to her orphans. According to ‘Awf Bin Malek AlAshja’y (may Allah be pleased with him): The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "I and a woman whose cheeks are charred will be like these on the day of resurrection, and indicated with his middle and index fingers, adding, (that she would be) a woman who is widowed, having beauty and a good station in life, who confined herself to the care of her orphans until they are adults or until they die." (Narrated by Abu Dawood).The reference here to one whose face is charred, is Saf’a`. Alhafez said: "That is a reference to a woman whose colour changes to char and blackens from the length of her widowhood, meaning that she constrained herself for her children and did not get married. Hence she did not need to apply beauty preparations to herself in order to please or attract a husband.

The term used here for the widow / spinster is Ayyim, this is an Arabic reference to a woman who has no husband, whether a widow, divorcee, or spinster, whether she had been married previously or not. In this context, the reference is to a woman whose husband had died and left her widowed.

The messenger (peace and blessings upon him) also indicated in another Hadith that such a woman would be the first of people to enter paradise, Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the messenger (peace and blessings upon him ) said: "I am the first to open the door of paradise, However, I will see a woman in front of me, I will ask her: what is your business, who are you? She will say: I am a woman who stayed put, looking after my orphans." (reported by Abu Ya’la with a good [Hassan] authority.)

He (peace and blessings upon him) also gave glad tidings to the sponsor of the orphan, whether he is related to the orphan or not, saying: "The sponsor of the orphan, whether they are related or not, will be with me in paradise as these two, and he brought two of his fingers together." (reported by Albazar.)

He also clarified that the person who fosters one orphan or more, in patient perseverance looking for the pleasure of Allah will be in Esteemed company. Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Whoever shelters an orphan or two, then persevered and looked for the pleasure of Allah, I would be with him in Paradise as these two, and he moved his two fingers, the index and the middle." (Reported by Tabarany in AlAwsat.)

Muhammad Ibn Ishaq said: "There was a group of people living in Medina, not knowing where their livelihood was coming from? And not knowing who is giving them? When Zayn Al’Abideen Ibn AlHussain died (may Allah bless him), they missed this provision, so they realized that it was he, coming to them at night bringing these provisions to their doors. Whilst washing his corpse for burial, they found the traces of carrying the provisions to the widows and the needy on his body.

A man heard Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) saying: "It would be more loved to me to provide for one Muslim family for a month, or a week, or whatever period Allah wills, than to perform one pilgrimage after another."

The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "I swear by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, any Muslim who looks after an orphan, and does this beautifully, and places his hand on his head (in kindness), Allah - Exalted and Most High - will raise him a degree, and record for him a good deed for every hair on the head of that orphan, and erase for him a bad deed for every hair." (reported by Al Khata`y in Makarem AlAkhlaq, and Ibn AlNaggar according to Abdullah Bin Abi Awfa.)He (peace and blessings upon him) also indicated the forgiveness for the sponsor of the orphan, saying: "Whoever sponsors a Muslim orphan, providing for his food and water until Allah gives self sufficiency to the orphan, Allah will make Paradise incumbent for him, unless he does a deed which is unforgivable." (Reported by AlKhata`y in Makarem AlAkhlaq, according to Ibn Abbas.)

He (peace and blessings upon him) also indicated the blessing which descends on the meal which the orphan sits to: "There is no meal which is more blessed than one which an orphan sits to (and partakes in)." (Reported by AlDalimy according to Anas.)

He (peace and blessings upon him) also clarified the importance of orphan rights saying: "O Allah I enjoin upon the rights of the two who are weak, the orphan and the woman." (reported by Ibn Majah and AlHakem in his Mustadrak)He (peace and blessings upon him) also said, indicating the excellence of fostering the orphan: "Any Muslim who takes a Muslim orphan to join him in his food and drink, will certainly enter Paradise, unless he commits a sin which is unforgivable, and the one whose two honoured are taken; (meaning the two eyes), and the one who raises three girls, spending on them, is kind to them, and educates them well, Allah will take him to Paradise." He was asked? What if only two girls, he (peace and blessings upon him) replied: "even if it is only two girls." (reported by Tabarany according to Ibn Abbas.)The goodness of the fathers benefits the orphansAllah Most High narrated to us the story of the two orphans in order for us to heed: "As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city" AlQurtuby said: These two boys must have been very young in order for the additional description of orphan to have been applied to them, their names were Asram and Sareem.

The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "An orphan ceases to be an orphan after puberty." This is the superficial meaning, however, it is possible for the noun orphan to continue after puberty as a mark of sympathy. We have already explained that orphanage for people comes from the loss of the father, however with animals it is from the mother.

 

The treasure which had been left for the orphans:As to the words of the Most High: "and under it was a treasure for them". There has been a difference of opinion with respect to this treasure, ‘Ikrima and Qatada said: "it was a very large amount of wealth, which is what is usually referred to as a treasure, as linguistically, the term refers to money saved; and this has been previously explained.

Ibn ‘Abbas said: "It was knowledge on a tablet which had been buried." He also said, it was a tablet made of gold, which contained the phrase "In the name of Allah the Source of All Mercy the All Merciful, I am amazed how anyone who believes in the decree, may be sad, and I am amazed how anyone who believes in the provision may exhaust himself, and I am amazed how any person who believes in being brought to account is yet negligent, and I am amazed how anyone who believes in the world and how it upturns with its people, still finds comfort in it, there is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." Something similar has also been narrated of ‘Ikrima, ‘Umar the servant of Ghafra, and Uthman Bin ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) according to the prophet (peace and blessings upon him).The words of the Most High: "And their father was a righteous person" may be prima facie understood that the reference was to their immediate father, however, Ga’far Bin Muhammad said that this was their seventh great grandfather; Muqatel said: "It was their tenth great grandfather, they were protected because of him, eventhough he was not mentioned as righteous, and his name was Kasheh, AlNaqash said that their mother was called Dunia. This indicates that Allah Most High will protect the good person and his children and siblings even if they are distant from him.

