The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this," putting his index and middle fingers together. (Bukhari)
The compassion our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) had for children was incomparable - and being an orphan, he had a particularly special place in his heart for children growing up without parents. As Rasul Week at LaunchGood approaches, I'm thinking of these particular beautiful characteristics of our Beloved and how we can embody these qualities ourselves.
As a mother of three, one of my greatest priorities is providing my children care and support so they can feel whole and loved. It's heartbreaking for me to imagine that over 150 million children around the world are orphans who may not have guardians to fulfill these needs for them to flourish.
I recently heard Oprah's Super Soul Sunday podcast on the book 'The Second Mountain.' It spoke of being of service to our communities and how it can soften our hearts to revive the humanity within. In a time when our culture promotes the hyper-focused goal of individual development, we're beginning to lose sight of the greater picture and our purpose to serve.
Our own tradition teaches us that good deeds don't just help others - they also purify and mend our hearts.
I’m always moved to see LaunchGood hosting dedicated campaigns providing relief and support for the most vulnerable children in the world - like Amal Project's incredible mission to support Syrian refugee orphans in Turkey. This Islamic Relief project successfully raised $20,000 with the support of everyday people around the world to help create a safe place for orphans to play, learn, flourish and grow.
There are so many campaigns like this on LaunchGood dedicated to providing children with safe homes, care, food relief, and educational support.
Anyone can make a difference. Find a cause that speaks to you:
A famous orphan among us
One of the most important Black leaders in world history, Malcolm X, known later as El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was also an orphan. His father, Earl Little, died in a streetcar accident widely suspected to be a murder plot by white racists. Malcolm was just six years old. When he was 13, his mother was put in a state hospital for 24 years after a nervous breakdown. He lived in a series of foster homes for many years after that.
Despite Malcolm's hardships, he became a key voice for Black liberation and one of the most influential Muslims in modern history - a powerful legacy that his family continues today.
Supporting children in need can change entire lineages and societies.
Supporting orphans doesn't just help one parentless child. It can heal generations after them who can thrive without worrying about basic survival. They can go on to live as healthy adults with their own families, and pass on the loving guidance and support they once received from those who cared for them.
Let's be of service in whatever capacities we can. Like parents to our children, let's extend our hearts to orphans as if they were our own.
"Call the orphan to you. Pat him tenderly on the head. Then feed him from your food. This will soften your heart and bestow upon you [the blessing] of gaining what you need." (Kharanti, The Noblest Virtues, p. 661).
Sobia is a growth marketer at LaunchGood based in Toronto, Canada. She's passionate about helping others and loves llamas!