Imam Shafi said, "I was an orphan, my mother used to support me, I never even used to have enough money to pay my fees. When the teacher used to teach the children I used to listen and learn it off by heart straight away. So in the teacher’s absence I used to teach, because of this the teacher was very happy with me and in return he agreed on teaching me for free”.
At the age of seven Imam Shafi is said to have memorized the Qur'an and at the age of 10 (or 13) he had memorized the book of Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik. As a poor orphan he was not able to afford stationary and resorted to the use of bones, stones and palm leaves to write.
Imam Ahmad’s mother would wake up before fajr to warm the water for her son. Then she would wake him up to make wudhu and walk him to the masjid. She would take him to the masjid so he would be early for fajr and have a good seat for the halaqa that proceeded fajr salaat. She would wait for him to take him back home.
Blessed are these orphans and truly Allah loves them. As the prophet of Islam Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) was himself an orphan.