Surah An-Nisa : Chapter 4 (line 1-10) Women

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

1. O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you.

2. And give orphans their properties, and do not substitute the bad for the good. And do not consume their properties by combining them with yours, for that would be a serious sin.

3. If you fear you cannot act fairly towards the orphans-then marry the women you like-two, or three, or four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then one, or what you already have. That makes it more likely that you avoid bias.

4. Give women their dowries graciously. But if they willingly forego some of it, then consume it with enjoyment and pleasure.

5. Do not give the immature your money which God has assigned to you for support. But provide for them from it, and clothe them, and speak to them with kind words.

6. Test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage. If you find them to be mature enough, hand over their properties to them. And do not consume it extravagantly or hastily before they grow up. The rich shall not charge any wage, but the poor may charge fairly. When you hand over their properties to them, have it witnessed for them. God suffices as a Reckoner.

7. Men receive a share of what their parents and relatives leave, and women receive a share of what their parents and relatives leave; be it little or much-a legal share.

8. If the distribution is attended by the relatives, and the orphans, and the needy, give them something out of it, and speak to them kindly.

9. Those who are concerned about the fate of their weak children, in case they leave them behind, should fear God, and speak appropriate words.

10. Those who consume the wealth of orphans illicitly consume only fire into their bellies; and they will roast in a Blaze.

My Interpretation: 

The Angel is telling Muhammad that it is important to take care of the unwanted, deserted or parentless children. They are our future and the Angel know this is what humanity needs to be told. Orphans need to be taken care of by fairly giving them their property left to them and helping them. Their parents’ houses can not be taken over by those in charge nor their wealth by confiscated leaving them to starve in the streets. Muhammad is given the common sense, that humanity can only strive if the children are cared for mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Polygamy is granted to care for all these children, almost like employing mothers to care for the orphans. However, there is a strong suggestion that if you can not equally divide your love and attention to each woman, do not marry more than one. God knows this will cause hardships to women and eventually end in suffering.

Testing orphans to me means teaching them to become smart and successful adults, before they are given their wealth, and property. Gabriel knows that when you put the children first in society, it can thrive. Children are our future and need to be protected and taken care of in order to keep the good going in the world. “Fires in the bellies” of those who don’t do this, is saying that they will be their own cause of demise if they do not put the children first-always. The good fruits of society can not grow with bad seeds planted.