It has also been narrated that Allah Most High will protect the good person to the seventh generation of his descendants. This is indicated by the words of the Most High: "My Patron is Allah who has revealed the book, and He is the Patron of the good." (The Noble Qur`an Sura AlA’raf; aya 196)

 

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Talking to the orphan with the kindest words

Allah Most High has cautioned about the rights of the orphans and the necessity of taking care of them. Allah Most Exalted said: "Let them fear Allah, those who may leave behind offspring who are weak about whom they would have fear, let them be conscious of Allah, and let them speak appropriate speech." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlNisa`; aya 9.)

What the context indicates, which is different to those who interpret the verse only with respect to the bequest of more than a third, or something similar, is that those who are caring for an orphan should be kind to them, especially in speech. They should not address them in any manner different than that used with their own children. They should also behave towards the orphan with honesty, kindness, and goodness, and to be faithful trustees over the inheritance of the orphan in the same manner that he would expect their heirs to be treated after them, keeping in mind that the reward is of the same nature as the deeds. Allah Most High said: "The Owner of the day of Deen" Meaning the day of recompense. As you lend, you will be lent: That is, as you do will be done with you. So while the person deals with the money of others with respect to their children faithfully, and dies, Allah will reward him with respect to his money and his progeny, dependents, and the rest of his associations, as he behaved towards the others. If it was good, it will be good, and if evil, then evil.

The sane person would fear with respect to his religion and children and behave towards the orphans under his care (and their money) as he would like a guardian to behave towards his children (and their estate) should they be orphaned.

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The taking of the pledge, and a specific instruction towards the orphans

Allah Most High has taken the pledge from the children of Isra`il to be kind to the orphans saying: "And when we took an oath from the children of Isra`il that they worship none but Allah, and kindness to parents and the relations, and the orphans and the needy, and say to the people kind words, and establish prayer, and offer charity, then you deviated, except a few of you, while you were objecting." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlBaqara; verse 83)

Allah Most High placed the commendation with respect to the orphan ahead of that for the needy, and He did not place a condition of poverty or need with respect of the orphan so that it is known that the orphan is meant because he / she is an orphan, irrespective of other issues.

Some of the scholars have said: "Allah specified in His commendation, the orphan in the Qur`an and the Sunna many times. It should be sufficient to note that the Qur`an had forbidden harshness with the orphan, and is severe in its admonition and warning to those who would consume unjustly the money of the orphan. Had the issue been that orphans were needy, the issue would have stopped with the mention of the needy. In fact, the issue here is the fact that the orphan does not normally find a person who would just care for him out of natural compassion, particularly to ensure his development, upbringing, and education with respect to both religious and worldly matters etc..

If the mother is alive, she would more often than not be handicapped by the circumstances, and if she remarries after the death of the father of her children, then, the will of Allah, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful. He commended with respect to the orphans, that they be treated by their guardian as his children, caring for both their religious and worldly needs so that they do not become corrupt, and so that others cannot corrupt them. This would stem the spread of corruption in the community and the community would not break up. Care with respect to the upbringing of the orphans is the secret to preventing them from being bad examples to the other children, and good upbringing cannot be achieved when this type of example is present. So neglect of the orphans is a neglect of the rest of the children of the community.

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How to be kind to the orphan

Kindness to the orphan is exercised in good upbringing and the preservation of his / her rights from being lost.

The orphans are like limbs in the body of the community, so if their manners corrupt and their condition deteriorates, corruption will also seep into the rest of the community.

For this reason, kindness to the orphans is necessary, as is cheering them up during times of misery and difficulty. We noted that the orphan was mentioned before the needy as the needy are able to personally strive to obtain their own food, this is something that the orphan cannot do because of his / her young age which would prevent them from this striving.

The command to be kind to the orphans was repeated in the Noble Qur`an, Allah Most High said: "And worship Allah and do not associate in Him anything, and kindness to parents and the orphans and the needy and the neighbour who is near and the neighbour who is a stranger, and the companion at your side, and the wayfarer and those whom your right hand possesses: Indeed, Allah loves not those who are arrogant and boastful." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlNisa`; aya 36.)

Ibn Jarir said in his commentary on this verse: "As for His saying: "the orphans", which is plural for orphan, the child whose father had died, the needy, is the plural for a person in need, and this is a person who is overcome by the misery of poverty and is in need, so he became needy, for this reason He says: You are commended to be kind to these, and to be compassionate towards them, so adhere to my commendation in kindness to them."

Similarly, Allah Most High has commanded kindness to the orphan and to stand up for them in justice, Allah Most High said: "Say Allah gives you the ruling regarding them, and what is recited onto you in the book with respect to the orphan girls, those whom you do not give what has been written for them, and you desire to marry them, and the weak amongst the children, and that you rise for the orphans in justice." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlNisa`; aya 127)

Some scholars have said that Allah Most High commends kind treatment to the orphans in this situation because the orphan may be neglected usually because of the loss of the strong ward who (in this case, the father) would normally look after his interests. At times the attention may be incomplete because of ignorance which is in reality a crime upon the mind and a corruption of the character which would make the orphan evil for the children of others. This would lead the other children to emulate some of his corruption when he mixes with them. Little can the mother do to fully raise the child, regardless of her skills.

Similarly with the needy, the security of the community is not safeguarded except through looking after them and improving their condition. If the wealthy neglect them, they would become a tribulation and a problem for others. Little do people look at need more than having no possessions or money, it is important to know the causes for this, for some people, their need and weakness may have been caused by natural disasters which took all their money through no fault of the victim. These are the real needy who must be supported with sufficient money to fulfill their need. Others are those who have no possessions because of their extravagance and luxurious and haughty lifestyle, and others have no possessions because of their laziness and their neglect of work waiting for handouts and looking to depend on the charity of others.

