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Giving Back the Property of the Orphans When They Reach Adulthood Print E-mail

Allah said,

﴿وَابْتَلُواْ الْيَتَـمَى﴾

(And test orphans) meaning, test their intelligence, as Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan stated.

﴿حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغُواْ النِّكَاحَ﴾

(until they reach the age of marriage), the age of puberty, according to Mujahid. The age of puberty according to the majority of scholars comes when the child has a wet dream. In his Sunan, Abu Dawud recorded that `Ali said, "I memorized these words from the Messenger of Allah ,

«لَا يُتْمَ بَعْدَ احْتِلَامٍ، وَلَا صُمَاتَ يَوْمٍ إِلَى اللَّيْل»

(There is no orphan after the age of puberty nor vowing to be silent throughout the day to the night.) In another Hadith, `A'ishah and other Companions said that the Prophet said,

«رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ، عَنِ الصَّبِيِّ حَتَّى يَحْتَلِمَ، وَعَنِ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ، وَعَنِ الْمَجْنُونِ حَتَّى يُفِيق»

(The pen does not record the deeds of three persons: the child until the age of puberty, the sleeping person until waking up, and the senile until sane.) Or, the age of fifteen is considered the age of adolescence. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "I was presented in front of the Prophet on the eve of the battle of Uhud, while I was fourteen years of age, and he did not allow me to take part in that battle. But I was presented in front of him on the eve of the battle of Al-Khandaq (The Trench) when I was fifteen years old, and he allowed me (to join that battle).'' `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz commented when this Hadith reached him, "This is the difference between a child and an adult.'' There is a difference of opinion over whether pubic hair is considered a sign of adulthood, and the correct opinion is that it is. The Sunnah supports this view, according to a Hadith collected by Imam Ahmad from `Atiyah Al-Qurazi who said, We were presented to the Prophet on the day of Qurizah, whoever had pubic hair was killed, whoever did not was left free to go, I was one of those who did not, so I was left free.'' The Four Sunan compilers also recorded similar to it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' Allah's statement,

﴿فَإِنْ ءَانَسْتُمْ مِّنْهُمْ رُشْداً فَادْفَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ﴾

(if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them,) Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this portion of the Ayah means, when you find them to be good in the religion and wise with their money. Similar was reported from Ibn `Abbas, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others among the Imams. The scholars of Fiqh stated that when the child becomes good in the religion and wise concerning with money, then the money that his caretaker was keeping for him should be surrendered to him.

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