Q: My brother died on 27/9/1399 AH (may Allah be merciful to him), leaving behind two wives (Part No. 14; Page No. 253) and seven children; three sons and four daughters. One of the two wives has married my younger brother and has taken her son and daughter to live with him. The other wife lives in my dead brother's house with her two sons and three daughters. I have been taking care of them since my brother's death. Their father has left them a two-storey building; they live on one floor and rent the other, which serves as a source of income. We also give their half-brother and sister from this income. However, as we are living in an age from which we ask Allah to grant us safety, I sometimes punish them when I see them doing something wrong just for their own interest. Allah knows that I treat them like my own children, but I fear that I might be punished by Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) because He recommends us to treat orphans kindly in many Ayahs (Qur'anic verses). Allah (Exalted be He) says
in Surah Al-Duha:
Therefore, treat not the orphan with oppression.
I wish Your Eminence would give me a Fatwa regarding this matter; may I not be sinful for disciplining them. Please, advise me about the best method for instructing and guiding them. May Allah reward you with the best. It is worth mentioning that their mother is still living with them, but I have recently noticed that she is unable to work for the benefit of the children, for she takes them to places I do not want them to frequent and incites them to disobey me. I told her maternal brothers about this. Please advise me for I fear that this might lead to harmful consequences, Allah forbid. May Allah reward you.
(Part No. 14; Page No. 254) you are required to
guide your nephews to what is good for them with kindness and leniency. There is also no blame on you if you discipline them when necessary.
you should talk with the mother and their pious relatives about how to discipline the orphans and guide them to the straight path. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.