Others are needy because they looked to earn money through cheating others. They embezzled and deceived until they were discovered and exposed, so their businesses failed. Therefore, the needy are of two types, one who may be excused and may be assisted with money to spend or assisted to earn money if he is able to do so. The other needy who may not be excused would need to be directed to his shortcoming, such person should not be helped to be more extravagant and haughty, he must be directed to the different means of earning a livelihood, if he accepts advice then so be it, and if not, he is left to those charged with authority, and Allah is Observant with respect to what His creatures are doing.

So benevolence to orphans and the needy and sponsoring them and looking after their need is an exalted affair. It is the constant obedience and the continuing Jihad which leads its practitioner to the bounty of Allah and His pleasure. It also places this person in the honoured company of the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him).

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Be for the orphan as the kind father

It has been narrated that Allah Most High had revealed to David (peace upon him): "O David, be for the orphan as a kind father, and be to the widow as a compassionate husband, and know that as you sew so shall you reap." Meaning that as you do will be done to you, you will one day die and your child may remain an orphan behind you, or your wife will be left a widow. David (peace upon him) in his appeal to Allah said: "My God, what is the reward of the person who supports the orphan and the widow, seeking only Your Face?" Allah said: "His reward is that I will shade him with My shade on a day on which there is no shade except My shade." Meaning, the shade of the throne on the day of resurrection.Being gentle with the orphan and wiping his headMany Ahadith have been narrated with respect to being gentle with the orphan and wiping his head, Abi Umama (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Whoever wipes the head of the orphan, not wiping it for any reason except the pleasure of Allah, he would have the reward of a good deed for every hair that his hand touches, and whoever treats well an orphan girl or orphan boy under his ward, I would be with him in paradise like these two, and he made a small gap between his two fingers, the index and the middle." (reported by Ahmad)

He (peace and blessings upon him) also showed the panacea for the hard heart, Abi AlDarda` (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "A man came to the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) complaining of the hardness of his heart, he said to him, would you like for your heart to soften, and to fulfill your need?: Be merciful to the orphan, and wipe his head and feed him from your food, your heart will soften, and you will achieve your need." (reported by AlTabarany)

Similarly, feeding the needy, Abi Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man came to the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) and complained about hardness in his own heart, the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said: "wipe the head of the orphan and feed the needy." (reported by Ahmad, its narrators are men of true Hadith.)Whoever is merciful to the orphan, this would be a safeguard for him from the punishment of Allah Most High, Abi Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) also narrated that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "By Him Who sent me in truth, Allah would not punish on the day of resurrection a person who was merciful to the orphan and was soft with him in speech, and was compassionate because of the fact that he is an orphan and is weak, and he did not cause injury to his neighbour in what Allah has given him." (Reported by AlTabarany)

The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) also showed how to wipe the head of the orphan, Abdullah Bin Abdullah narrated: The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "The orphan’s head is wiped in this manner," Saleh described that he placed his palm on the front of the head immediately above his forehead, and moved it towards the middle of his head, and then moved it back to the front of the forehead, "and if the child has a father in this manner." This is described in AlAwsat in a similar manner saying: The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "If the boy is an orphan, wipe his head in this manner to the front, and if he has a father, then to the back from the front." (refer Majma’ Alzawa`id vol. 8, p163)Bringing happiness to the orphansMany Ahadith have also been narrated with respect to bringing happiness to the hearts of the orphans, the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Paradise has a dwelling called the dwelling of happiness, none enter it except the one who brings happiness to the orphans of the believers." (Reported by Hamza Bin Yusuf AlSuhmy In his Mu’jjam, and Ibn AlNaggar according to ‘Iqbat Bin ‘Amer)

In another narration: "In paradise there is a dwelling called the dwelling of happiness, none enter it except those who bring happiness to children." (narrated by Ibn ‘Adiy according to ‘A`isha)Improving the condition of the orphanAllah Most High has motivated us to improve the condition of the orphans saying: "They ask you about the orphans, say improvement for them is good." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlBaqara; aya 220)

AlQurtuby has mentioned seven issues in his commentary on this verse:1 - Abu Dawood and Nasa`i reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas who said: When Allah Most High revealed: "Do not approach the money of the orphan except in that which is better" (The Noble Qur`an sura AlAn’am; aya 152), and His words: "Indeed those who consume the money of the orphans oppressively." (The Noble Qur`an sura AnNisa`; aya 10), every person who was caring for an orphan went and separated his food and drink from the food and drink of the orphan, so the orphan would either finish his food, or it would go off. They found this difficult after a while and mentioned their predicament to the messenger (peace and blessings upon him). On this, the revelation from Allah Most High came: "And they ask you concerning the orphans, say improvement for them is good." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlBaqara; aya 220)

On this they mixed their foods and drinks (as narrated by Abi Dawood)

This verse is linked to what is before it; as it contextually relates to wealth, and the safeguarding of the money of the orphans.

It has been said: The person who asked the question was Abdullah Bin Rawaha, and it has been said that the Arabs considered it bad fortune to use the orphans money and eat from the food of the orphan, so the verse was revealed.

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How to use the money of the orphan:

2 - When Allah Most High gave permission to use the money of the orphans with the intention of improvement and care for the orphans, this was an indication that it was permitted to use the money of the orphan as a trustee. So the trustee can use the money in trade etc. Therefore, if a man sponsors an orphan and takes him into his household, and he saw that it was proper to invest this money, then he would do this. The verse is open, and the sponsorship of the orphan is a collective responsibility. It has not been reported of any Khalipha preferring another person over an orphan, even when the orphan was wealthy.Investing the money of the orphan:3 - There is an extensive list of references with respect to trade and investment of the money of the orphan, and the permissibility of using this money in the same trade as that of the sponsor; on the condition that this is in the best interest of the orphan.There is a difference of opinion on whether the money of the orphan may be used as a loan, Ashhab has regarded it forbidden in the same manner as it would be forbidden for the sponsor of the orphan to use the money of the orphan to buy goods for the orphan’s use from his own merchandise. Others said that if the sponsor borrows with the proviso that he shares part of the profit with the orphan, this would be better. This was equated with buying something for the orphan to sell for profit, this would increase the wealth of the orphan and would be better for him. Muhammad Bin ‘Abdul Hakam said: "He can even sell on credit on behalf of the orphan if he calculated this to be to the advantage of the orphan.

