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19-06-2024
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Interpretation of the Quran- Surat Al-Nisa' (4)- Lesson (2)- Verses [2-3]: Being kind to orphans and polygamy
   
 
 
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  
 

Who is the orphan?

 Dear brother, with the 2nd lesson of Al-Nisaa chapter and in Verse 2 of this chapter, Allah says:

﴾To orphans restore their property (when they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.﴿

[Al Nisaa 2]

 Dear brother, in the second verse:

﴾O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord﴿

[Al Nisaa 1]

 Fear to disobey him, to violate his orders, and to deviate from his straight way. One of the details of this deviation is the subject of orphans. The orphan, dear brother, is the one who lost (his/her) father or mother or both.
 And the prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, pointed out that the orphan is not orphan if he reached the age of puberty.
 If we apply the definition which says that every one who lost (his/her) mother, father or both is an orphan, this means that all of us are orphans or most of us are orphans. But the prophet Mohamed, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, clarified that adults are not orphans.
 And something else, when Allah says:

﴾Then did the sorcerers fall down, prostrate in adoration﴿

[Ash-Shuaraa 46]

 There is no sorcerer that may prostrate, but if he does, he is not a sorcerer -
 he is a servant of Allah. That means that if Allah talks about orphans, then Allah meant the one who was an orphan.

Every Muslim should take care of orphans:

 Dear brother, Almighty Allah says:

﴾Therefore treat not the orphan with harshness,﴿

[Al Duha 9

 The orphan lost his father, and the father is the greatest support to the humanAlmighty Allah says:

﴾Say: If it be that you're fathers, your sons, your brother, your mates,﴿

[Al Tauba 24]

 Allah begins with the father for a great reason. The father is the source of pride and power. Allah deposited enough mercy in the heart of the father to take care of his child. That’s way you don’t find a will for the fathers to their sons in the holy Quran. Child care is implanted in the human heart or a part of him. Almighty Allah placed love in the hearts of the parents for the continuity of life and for child care. The believing parents or the nonbeliever, the wicked mother or the good one, any parents in general have a strong inclination to look after their children. But if the son lost his father, this means that he lost the support, the protection, the care, the guidance, love and compassion and the expenditure. Therefore, you have to take care of the orphan, to provide him with the love and compassion that he lost. This is a social duty, a duty of every Muslim. A home in which an orphan is welcomed is a home that Allah loves most. You should look after the orphan, and if you don't, you are a sinner. But, if you hurt the orphan, then you are a criminal.
﴾(9) Therefore treat not the orphan with harshness,(10) Nor repulse the petitioner (unheard);﴿

[Al Duha 9-10]

Islam urges us to take care of orphans:

﴾Seest thou one who denies the Judgment (to come)?[2]Then such as the (man) who repulses the orphan (with harshness),﴿

[Al Ma’un 1-2]

 repulses the orphan (with harshness). This means to beat (him\her) or to hurt him. It is as if Almighty Allah manifested that the ugliest deed is to push back an orphan or to hurt him. If this orphan reached the age of puberty, it becomes the orphan's right to take all (his \her) money. As you know, the orphan may inherit money from his father but because he is a child, he can't run his business and he can't manage his money. Islamic law organized this in a wonderful way which says that every orphan has a guardian who should take care of him and he should be one of his relatives -
 one of his relatives who is well known as righteous, devoted, pious, just and merciful. The same thing goes for the person who is an adult but he is weak of understanding or mentally ill or insane. His money would be placed under guardianship because he can't deal with his money or he may waste his money randomly. He can't buy or sell. But in the case of orphan, if he grows up, he should take his money back, and when he is young, the guardian should spend money on him to provide him with food, clothes and everything he needs. You should spend money on the orphan from the profit of his money, not from the principle (capital), so as to increase his money.
 Almighty Allah says:

﴾But feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice﴿

[Al Nisaa 5]

 You should spend money on the orphan from the profit of his money, not from the principle (capital), so as to increase his money. And, our prophet Mohammed, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, indicated that we should invest the money of the orphans. You should pay the alms of his money (al zakat). So if you wouldn't invest the money, you would lose it by paying the alms, and the biggest loss is to lose the principle of your money (the capital).
 Here we have Allah’s order:

﴾To orphans restore their property﴿

[Al Nisaa 2]

 Some have said: if the orphan is under the age of puberty you should spend money on them for their food and clothes, but when they reach that age, you should test these orphans to see their experience in life, their accuracy in dealing with people, and their wise mentality.

