Orphans in Islam are called weak people. This is because the orphan is left dead by his father, so he is left behind by the man/person who is strongest, closest, and most willing to sacrifice for him. He lost the man who looked after him. He lost the man who educated him. He lost the man who cared the most and loved him. Therefore, Islam is very concerned about orphans and recommend Muslims to help the orphan and respect their rights.
“O Allah, I am indeed heavy with the rights of two weak human beings: orphans and women.” (HR Ibnu Majah)
Here is presented the rights of orphans in Islam.
1. Cared and maintained
The orphans in the eyes of Allah SWT is one of the factors that trigger the happiness that is destined for His servant. The happiness is obtained for those who sympathize the orphan with sincerity and affection. The concern and attention given will divert the sadness of the orphans in due to the loss of their parents. We must treat them as a family member, not distinguish them.
Concerning the world and the Hereafter. They ask you about the orphans. Say, “Setting right (their affairs) for them (is) best. And if you associate with them then they (are) your brothers. And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. And if (had) willed Allah surely He (could have) put you in difficulties. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:220)
See also: Importance of Subh Prayer
2. Not spending the wealth that the orphan has outside the purpose of life
The wealth that the orphan has must be used only for the life of the orphan. We must not use it for ourselves because it breaks Allah’s rules.
And (do) not go near wealth (of) the orphans except with that which (is) best until he reaches his maturity. And give full [the] measure and the weight of justice. Not We burden any soul except (to) its capacity. And when you speak then be just even if he is a near relative. And (the) Covenant (of) Allah fulfill. That (He) has enjoined on you with it so that you may remember. (Al-Anam 6:152)
3. Get protection
We are forbidden to persecute and do wrong to orphans, regardless of their form, in terms of speech or deeds. In Surah Ad-Dhuha, Allah (SWT) forbids rudeness against orphans. For example, scolding, berating and bullying them. This kind of deed is categorized as a form of deception against religion. They should be protected against threats because they have already lost their parents that can protect them.
Did not He find you an orphan and give shelter? So as for the orphan, then (do) not oppress. (Ad-Dhuha 93:6 and 9)
See also: Rights of Bride in Islam
4. Get a decent life
Their rights include clothing, food, shelter, and education. Physical needs must also be met, as well as spiritual needs, so that the orphans can grow and develop, both physically and mentally.We need to provide it as a substitute for their parents and not to abandon them because it is forbidden in Islam.
And they feed the food in spite of love (for) it, (to the) needy, and (the) orphan and (the) captive. (Al-Insan 76:8)
5. Their inheritance quota
The portion of the heirs he receives must be kept by the caretaker or person in charge. The property must be returned to the orphan when he/she has grown up. This is as stated in the story of Prophet Khidr while helping two orphans.
“And as for the wall, it was for two orphan boys, in the town, and was underneath it a treasure for them and was their father righteous. So intended your Lord that they reach their maturity, and bring forth their treasure (as) a mercy from your Lord. And not I did it on my (own) accord. That (is the) interpretation (of) what not you were able on it (to have) patients.” (Al-Kahf 18:82)
See also: Rights of Parents in Islam
6. Get an education
Educating orphans well is to guide and direct them to good things and beneficial. Moreover, it is to nurture and warn them not to fall into the things that are destructive and bad behavior. The moral and religious education of orphans is a matter that is obliged to get special attention from us. It is hoped that they will not become the destructive element or the root of misery in the ummah by transmitting the seeds of their moral destruction in association with other people.
7. Honored and not humiliated
Islam forbids to be bad to the orphans. Whether it is degrading, humiliating, abusing, rebuking, punching, being arbitrary and other bad behaviors to them. It is because we are same as a human and have the same degree in the eyes of Allah. He alone never humiliates His people and it is recommended for us to do so. Moreover, the orphans have already lost too much of their life.
But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.” No! But you do not honor the orphan. (Al-Fajr 89:16-17)
See also: How Women Should Behave in Islam
8. Get good intercommunication
Orphans must not be ignored so we must communicate with them. Allah orders us to think that the orphans are our friends like the Prophet does in his life. Allah doesn’t like His servant who is too proud and differentiate someone when he socializes. Moreover, if we ignore the orphans, then they will feel alone because they don’t have parents anymore.
And worship Allah And (do) not associate with Him anything, and to the (do) good, and with the relatives, and the orphans, and the needy and the neighbor (who is) near, and the neighbor (who is) farther away, and the companion by your side and the traveler and what possess[ed] your right hands. Indeed, Allah (does) not love (the one) who is [a] proud (and) [a] boastful. (An-Nisa 4:36)
9. Get sadaqah
The orphans can get sadaqah because Allah told that the orphans included humans that are in need because they have lost their parents. However, when we give sadaqah, we must give to our relatives first then to orphans.
They ask you what they (should) spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good, (is) for parents, and the relatives, and the orphans, and the needy, and (of) the wayfarer. And whatever you do for good. So indeed, Allah of it (is) All-Aware.” (Al-Baqarah 2:215)
See also: Rights of In Laws in Islam
10. Get fair and same treatment
We must not differentiate someone especially the orphans such as giving good treatment only to the good face or the nearest to us. It can cause a jealousy that adds sins to us. We must follow Allah who always treats His servant in fairways. Allah commands us to stand for orphans with justice.
And they seek your ruling concerning the women. Say, “Allah gives you the ruling about them and what is recited to you in the Book concerning orphans [the] girls (to) whom you (do) not give them what is ordained for them and you desire to marry them, and the ones who are weak of the children and to stand for orphans with justice. And whatever you do for good then indeed, Allah is about it All-Knowing.” (An-Nisa 4:127)
11. Taught to manage finances
The orphan must be taught to manage the finance and must pass. Then, when he is graduated and old enough to marry then his property must be given to the rightful (orphan). It is forbidden to eat the orphan’s property beyond fairness and is prohibited from spending the orphan’s money in haste before they grow up. When handed over the property to orphans, we must be accompanied by witnesses.
And test the orphans until [when] they reach[ed] (the age of) marriage, then if you perceive in them sound judgment then deliver to them their wealth. And (do) not eat it extravagantly and hastily (fearing) that they will grow up. And whoever is rich then he should refrain, and whoever is poor then let him eat (of it) in a fair manner. Then when you deliver to them their wealth then take witnesses on them. And Allah is sufficient (as) a Reckoner. (An-Nisa 4:6)
See also: Importance of Islam in Education
12. Freedom of expression
The orphans have a freedom of expression. They can’t be interrupted when telling something or the truth because Allah has already said that all people can express anything.
“Do not forbid someone to give a man the right to tell the truth if he knows it.” (HR Tirmidzi)
More Rights of Orphans in Islam
Here is presented more rights of orphans in Islam.
- Gain health access
- Has a role in Islam and country’s development
- Play and do activities that they want
- Freedom of religion and perform it
- Same in the eyes of Islamic and national law
- Get a living and don’t work
- Protect themselves and self-defense
- Has their own privacy
That’s all the rights of orphans in Islam. Hope we will appreciate their rights more and become a better Muslim.