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What is to be spent on the wedding of the orphan:

Ibn Kanana said: The guardian of the orphan can spend on the orphan's wedding according to the norm which is within the means of the orphan and the status of the bride.

He said: the same with respect to his circumcision; however, if he feared that he would be accused of overspending, then he can take the issue to the governor who would issue an appropriate order. Everything that is done with consideration of the best interest of the orphan is permitted, what is done with poor consideration is forbidden. It is also required for the guardian to teach the orphan about life and the afterlife, and to hire tutors and teachers for him. If something is given to the orphan by way of gift, the guardian can apply this for the advancement of the orphan also.

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Taking witness over the money of the orphan:

The fourth - Whatever the trustee spends of the wealth of the orphan is treated in two different ways: One where he is able to have a witness over the spending; so his word is not taken without proof. The other is where he is not able to have a witness, in such case, his word would be accepted without proof; so whatever real property he may buy or other property which is normally sold by contract, his word would not be accepted without proof.

Ibn Khuwaymindad said: Therefore, our colleagues distinguished between the situation where the orphan is in the home of the trustee where the trustee spends on him, in which case he is not charged with the responsibility of bringing a witness over transactions relating to his food and clothing; as it would create difficulty to bring witnesses over all that the orphan eats and wears on every occasion. However, if he says: I spent on the orphan for a year before he came to my house, His statement would have to be corroborated by the mother or the nurse of the orphan, otherwise it would not be accepted.

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Trustee in marriage to a sponsor:

The fifth: The scholars are divided as to whether a man can marry his orphan ward, or whether he can buy goods for himself using the money of his orphans? Malek said: Being a trustee for marriage through sponsorship or nursing is stronger than that of kin adding that the Arabs who handed over their children at times of famine were giving them in marriage to their future spouses.

As for buying from the trustee, Malek said: He can buy, as is well known; Abu Hanifa was of a similar opinion saying: The money of the orphan is worth more for him than its face value, because this would be an improvement as indicated by the Qur`an.

Shafi’i said: This is not permitted in marriage or trade, as the Qur`anic verse did not give complete control, it said: "Improvement for them is good." It did not mention what can be looked into.

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Marrying the orphans:

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Abu Hanifa says that a Judge can marry the orphan in accordance with the Qur`an, and these rulings revolve around the above verse, so if the marriage is an improvement in the condition of the orphan, then the apparent meaning of the verse would make it permissible, and it is possible that His saying: "And they ask you concerning the orphans" means they ask you concerning those who are supporting the orphans and the guidelines for their sponsors. This is a generalization which does not stipulate the particular sponsor, his values, or what attributes he must have.

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If it is said: The guardian must keep his money separate for fear of falling into error, if he was to buy from the orphan, the answer is "no". However, this would be a precaution which would keep the guardian away from falling into error; as Allah has permitted the mixing of the resources, and trusted the guardians in this to fulfill trusts, saying: "And Allah knows the corrupter from the improver." Allah has trusted the guardian to his own integrity with respect to every matter which carries concern. It cannot be said concerning this that the trustee is roaming about a prohibited deed, so he ceases. ... Tawoos would say if asked with respect to the orphans: "And Allah knows the corrupter from the improver."The most beloved thing to Ibn Sirin with respect to the money of the orphan, would be for his advisors to get together and advise with respect to what is best; (reported by Bukhary). This in itself indicates that it is permitted for the trustee to buy for himself from the property of the orphan as we have mentioned. The other opinion is that the trustee cannot buy from what is under his control at all, because of the blame that may be laid against him, unless this be the sale by an authority in public.Muhammad Ibn Abdul Hakam said: "The trustee cannot buy from the estate, however, if he nominates another person to do so without the seller knowing that the buyer is representing the trustee, then it would be permitted.

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The mixing of the money of the orphan with the money of his guardian:

The sixth - the words of the Most High: "If you mix with them, then they are your brothers." This mixing is the mixing of the same kind of things together, such as dates with dates, ‘Ubaid said: the mixing with the orphans is when one of them has money and it would create hardship for the trustee to separate his food from the orphan, and cannot find another way but to mix it with that of his family, in this case he can take from the money of the orphan what he regards as sufficient to cover the cost of the food of the orphan, he can then mix this with his own domestic expenses. This may at times lead to under-compensation and at other times to over-compensation; so this verse came with permission in this matter.

Abu ‘Ubaid said: To me, this is the basis of dealing between friends who travel together, they divide their expenses equally, irrespective of the fact that one of them may eat more and others may eat less. In this respect, not every companion whose meal is smaller than his company is happy with this arrangement; however, when this is the rule with respect to the money of the orphan, those who are not orphans have greater provision for generosity, had this not been the case, the exercise would be too onerous for people.

The seventh: - the words of the Most High: "then they are your brothers" means that they are like your brothers, and the condition is that if you mix then they must be treated like your brothers.

The words of the Most High: "And Allah knows the corrupter from the improver." Is a warning, meaning that He knows the one who intends to corrupt the wealth of the orphan, and the one who seeks to improve the wealth of the orphan; so He rewards each for his improvement or corruption.

