Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I intend to sponsor a child’s education etc., through a non-profit organisation. What kind of rulings are there in this regard? My intention is to please Allah as he has promised immense reward for taking care of an orphan. Can it be any child in the world, or does it have to be a Muslim child? Please advise.
There are no hard and fast rules in this matter as what you are doing is a voluntary act of charity. The best of deeds, however, the those that are consistent. Please ensure that the distribution of finances is done properly in an ethical way.
There are no restrictions on the religion, ethnicity, or gender of the orphan you support. Providing financial support for any orphan is a great deed. However, sponsoring a Muslim child is likely to bring more fruits in the Akhira, as you’ll be rewarded for the good actions this individual performs in life through your facilitation.
Rejoice in the blessing Allah has given you through this intention and follow through as best you can. Looking after orphans was a deed that was very dear to Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). So much so that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head out of kindness – Allah will inscribe for him a good deed for every hair under his hand.” [Ahmad]
There is also the famous hadith where the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I and the guardian of an orphan will be in the Garden like this…” and he showed his blessed index and middle fingers with a slight gap between them. [Bukhari]
Financially providing for the child would be included in this, but it would be good for you to try and build a relationship with the child through communication. This would be far superior, as such children miss the displays of fondness and affection they would normally get from kind, loving parents.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds and accept this blessed deed from you.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani