قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : أحب بيوتكم إلى الله عز وجل بيت فيه يتيم مكرم
Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, “The most loved homes to G’d, mighty & sublime, are homes in which the orphan is honored.”
According to Islamic law (shari’ah), Muslims have a responsibility to show benevolence and care for orphans. Orphans according to the Islamic definition are those children, who are left with no protection from their fathers due to death. Traditionally in the history of humanity, men have been the maintainers of their families not only monetarily but also in providing physical protection. In this context, orphans are vulnerable and need aid and protection from the community even if their mothers are still living.
وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَاةَ
G’d says in the Qur’an (2:83):
[and be good] to the orphans and the very poor, speak kindly to men, make prayer, and give in charity.
G’d decreed that his final prophet, Muhammad (SAAS), would become an orphan at a very young age. Besides the clear mandate within the Qur’an to care for orphans, Muslims have a natural affinity towards orphans because of the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS).
أَرَأَيْتَ ٱلَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِٱلدِّينِ فَذَلِكَ ٱلَّذِي يَدُعُّ ٱلْيَتِيمَ وَلاَ يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ ٱلْمِسْكِينِ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلاَتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَآءُونَ وَيَمْنَعُونَ ٱلْمَاعُونَ
G’d says (105:1 – 7):
Have you seen the one who rejects [the true spirit] of religion?
That is he who repells the orphan.
And does not advocate for the feeding of the very poor.
Woe to you worshippers!
Those who pray yet are heedless.
Those of them who strive to be seen [by men].
But neglect [societal] needs.
If one does not show compassion and tenderness to the orphans, he/she is not a true Muslims.
And surely G’d knows best.