Being kind towards orphans is piety:

﴾If then ye find sound judgment in them, release their property to them﴿

[Al Nisaa 6]

 Some scholars said that if the orphan reached the age of twenty five years old and he is not weak in understanding, mentally ill or insane, he should take all his money unconditionally. You should deal in an honest way with the money of the orphan, and with great wisdom. You may find someone who died at early age, or at war, and he had children - who should take care of them? Who should spend money on them? The judge should set a guardian in the place of their father.
We also have a critical issue: if the one who would invest the money is rich
 he shouldn't take anything in return, and if he is poor and in need, he should take what he needs, and what is enough for him. For example: there is an orphan who put a million pounds with someone to invest it for him. The profit of this amount is one hundred thousand in a year and this person, who is investing the money, needs fifty thousand pounds. He should take what he needs only, what enough for him.
Almighty Allah says:

﴾To orphans restore their property (when they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones﴿

[Al Nisaa 2]

One should maintain the orphans’ money as his own:

 The books of interpretation narrated the fact that before Islam there were bad habits. The guardian used to take the good cow of the orphan and replace it with the poor one. He used to take the good ewe and give the orphan the poor one. The problem is that the guardian has the authority and the control over the orphan. If the guardian is a trader and he bought goods from himself, for the orphan he may sell his goods for a miserable price or an expensive price. He would buy from himself. He represents the trader and the guardian at the same time.
 This reminds me of what Allah said:

﴾Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity﴿

[Al Nisaa 19]

 That means not only to prevent yourself from hurting them, but also you should tolerate the troubles from them. You should treat their money as if
The money is yours. And don't forget dear brother the wonderful verse:

﴾(And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities)﴿

[Al Baqarah 88]

 There is a wonderful meaning in this verse: don't use up your money.
 Someone would say, “It's my money, why shouldn't I use it up?” Actually, it is not your money, it is your brother's money, but it was described as your money in the respect of treating it and saving it as if it were.  For example: you may lend your car to someone. You may say to him, “It is your car”. This means, “Use it the way you use your car”.

If you don’t keep your brother’s money he’ll be a load on you:

 Another thing: If you save your brother's money, this money would increase and your brother would be content and satisfied. But if you don't save his money, he would start to lose it. Your brother would be a burden on your shoulders. The wise believer finds in the strength of the believers a power in himself, and he sees in their weakness, weakness in himself.
 Then Allah says:

﴾(And devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own.)﴿

[Al Nisaa 2]

 To devour is to add his money to your money, to mix it with yours. Almighty Allah prohibited this ugly form of fraud, of using up his money although you are rich.
 Almighty Allah says:

﴾And devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.﴿

[Al Nisaa 2]

 It is a great sin: if the poor person shouldn't take the money of the orphan,

 Then how is it in the case of the rich? For example, Allah says:

﴾Say not to them a word of contempt﴿

[Al Israa 23]

 It is prohibited to use the orphan’s money to protect your

 Allah prohibited us from saying a word of contempt to our parents. How then if you were harsh with them in words or if you push them back? This is the same case here. The problem is that the child couldn't ask you about his money and the way you invested it - if the guardian is a trader of unknown goods, the profits are unknown. If he invests the money of the orphan in this trade and he loses, he would say glory to God, it is God's will. And, if he won, he was able to test the market. He made the orphan's money a pretext to examine the market.
 If he won with this investment, he would use his money and if he didn't win, he knew it was at the expense of sh3er. He knew the sort of the goods, and their popularity, at the expense of the orphan.
 This meaning was indicated by the prophet Mohammed peace and blessing of Allah be upon him when he says: (Don't make his money inferior to yours, by which you test the market. If you gained with the investment, you would use your money, and if you didn't, you would say it is the act of Allah).
 You should invest the money of the orphan in an investment whose profit is almost certain. If there is a trader who has goods that are continually sold
 And their profits are stable; you should invest the money of the orphan in this kind of transaction.  There are details in the doctrinal books that clarify how you should test the orphan, and how to give him his money. It also explains how the money, which was taken by the guardian, should be witnessed, and how he should spend the money on the orphan, how he should deal with him, how he should treat him, how he should educate him, and how he should discipline him.
 There was man who asked our prophet Mohamed, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him: “Can we punish him if he did something wrong?” Our prophet replied: “The way you punish your son”.
 Now we have a social issue related to this subject.
 Suppose you are a relative, and you have an orphan under your guardianship, and you liked her beauty and you wanted to marry her, or you liked the prosperity of her money and wanted to marry her. Who is the one to decide in the issue of marriage?

