According to UNICEF, an estimated 140 million children worldwide are orphan. These children face major issues, such as, hunger, poverty, access to education and medical care. Some of the causes of children becoming orphans include: war, disease, poverty, natural disaster, abandonment, and many other forms of calamities. Due to warring regions in the Muslim world, the number of Muslim orphans has increased exponentially.
An important step is being taken for the orphans and abandoned children around the world by Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that represents 57 Muslim countries. They established the first World Orphans Day on the 15th of Ramadan in 2014. ICNA Council for Social Justice is joining them in this endeavor this year to bring awareness around the issue of orphaned children. The idea is not to make a one day show of talking about taking care of orphans but to make this day; a day of that the international community should take action to raise awareness for the orphans and urge to start all kinds of social projects to alleviate their sufferings.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said, “One who looks after the orphan whether he is his relative or not, I and he would be together in Paradise like this, and Malik (explained it) with the gesture by drawing his index finger and middle finger close together” (Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurairah).
Here are some of the actions you can take this year on World Orphans Day (15th of Ramadan):
- Look into your extended family and see if there are any orphans that need your support.
- Have a discussion on the matter with your family during iftar and point out the importance of supporting orphans in Islam.
- Ask your imam to give a khutba on Friday, June 9 (14th of Ramadan) or a talk after Isha on the status of orphans and our responsibility towards them in Islam. You can view a sample khutbah by clicking here.
- Write about orphans on social media.
- Support organizations like Helping Hand by sponsoring an orphan overseas and ICNA Relief for helping refugee orphans in the U.S.
- Make du’a for orphans throughout this blessed month.