In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Mapping Words with Practice
Among the many verses in the Holy Quran regarding those who seek help, Allah (SWT) has paid special attention to helping orphans. In one such verse, Allah (SWT) addresses the great Prophet (PBUH): “And they ask you concerning the orphans Say: To set right for them (their affairs) is good, and if you become co-partners with them, they are your brethren; and Allah knows the mischief-maker and the pacemaker.”1
Many narrations from the Prophet’s Progeny have also been dedicated to taking care of orphans. Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (PBUH) has said: “By Allah, by Allah! Attend to the orphans, lest their months be deprived of your food and they die in your presence [while you have food to eat]”.
In addition to his sayings, in action Imam Ali (PBUH) was especially attentive towards the orphans. During his rule, he once passed the house of a poor woman who was trying to put her young children to sleep, while they were crying of hunger. The woman had placed a pot of water on the fire, pretending to cook something so the children would presume food is cooking.
Ali (PBUH) realized her situation, went to his home with Ghanbar, his servant, and grabbed a small plate of dates, a bag of flour, some oil, rice and bread. He placed them on his shoulder and headed towards the woman’s house. Ghanbar asked Imam Ali (PBUH) to carry them for him but he did not allow it. When he arrived at the woman’s house, he asked for permission and then entered the house. He poured the rice and oil into the pot; after cooking it, he put the meal in plates and served it to the children saying: “Please eat.”
After the meal, Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) got on his hands and knees and moved around the room while imitating the sound of a lamb to play with the children. The children were filled with joy and laughter. When they came out of the house, Ghanbar asked Imam Ali (PBUH): “Tonight I saw amazing manners from and I understood the purpose behind some of them; but I could not understand the point of you going around the room and imitating the sound of a lamb!”
Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) responded: “O Ghanbar! When we entered the house, the children were crying from hunger. I desired to see them full and laughing happily upon departing from that house. There was no other reason.”
In elsewhere, Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) has said: “Teach manners to orphan children as you would your own children.”
Despite his rank, Amir al-Mu’menin Imam Ali (PBUH) was extremely attentive to orphans both in words and action. He continued to support the orphans both financially and spiritually to the day he was martyred.
(Selection taken from the book Mafatih al-Hayat by Ayatullah Jawadi Amoli with minor changes)
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 13th of Rajab, the birthday anniversary of the Imam of eloquence and the leader of justice, and the first Imam of Shiites, Amir al-Mu’minin,
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH).
1.The Holy Quran – 2:220 and also the following chapters and corresponding verses have addressed this point: 93:9 (Zhoha) , 6:152(An’am) and 17:34 (Asraa).
2.al-Kaafi, vol. 7, pg. 12
3.Kashf al-Yaqin, pg. 115
4.Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 21, pg. 479