By BILAL AHMAD PARAY
Since the unfavorable turmoil of 1989 till the Kashmir Intifada of 2016, this long period of 27 years has produced an army of orphans, widows, the destitute and the needy in this valley for whom many organizations have been working tirelessly for their rehabilitation and relief. They provide monthly and yearly financial assistance, medical aid, schooling, clothes, marriage assistance, skillful training assistance, housing and other eatable kits to them. But keeping in view of the rising record on daily basis, the active organizations were not meeting the demands of these people. On the other side very few people come forward in helping to these organizations either through paying their Zakah (charity) or sponsorship.
A question arises that who is an orphan and what are its rights on society? In the jurisprudence of Islam, a person who has lost either his/ her father or both of their parents before he/ she attains maturity or an age of understanding will be called as orphan- the Yateem. The last Prophet of Allah (PBUH) was an orphan too and was very kind to the orphans. He (PBUH) not only was a caretaker of orphans, but stood as their guardian, master, preacher and father as well during His prophet hood.
It is the moral duty of society collectively and on the Muslim as an individual to be a responsible person who will serve as a guide, caretaker and guardian to an orphan by taking caring both emotionally and physically. The property of the orphan belongs only to him and is not permitted to be used by the caretaker except by investing it into something which will benefit an orphan when he comes to an age of maturity. It is also the moral duty of their relatives to keep it until its maturity. The Holy Qur’an compares the consuming of property of orphans unjustly with filling their bellies with fire which in turn burned in a blaze (see Al-Qur’an 4:10).
An orphan needs education, clothing, feeding, shelter and healthcare facilities which a parent only provides to him. In no other way , a parent can never be replaced by a caretaker. But as Muslims, we can still give them the possible love, care and feeding the best we can. It is a great opportunity and kindness of Allah upon Muslims to be the guardian of an orphan. There is a great reward from Allah for taking care of an orphan child. The prophetic tradition gives a bond of guarantee to the Muslim caretaker of the orphan by granting paradise.
There are so many specific instructions in the holy Quran which directs us at different places that to spend of your substance of love for orphans (Al Quran: 2:83,115,120,177). The best house is not the one which possesses each and every modern facility, concrete storey after storey, fully managed beatified lawns and parks but Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) defined the best house among the Muslims only which contains an orphan who is being treated very well. As per the prophetic saying each and every Muslim family must have an orphan in their houses.
Islam is very sensitive towards all children especially orphans and entitled all these rights. The child care organizations recognized the importance of caring to children in a healthy and developed society which has been reflected in their bylaws. A survey conducted in the conflicted zone like Kashmir reveals that there are more than 30000 widows and 225000 orphans registered so far. In the Valley of Kashmir, every day a family loses their only bread winner due to one or the other reason, so the number increases on daily basis. There are so many organizations in J&K which are working honestly with dedication for the caring of orphans and many donators not from our home state but outside country as well donate their monthly donations and sponsor orphans from many Yateem Foundations.
In this month of Ramadan, all attention should be paid to these orphans and needy. What is needed is a planned and proper and permanent rehabilitation. It is the duty of well off people to consider it as a mode of worship to help these people. It is my humbly request to the well off businessmen, those receiving hefty amount as salary and recently appointed Assistant Professors, Doctors, Lecturers and other Gazetted Officers , to come forward and sponsor an orphan from your catchment area in this sacred month of Ramadan till he or she attains maturity. It is not in our hand when we leave this world for world hereafter, so please fill-up by something good in to your bag of good deeds which can become a currency of expenditure for the journey from this world to the word hereafter.
In order to attract local affluent people towards this noble cause of sponsorship, we must have to produce the sons of the soil like Marhoom Abdul Khaliq Tak (Tak Zainagiri) and many more working for this noble cause. To sponsor at least an orphan , we must have to devise a local sponsorship programme where under we have to pay at least an amount of Rs. 1 per day – for one lunar year pay Rs. 354/- annually to any registered Yateem Trust so as to bear the routine expenses of upbringing an orphan in these orphanages. This little amount of one rupee may be saved from the daily based expenditure incurred on recharging of mobiles, internet, cigarettes and other unnecessary items which ,in turn , will make someone’s future bright
—The Author is a resident of Hari Pari Gam, Tra. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org