The eighth - the words of the Most High: "Had Allah willed, He could make you in need." Alhakem has narrated according to Maqsam, according to Ibn Abbas: "Had Allah willed, He could make you in need." Means that if Allah willed, He could make the money of the orphan a grave sin. It has also been said that "A’natakum" which is translated as "make you in need" in the verse, means "destroy you" (AlZajjaj and Abi ‘Ubaida). AlQurtuby said: "it means that He would straiten your situation, however, He wills ease for you. It has also been said: "He would burden you with what would be difficult for you to fulfill, and would make it a sin for you to mix your money with theirs; as He did with those who preceded you, however, He lightened your load. "’anat" is hardship, a person may be in a state of ‘anat, or another might place them in that state.

It is also said with respect to broken bones which have healed when they are hurt by a subsequent injury, they have suffered "’Anat".

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The prohibition of usurping the money of the orphan

Allah most High has forbidden the usurpation of the money of the orphan unjustly. Allah Most High said: "Truly those who consume the money of the orphans oppressively, they are eating into their bellies a fire." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlNisa`; verse 10).

AlSady may Allah bless him said: "The person who consumes the money of the orphan in oppression will be gathered on the day of resurrection with the flames of fire exuding from his mouth, his ears and nose, and every person who sees him will know that he is a usurper of the money of the orphan."

Qutada said: "It came in respect of a man of Ghatafan who was trusted with the money of his nephew who was a small orphan, the trustee usurped the money. The Words of Allah Most Exalted: "in oppression" means unjustly, or in situations where taking it is oppression. However, when the money is used justly, this warning would not apply, Allah Most High said: "And the one who is wealthy, then let him abstain, and whoever is poor, then let him take what is just." Meaning that the poor can take according to need only, or take a loan, or take a fair fee for his work.

However, if necessary, the easiest rule is what the jurists said in these four verdicts. The most appropriate of these with us is that if the trustee is not offering a free service in looking after the improvement of the wealth of the orphan, you would look at his condition, if he is wealthy, he would not take anything, however, if he is poor, and looking after the orphan’s money occupied his time and distracted him from his work, then one can look at the money of his ward and may take from this without the need to refer the matter to a judge, he can take the lesser of the two, either a fair fee for his work, or his provisions to the value that he is accustomed to. He is not permitted to take more than the lesser amount, as for the judge, he cannot take anything at all, as for the step-father, the grandfather, and the mother, they can only take to fulfill their need, as it is obligatory to find their need in the money of their offspring. If the step-father or the grandfather become unable to invest the money of the child, the judge can appoint a trustee and set a fee from the money of the child where there is no donor. However, he should not ask the judge to set a fee even if he is poor.

The trustee can mix his food with that of the orphan, and add from the mixture, the condition will be that this is in the interest of the orphan such that it would be more economical for him than eating on his own, and that the addition would be no more than to cover the apparent need of the orphan.

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The reality of the fire in their bellies:

His words: "In their bellies" means that their bellies are containers of fire, either as a reality in that Allah will create a fire for them to eat into their bellies, or it may mean the expression of the catalyst with respect to the cause for its nature is that it pours into them and remains with them. What it refers to is all types of squander, for in harming the orphan, it is immaterial if this harm takes place through squandering or usurping the wealth. Consumption may have been specified in the verse as in those days, the wealth of orphans usually comprised of livestock, and these are either eaten for their meat, or their milk is drunk. It may be that the behaviour itself was intended. In view of the severity of the caution in this verse, Ibn Daqiq Al’eid said: "Usurping the money of the orphan will bring a bad end, and we seek refuge in Allah, with this in view, the verse was revealed to advise the companions - may Allah be pleased with them, they forbade themselves from mixing their property with that of the orphans until the revelation of the verse: "And if you mix with them, they are your brothers." What the verse is forbidding is the type of mixing which is oppressive, and this would lead to a bad ending and punishment which is usually the result of this oppression. The alternative is that the mixing can be of the greatest kindness. The first verse deals with the oppression, and the second deals with kindness, and this is clearly evident. Allah Most High has harmonized the two saying: "do not approach the money of the orphan except in that which is better, until he attains his strength."

It is of the greatest transgression to unjustly consume the money of the orphan, and an offender is daring to enter the fire, because he would be an oppressor who has stripped himself of faith and exposed himself to the wrath of the All-Mighty through the oppression of the innocent orphan who is not able to find a patron or a helper other than the Lord of the worlds. It would be more chivalrous to care for the orphan and be kind to him and spend on him, however, this person chose to ill-treat the orphan and oppressed him by usurping his money and by keeping him from what his parents left for him, so when he becomes an adult, he finds nothing from the estate of his parents, thus becoming empty handed and poor. The clean conscience would make the brain judge that this oppressor had stripped himself of humanity, chivalry, and honour through his oppression of one who is not able to defend himself or defend his money.

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Taking from the money of the orphan in justice:

The scholars said: "There woud be no blame for any trustee over an orphan, who may be poor, to take from the money of the orphan in justice according to his service to the orphan with respect to the orphan’s best interests and to improve the wealth of the orphan. Whatever exceeds the just fee, this would be embezzlement and would be strictly forbidden as per the words of the Most High: "And do not approach the money of the orphan except in that which is better." (The Noble Qur`an sura AlAn’am; verse 152)

Consuming justly is of four types: one of these is that one can take money from the orphan by way of loan, the second is to take according to need without excess, the third is to take in accordance with a just fee if he worked for the orphan, and the fourth is to take at times of necessity, if his situation improves, he would pay it back, and if not, it would be permitted. These four have been mentioned by Ibn AlJawzy in his exegesis.

According to Qatada, the uncle of Thabit Bin Rufa’a (one of the Ansaars [helpers]), came to the prophet (peace and blessings upon him), whilst Thabit was an orphan in his (the uncle’s) care and asked him: "O prophet of Allah! Thabit is an orphan in my home, what is permitted to me from his money? He replied: That you take in justice taking care not to preserve your wealth by spending his." Narrated by Abu Na’im.

