Assalamu walaikum, If a Muslim man marries a woman who already has a child (but the paternal family and father are not alive) what is the obligation and what is not the obligation of man, with that child?
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Since this child has lost his father, he is an orphan. Explicit Quranic and prophetic injunctions command good treatment to orphans. The Quran commands, “You shall worship Allah [alone]. And you shall not associate anything with Him [therein]. And to [your] parents you shall be good, as well as to close relatives and orphans and the indigent.” (An-Nisaa 4:36)
In another Quranic verse we read what means:
“And they ask you, [O Prophet,] about [looking after] orphans. Say: Setting their affairs aright is best for [you and] them. Thus, if you interrelate with them, then they are [to be treated as] your brothers [in faith]. And Allah knows best the sower of corruption from the sower of righteousness.” (Al-Baqarah 2:220)
Great rewards are promised for those who take care of and spend on them. The Quran states,
“They ask you what [ways] they should spend [charitably]. Say: Whatever good offering you spend is to be for [your] parents, and nearest relatives, and orphans, and the indigent, and the [needy] wayfarers. And whatever good you do, Allah is, indeed, all-knowing of it.” (Al-Baqarah 2:215)
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I shall be with the one who takes care of an orphan in the Paradise like these two (and he raised his forefinger and middle finger).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
There are also severe warnings against mistreating orphans as such ill-treatment is a characteristic of the disbelievers. Allah says in the Quran what means:
“Have you seen one who belies the [final] Judgment? This, then, is the [same] one who repels the orphan.” (Al-Ma`un 107:1-2)
Appropriating an orphan’s wealth is an enormous sin that entails severe punishment in the Hereafter as dictated by the Quranic verse that reads, “Indeed, those who consume the wealth of the orphan unjustly are only consuming fire into their bellies. For they shall roast in a flaming fire.” (An-Nisaa 4:10)
Accordingly, an orphan’s stepfather should keep these injunctions in mind and should treat his stepson kindly in order to gain such great rewards.
Allah Almighty knows best.
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