Some scholars prohibited man from selling himself:

 And Allah said:

﴾If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans,) ﴿

[Al Nisaa 3]

 So, there is a problem here: you might be unable to be just with her. You may either oppress her by not giving her the dowry, or by not caring about her as a wife. What does she want? She wishes for a loving husband who would love her, respect her, and honor her, and who gives her the dowry she deserves. When someone sells himself, there is a big problem. For example, suppose a relative put money with you to invest
 And you have a clothing factory. You have good experience in this field.
 Now you have a double character - You are the guardian and the other part. What prevent you from buying these goods for one third of the value? The one who gives you the money doesn't know the prices.
She gave it and she trusted you. You can buy for a miserable price
 And you can sell for expensive price, so it is very critical issue.
 Allah Almighty says:

﴾If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess. That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.﴿

[Al Nisaa 3]

Allah allowed polygamy with justice:

 Actually, polygamy is a subject which has been discussed by lots of people. Those who have more than one wife think that this is what should be done, and those who have only one wife think that this is what should be done. Polygamy is not obligatory. Allah allowed it for basic reasons in life but Allah didn't ask you to mention your reason. If Allah did, you would have to expose yourself. But, he asked us to be just and to treat justly. I have mentioned to you before that there was a program about polygamy. This program was based on questions posed to very important specialists in this subject in the East. There was a question to one of the professors in the collage. She was asked by phone about her opinion of polygamy; her answer was wonderful indeed. She said: “How can I say my opinion about Polygamy and almighty Allah allowed it?” The creator of heavens and earth allowed it. In the Islamic religion there is no wife and mistress, there is only a wife. It is very clear relationship, under the light of the day, without fear, dread and cover. Marriage, in the Sunna of our Prophet, should be announced. We have nothing to be ashamed of in Islam.
 There are reasons one might require another wife. Suppose the first wife is sterile - we don't throw her to the streets, we keep her in her home and we honor her. Moreover, one should look for a productive wife. In times of war countries may lose million of martyrs and that may cause a lack of men. There are lots of reasons, but more importantly, you should be just between them. You should be just with the home, time, and living standards.
 Our prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said: “O Allah, this is my part of what I own. Don't blame me for what you own and I don't own.” You may favor one more than the other because of her good words or her beauty or because of her tenderness. You are not asked to be just in your tendency, but you are asked to be just with the house, time and the expenditure.

﴾If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans﴿

[Al Nisaa 3]

 This means if you married this orphan, and you treat her unjustly, you should leave her and you should give her her rights completely. If there is a man whose brother passed away, and he had daughters, these daughters become the brother’s daughters when they come under his guardianship.
 If he hesitated to visit his brother's house after his brother’s death, what prevents him from marrying their mother? Nothing. He has to marry her and if he did, he would solve a big problem.

If you can’t be just, you must take only one wife:

 Some books narrated that there was a woman who came to Omar Ibn Alkhatab, may Allah be pleased with him, complaining about her husband in a very gentle way. She said: “Emir of the believers: my husband is fasting during the day and praying all night. It seemed that the Emir of the believers was busy and he said: “Allah blesses your husband.” One of the companions of the Prophet was listening to them. Then he said: “Emir of the believers, she is not praising him. She is complaining about him in a polite way. The Emir of the believers judged between them and he compelled the husband to dedicate himself to her one day every four days.
 He shouldn't be neither fasting all day nor praying through the night on her day. And, once Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, saw the wife of Osman bin Mazoon in a very bad situation - she was not caring for herself or her look. When she asked her, she said: “What should I do with him? He is fasting and praying all day.” The Prophet called for the husband and he said: “Don't you take me as a model. I fast and eat. I pray at night and I sleep.”
 Osman then went to his wife and he gave her some of his attention. The next day, she came sweet-smelling and fresh. The sisters asked her about it. She said: “What normally happens to people took place.”
 Dear brother, the one who sees himself unable to be just between two wives or more, should stay with one because this is big injustice and he will be asked and punished on the Day of Judgment. By Allah, I am honest with you. There are many people who don't apply these instructions. One wife takes everything, and the other one has nothing. Most of the people who had more than one wife and didn't treat them justly were very regretful. If they responded to the pressure of the first one, they would be unfair to the other.
 In conclusion, if you don't feel you are able to be just and to treat them justly, you should be content with one.

﴾But if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one,﴿

[Al Nisaa 3]

 And in another lesson, Allah willing, we will continue these verses in which Allah Almighty says:

﴾And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.﴿

[nisaa 4]

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