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The severe warning

What came in the Hadith relating to the ascension as reported by Muslim: "I reached a location where there were men who had other men appointed to open their mouths and other men would come with rocks of fire and they would throw these into their mouths, and these would exit from their rear, I said: O Gabriel, who are these? He said: "These consumed the money of the orphans oppressively, in fact they are consuming into their bellies fire."For this reason, the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) forbade Aba Zarr AlGhafary to become a trustee over the money of the orphans in fear that he may fall short with respect to his own rights. According to Abi Zarr (may Allah be pleased with him): The prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said to him: "O Aba Zarr, I see you weak, and I love for you what I love for myself: Do not appoint yourself a leader over two others and do not become a trustee over the money of an orphan." Reported by Muslim.

Usurping the money of the orphan is of the gravest destroyers, Abi Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Avoid the seven deadly sins, they said: O messenger of Allah, what are they? He said: Associating a partner with Allah, magic, killing a person whom Allah had forbidden unless it be in justice, consuming usury, usurping the money of the orphan, fleeing on the day of the advance (of the army), and the maligning of the married believing women who are innocent." Reported by Bukhary, Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Nasa’y.

He also clarified that the person who unjustly takes the money of the orphan would not enter paradise, Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Allah would not allow four types to enter into paradise, and He would not give them a taste of its bounties: The alcoholic, the consumer of usury, the consumer of the money of the orphan unjustly, and the one who is unkind to his parents." Reported by AlHakem.

It is of the gravest sins with Allah on the day of Judgment, Abi Bakr Bin Muhammad Bin Amr Bin Hazm, narrated according to his father, according to his grand father, who said that the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) sent to the people of Yemen a book which included: "The gravest of sins with Allah on the day of judgment are: associating a partner to Allah, killing a believer unjustly, flight on the day of advance (of the army), unkindness to parents, maligning women, learning magic, consuming usury, and consuming the money of the orphan." Narrated by Ibn Habban in his Sahih.

They would be resurrected on the day of resurrection with their mouths flaming with fire.

Ibn Barza (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "On the day of resurrection, some people will be resurrected with their mouths flaming with fire, it was asked: "Who are these O messenger of Allah? He said: "do you not see that Allah Most Exalted says: "Indeed those who consume the money of the orphans oppressively, in fact they are consuming into their bellies a fire."" Reported by Abu Ya’la.

Many other Qur`anic verses and Ahadith have been reported with respect to the severity of the punishment of those who consume the money of the orphans and oppress them, all these are a warning to people lest they fall into this gravely destructive sin.

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Protecting the money of the orphan

Abul Qasim ‘Ubaidullah Bin Sulaiman reported in "The History of Baghdad: "I used to write for Musa Bin Baga whilst we were in Ray, its judge at the time was Ahmad Ibn Badeel. Musa needed to bring together a village there which he had some shares in and he wished to build it. In this village there was also a share for an orphan. I went to Ahmad Ibn Badeel and requested him to sell the share of the orphan for its fair price, he refused saying: The orphan has no need to sell, and I do not trust that I should sell his share whilst he is not in need to sell lest something should befall the money, making me a cause for its loss from him. I said: we would give you as a price for his share, twice its worth. He said, that is not my excuse for not selling, I tried every reason, and he refused until he infuriated me, and I said: Listen judge, you should sell for it is Musa Bin Baga who intends to buy.

He said: May Allah exalt you. It is Allah Most High and Most Exalted!!! - meaning the one who would bring victory to the orphan - so I was embarrassed before Allah to ask him again after this, and I left him. Then I went to Musa, he asked: What have you done with respect to the village? I narrated to him what had happened, when he heard the words "It is Allah" he then wept and kept repeating it, then he said: Do not interfere with this village and look for this righteous man, if he has a need, fulfill it for him. I went to the judge and brought him before the Amir and said: The Amir is grateful to you with respect to the village and he offers to fulfill any of your needs. Hearing this, the judge prayed for him and said: This decision is better and more preserving for his property."

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Trading in the money of the orphan

Islam has commanded the protection of the money of the orphan and to trade with this so that the poor due (Zakat) does not consume it. ‘Amr Bin Shu’ayb said that his father said that his grandfather said that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Look after the money of the orphans so that the poor due (Zakat) does not diminish it." Reported by Tabarany.

‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Trade with the money of the orphan and pay the poor due thereon." Reported by ‘AbdurRazzaq.

AlHakam Ibn Abil ‘Aas said: ‘Umar Ibnul Khattab said to me: "Is there a trader with you for I have some money belonging to an orphan and it is almost time to pay the poor due on it? I said: yes, so he gave the 10,000 to me. I then went for as long as Allah willed, and then I returned to him, he said: What had the money done? I said: It had reached 100,000, he said: return to us our money, we have no need in this amount." Reported by AlShafi’y.

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A story which carries a lesson.

One of the predecessors said: "In my younger days I was thrust deep into sins and alcohol until one day I found a poor orphan boy, I took him and treated him well and fed him and clothed him and took him to a bath where he was cleaned, and I honoured him as a father would honour his son, in fact more, then after this, I went to sleep and saw in my dream: That resurrection had taken place and I was called for my account, and it was ordered that I be cast into the fire for the evil of my sins, then the henchmen got hold of me to take me to the fire. I was being dragged by them in abject humiliation and degradation as I was being led to the fire, then that orphan stopped me on the way, and said: Let him be o angels of my Lord for he had been kind to me and had honoured me. The angels said: we had not been ordered to do this, then the call came from Allah Most High saying: "Let him go, for I have pardoned him as a result of the intercession of the orphan and his kindness to this orphan. He said: Then I awoke and repented to Allah Most Exalted and have exerted every effort to bring mercy and kindness to the orphans.

