Definition of an orphan in the Quran


Could you please let me know what is the correct meaning of an orphan according to the Quran? The interpretation I read is that an orphan is a child who has lost at least one parent. Is this correct?


A child who has lost one parent (father or mother) is not an orphan. According to the Quran, an orphan is a child who has lost both parents. The following Quranic verses confirm the correct meaning:

1- You shall test the orphans when they reach the age of marriage, then if you sense in them sound judgement, you shall hand over to them their money. Do not consume it wastefully or quickly before they have grown up. 4:6

The words in 4:6 are addressed to all guardians who take on the responsibility of looking after the money of an orphan until the orphan is mature enough to be handed his/her money.
The question here is: If a child has a living father or mother, why would the child need a guardian? Naturally, the living parent is able to look after the child's money. A living parent (father or mother) is the most worthy to look after the money of the child since the parent has the best interest of the son/daughter at heart, more so than any appointed guardian. A guardian becomes necessary when a child has lost both parents.

Those who consume the orphans' money unjustly are only consuming fire in their bellies, and they will roast in a Blaze. 4:10

Clearly, the warning in 4:10 is not addressed to any 'single parent' looking after the money of their child, but to a third party (guardian) who is looking after the orphan's money.
As mentioned, if a child has one living parent, father or mother, the money of the child would be looked after by the parent. The father or mother of a child would not consume their child's money illicitly, and thus the warning in 4:10 would not be necessary.

Did He not find you an orphan and sheltered you? 93:6

These words are addressed to prophet Muhammad. Within the words of this verse we are given further evidence for the correct definition of the word orphan.
If a child has one living parent, naturally the child would be living with the parent and being looked after. The child would not need to be sheltered. However, a child who loses both parents will need to be given a new home (sheltered).