الآية رقم (220) - فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَى قُلْ إِصْلاَحٌ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌ وَإِنْ تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لأعْنَتَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

(220) - (To this world and the Hereafter. And they ask you about orphans. Say, "Improvement for them is best. And if you mix your affairs with theirs - they are your brothers. And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. And if Allah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.)

The verse starts with a prepositional phrase; but what does it refer to? and where is the phrase which is connected with this prepositional phrase? (And they ask you about orphans.) comes immediately after it.  The Holy Qur’an is composed to be read continuously without any stop, meaning that all the verses of the Qur’an are connected, and there is no pause at the end of the verse, for that , for example, we find at the end of this verse the Arabic word of (Wise) has the vowel of (ٌ ) not ( ْ ) which is usually used when we want to stop at the end of the word. Therefore, the above prepositional phrase refers to all the rules stated earlier from the beginning of the verse, starting from the rules of fasting, supplication, Hajj (pilgrimage), fighting, family affairs, spending. The previous verse ends with: (that you might give thought), and is followed by: (To this world and the Hereafter.) at the beginning of the next verse, meaning that following the rules of Allah (swt) is rewarded not only in the afterlife but also in this worldly life as such. Nobody should ever say that Allah’s (swt) approach benefits only after death, or when the human’s life is over and at the time when everyone meets his Lord with his record in hand:

 {وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا * اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا}

(And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. % [It will be said], “Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant.”.)  (Al-Israa: 13-14)

The divine curricula are not just keeping you safe from punishment and to gain reward in the afterlife.  rather, it is for reforming this life then the afterlife. Even in the verse, “this world” is mentioned before the “hereafter.” Qarun, who is from the people of Moses, was told through his people:

 {وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ ۖ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ }

(But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.”)  (Al-Qasas:77)

Thus, the approach of Allah (swt) is set to reform life and regulate people’s movement in there, hence the believers have double happiness with peaceful, stable life:

 {الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ }

(Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”)  (Al-Raed: 28)

The question here is why are hearts assured by the remembrance of Allah? It is so because believers know that Allah (swt) is the only One who can harm, benefit, give, deprive, maintain, cut off, raise, or drop. Then, they know the meaning of the real happiness and psychological stability. That’s why when the Prophet Muhammad (saws) told his cousin Abdullah Bin Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him):

“O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and hardship with ease. And know that the pen is done with what would happen.[1]

This is the fruit of true faith: peace, stability and serenity within the believers’ selves in the earthly life before the afterlife. Allah (swt) says:

 مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ % لِّكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

(No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah, is easy – %  In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful -.)  (Al-Hadid: 22-23)

So, this is the perspective of this life, and the afterlife or of reckoning and punishment. We should also keep in mind that the more the love of Allah (swt) grows within your heart, the less significant everything becomes for you, and you feel comfortable in this life before the afterlife. However, never say that you only pray, fast, pay Zakat, go for Hajj, stay in the mosque… no, this is not right as you should work for both this life and the afterlife. Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-Aas (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Plant for your life as if you live forever, and get prepared for the afterlife as if you would pass away tomorrow.”

( وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَىٰ ) (And they ask you about orphans…): Back to asking style in the Holy Qur’an. As said earlier, the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saws) in accordance with different incidents among which were some questions raised before the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to set out the rules of Sharia, such as the question here. There are always questions about orphans. The Holy Qur’an recommends treating orphans well, moreover, all the verses about reform, good deeds, and spending have such recommendation to treat orphans well and not to harm them or consuming their property:

 {إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا }

(Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze.)  (An-Nisaa: 10)

The flame of loving money within the hearts of some people leads to the least of consideration of values. The more the love of the money is, the less moral values are in societies.

( وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَىٰ ) (And they ask you about orphans…): Because when the deceased father leaves money or property for the orphans, the custodian on such money or property would invest the money in business along with his money so that he and the orphans would benefit. However, the money has to be returned to the orphans when they become old enough. That’s why there are rules about the orphans stated by Allah (swt) to make the orphans, who have lost their father, feel well and to have a sympathizing, consolidated society at the end.

( قُلْ إِصْلَاحٌ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌ ) (Say, “Improvement for them is best.): Meaning, anything you do in favor of the orphan is considered to be the good. Above all, your intention does matter: the intention in what you do for being entrusted with the money of the orphans. That’s why the scholars had said that half of the religion is stated by one Hadith narrated by Bukhari that Omar Bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended[2].”

( وَإِن تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ ۚ ) (And if you mix your affairs with theirs – they are your brothers. And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender..): So, there is no problem for the custodians of the orphan if they mix the orphan’s money with theirs and made the orphan live with them and share their food. The aim is to not make it hard for such custodian to separate their business from that of the orphan, if any. The money is mixed; still, the most important thing is the intention- improvement for the good.

( وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ) (And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. And if Allah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.): Allah (swt) has sent the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to relieve people from difficulty and suffering:

{ لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ }

(There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.)  (At-Tawba: 128)

The Prophet is certainly concerned about your suffering and does not want to make it more difficult for you. However, had Allah (swt) willed, he would have put you through difficulty and suffering. Allah (swt) rather allowed you to mix. Keep in mind that there is much difference between mixing and blending. Mixing means that you can separate items after being mixed (like grains). Blending is when you cannot separate the blended items like water and milk blended together. That’s why we have here: (And if you mix your affairs with theirs – they are your brothers.). So that your money can be separated from the orphan’s once the custody is over.

Most of the verses that include enjoinments are concluded by two attributes of Allah (swt): “Might” and “Wise;”. “Might”, means that He (swt) can do without the worship of His creatures. Allah (swt) is never in need of you whether you execute the orders or not. To Allah (swt), such thing is never worthy. That’s why all such verses are concluded with ‘Might” so that you realize that what has been enjoined upon you benefits only you. On the other hand, “Wise” indicates that Allah (swt) sets everything in due amount and time. Wisdom, as we all know, is about setting the proper thing for the proper person at the proper time. Thus, all verses about rules normally end with: (Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.)

This verse which talks about the orphans ends. Before it there was verses about the judgements of wine and gambling; fighting and the sacred month; spending; rules of Hajj, Fasting, and hypocrites -those who cause corruption on earth. All the aforementioned rules are based upon a corner stone which is the family, and family is based on marriage. So, we will have here rules related to marriage, divorce, and the relationship between spouses.

[1],,Almu’jam Alkabeer, Atabarani, Hadiths by Abdullah Bin Abbas, Hadith no. 11265

[2] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Chapter: How the Divine Revelation started, Hadith no. 1