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Warning against ill treatment of the orphan

As the orphan is without parents, it may be that this lack of parents may lead the guardian not to look after him well, or this may lead the guardian to ill treat him. Islamic law has warned against ill treatment to the orphans. Imam Bukhary in his book "AlAdab AlMufrad and Ibn Majah in his "Sunan" have both reported according to Abu Hurairah that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings uponhim) said: "The best Muslim house is one which has an orphan who is treated kindly and the worst Muslim house is one having an orphan who is ill treated".

Allah Most High said: "As for the orphan, do not subdue." (the Noble Qur`an Sura AlDuha; verse 9)

AlQurtuby said in interpreting the words of the Most High: "As for the orphan, do not subdue." Means that you should not look to oppress him. AlAkhfash said: and pay him his due and remember your own orphanage. Mujahid said: "Do not subdue" means not to belittle.

The orphan has been specified as he has no helper apart from Allah Most High, so He emphasized on this issue, and made the punishment severe for the person who would oppress the orphan.

The verse also required kindness and honour to the orphans, Qutada said: "Be to the orphan as a kind father."

Some of the commentators on the Qur`an said: "As for the orphan, do not subdue" means do not subdue the orphan or dishonour him, instead raise his esteem with good education and raise him on a good character so that he may become a beneficial member in your community, not a germ of corruption the harms of which would spread to those of your community who would mix with it.

Whoever tastes the bitterness of straitened circumstances with respect to himself, he should be ready to feel this with respect to others, for the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) was an orphan. Allah saved him from the humiliation of orphanage and gave him shelter, so who deserves more to honour every orphan in gratitude to Allah?

He also revealed that the punishment for the person who ill treats an orphan will be hastened for him in this world, Alhakem, AlBaihaqy, and AlAsbahany reported in a Marfou’ hadith, according to Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) according to the messenger (peace and blessings upon him): "A man said to Ya’qoob (peace upon him) what took away your sight and bent your back? He said: as for what took my sight, that was weeping over Yusuf, as for what bent my back, this was my sorrow over his brother Binyamin, then Gabriel came to him and said: Are you complaining about Allah Most Exalted? He said: In fact, I am complaining my grief and my sorrow to Allah. Gabriel (peace upon him) said: Allah knows what you said better than you. He said: Then Gabriel went and Ya’qoob (peace upon him) entered his house and said: "My Lord! Would you not forgive the old man, You took my sight, and bent my back, return to me my two loved ones so that I may smell them one smell, then do to me as You will. Then Gabriel came to him and said: Allah Most Exalted greets you with peace and says: Good tidings, for even if they were dead, I would bring them back to life for you so that you would cool your eyes with them, and He says to you: Ya’qoob, do you know why I took away your sight and bent your back and why the brothers of Yusuf did what they did with Yusuf? He said: No, he then said: A needy orphan came to you whilst he was fasting, then you and your family slaughtered an ewe and ate it and did not feed him, and says: I do not love any from my creation as much as I love the orphans and the needy, so prepare food and call the needy to it, Anas said: The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: From that moment, every time evening came to Ya`qoob, his caller would call out: Whoever is fasting, let him be present at the palate of Ya`qoob, and in the morning his caller would call, anybody who wishes to breakfast, let him come and eat at Ya`qoob’s palate."

He has also cautioned about the weeping of the orphan when he is oppressed. Abi Sa’eed Alkhudry (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "Be careful about the weeping of the orphan, for it roams at night whilst people are asleep." Reported by AlAsbahany.

As for the one who unjustly hits an orphan, ‘Umar Ibnul Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: "If the orphan is scourged, the throne of the merciful would shake to his weeping, Allah Most High would say: My angels, what has caused the one whose parents I have taken into the earth to weep, and Allah is more aware of his condition, the angels would say: Our Lord, we have no knowledge, He then says: I make you witness that whoever would pacify him seeking My pleasure, I will give him to his satisfaction from me on the day of resurrection." Reported by Ibn ‘Addiy in AlKamel.

The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) used to wipe the heads of the orphans and treat them kindly.

The messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) also commanded the good upbringing and education of the orphan. Jaber Bin Abdullah said: "I said: O messenger of Allah - peace and blessings upon him - for what should I scourge my orphan? He said: for what you would scourge your own child, without compensating your money by his, and you have no right to his money." Reported by AlTabarany in AlSagheer.

Meaning that it would be permitted to scourge the orphan for his education, however, this would have to be a scourge that does not leave a mark, as a father would scourge his child. However, if the guardian can discipline his orphan without scourging him, then he should do so without scourging him, for scourging the orphan is a grave matter.

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Kindness to the orphans and the needy

Orphans and the needy are two types of people in the most dire need for kindness and assistance. The orphan who has lost his guardian and ward is in a dire need for a helper who would stand to his side and raise his esteem and stay with him until he gains his strength and is able to support himself. In like condition is the needy who does not find the wherewithal to satiate his needs, he also needs someone to reach out to him with a kind compassionate hand. If either the orphan or the needy were left hungry, or if they were to be lost or to stray, the entire community would be held responsible for the outcome of its neglect of the rights of these people.

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============= Human Appeal International =============

 

Orphan sponsorship program

Introduction.

How many a child whose eyes overflow with tears every time he remembers his father who had departed from him? And how many a child starves for the loss of his provider? And how many a child sleeps dreaming of new clothes for the ‘Eid which his father would bring, and then awakens and does not find any to bring these to him? And how many a child drops his books and pens to work with his two hands to support his family?

They are the orphans . . they are the beloved of the Noble messenger (peace and blessings upon him) who had honoured their wards. Allah made them companions of his messenger in paradise when as our messenger peace and blessings upon him sated: "I and the sponsor of the orphan in paradise (will be) like these, and pointed with his middle and index fingers and left a gap between them."

They are the orphans, those whose numbers are increasing every day as a result of wars, catastrophes, and tragedies everywhere.

For them . . . work commenced on the orphan sponsorship program by Human Appeal International in 1985 to be a bridge of goodness linking the donations of the philanthropists with their orphan children.

The program established by Human Appeal for the orphans aims to compensate them - to its best ability - for the compassion of the father and his care and guidance. It does not stop at giving the orphans their monthly financial entitlements from their sponsors, it in fact oversees their development and follows their educational progress and prepares yearly reports about their progress which are forwarded to their sponsors. This is done through social workers who are appointed for the care of the orphans. In addition to this, it encourages the exchange of letters between the sponsor and the orphan in order to strengthen the humanitarian bond between them, guided in this through the words of the Most High: "They ask you concerning the orphans, say: improvement for them is good."

The number of benevolent people is increasing as is their response to the orphan sponsorship program. The number of sponsored orphans reached 10,000 at the end of 1994. These orphans are from Bosnia, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Senegal, and the independent Islamic republics (independent Islamic Russian states). There continues to be a large number of orphans awaiting someone to sponsor them. So would you like to be one of the companions of the Noble messenger in paradise??!!

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Goals of the orphan sponsorship program

The first goal

Ensuring adequate health care, and the encouragement of orphans to participate in physical sporting activities through:

1.         A full medical examination of the orphan every year.

2.         Providing medical treatment and medication to the sick orphans.

3.         Obtaining the required medical equipment for the handicapped orphan.

4.         Encouraging the orphan to participate in sporting activities and the provision of sporting equipment.

5.         Forming sporting teams for the orphans, and organizing matches between them and offering encouragement prizes.

The second goal

Assisting the orphan to complete the basic stages of education, through:

1.         Encouraging the trustee of the orphan to enroll him at kindergarten on reaching the age of five.

2.         Following up on the education of the orphan through evaluations of his educational progress, and interviewing his teachers.

3.         Offering tutelage and other modern educational means for the orphan who is not progressing well at school.

4.         following up on the gifted and excelling orphans and honouring them and applying for scholarships on their behalf.

The third goal

To improve the cultural and educational development of the orphan, through:

1.         Periodic scientific and cultural lectures.

2.         Encouraging the orphan to conduct research and study scientific achievements.

3.         Conducting competitions and offering prizes.

The fourth goal

Social uplift of the orphan, through:

1.         Regular check up visits to the orphan and providing presents on occasions of ‘Eid festivities.

2.         Helping to resolve the problems which may be faced by the orphan.

3.         Helping to create strong relationships between the orphans and their peers.

The fifth goal

Helping the orphan gain qualifications in either a trade or a profession after obtaining the basic education, through setting up centers for teaching the orphans or through enrolling them in government centers which may be established for this purpose.

The sixth goal

Assisting the family of the orphan practically, and the provision of education through:

1.         Establishing basic skills programs and providing work for some of the guardians such as sewing embroidery . . . knitting . . .etc..

2.         Organizing cultural, health, and educational lectures for the guardians.

3.         Holding meetings with the guardians in order to arrive at better ways to support the orphans under their care.

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Who is the orphan who is cared for by Human Appeals?

Orphans fulfilling the following conditions are sponsored by Human Appeal:

1 - Those whose father is deceased, or missing, or both their parents are deceased. The system of sponsorship does not apply to one who has lost a mother and his / her father is still alive.

2 - Those orphans who are recommended by one of the offices of Human Appeal in the particular country, and his place of abode is known.

3 - In prioritizing, we look for the highest need, and it is a condition that the orphan is not receiving sponsorship from another party.

4 - The orphan is not over 18 years of age, the sponsorship ceases on reaching this age, unless the sponsor desires that the sponsorship continues.

5 - One orphan is sponsored from a family having 1 to 3 orphans. Two orphans are sponsored if the family has 4 to 5 orphans. Three orphans are sponsored from a family which has 6 or more orphans.

6 - If the condition of the orphan changes so as to contravene the conditions above, the sponsorship would be given to another orphan, the sponsor would be sent details of the new ward.

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Overseeing the orphan

Human Appeal follows a thorough program in overseeing the orphans who are under our care. We do not only present them with money, we in fact provide them with comprehensive care.

A team of social workers oversees the social and educational care of the orphans.

Amongst the roles of this team is to prepare periodical reports about the orphans and to send these to their sponsors. The team also visits the orphans and checks on their physical well-being and their educational and moral progress. They also oversee the distribution and handing over of funds to the guardians of the orphans, who in turn sign the receipt for the money in order to assure the sponsors that the money is reaching the orphans, knowing that Human Appeal employs one social worker for every 50 orphans. The amount paid to sponsor an orphan is meant to cover the cash amount paid to the guardian as well as the amounts paid for the supervision and social services and the costs of providing medical care and education for the orphan.

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How do I sponsor an orphan?

To facilitate the sponsorship of the orphan, Human Appeal offers a number of options from which the sponsor can choose the one which best suits him / her, these are:

1 - Completing the form for monthly withdrawal from the sponsor's bank account of the relevant amount to be deposited by the bank into Human Appeal "Orphan Sponsorship account," giving this to the bank to approve and stamp, and then sending a stamped copy to Human Appeals, at P. O. Box 406 Lakemba, NSW 2195

2 - Completing the form of monthly transfer which is available at Human Appeal, and sending this to Human Appeal at the above address, to follow through.

3 - Depositing the relevant amount into the "Orphan Sponsorship account number 2191 - 903948 with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and sending a copy of the receipt to Human Appeals at the above address.

4 - Sending a cheque to Human Appeal at the above address showing the relevant amount and specifying the Orphan Sponsorship Program, along with the name and address of the sponsor.

5 - Visiting the office of Human Appeal International at 119 Haldon St. Lakemba and paying the amount of the sponsorship. Immediately on receipt of the relevant forms, we would send the appropriate paperwork, along with a photo of the orphan and various relevant information.