In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
Have you seen someone who rejects religion?( 1 )
That is the person who pushes the orphan aside( 2 )
and does not promote feeding the needy.( 3 )
It will be too bad for the prayerful( 4 )
who are absent-minded as they pray,( 5 )
who aim to be noticed( 6 )
while they hold back contributions.( 7 )
A: Who is 'Meskin' ?
'Meskin' is someone involved in inaction, stagnation and limitation in physical, financial or spiritual power and ability, so he is not able to try and gain his own demands, and then move and progress.
Note: In English you find the word "poor/needy" for 'Meskin' which as you see is not sufficient.
What does 'Meskin' need?
He needs 'Ta`am'.
What is 'Ta`am'?
It is something small or big, materialistic or spiritual and divine which is 'meskin's right and meets his demands, and if has been given to him by anyone in community, it helps 'meskin' to move out of inaction, stagnation, get rid of limitation, and so progress.
Note: In English 'ta`am' means your desired food; this meaning is not much sufficient.
'Meskin' needs 'ta`am' to move and progress, but this 'ta`am', which according to Qu`ran is his right, should come from community towards him because for different reasons he himself is not able to gain it. 'Ta`am' can be some food, a kind of facility, a proper job, some social or financial help, etc. to solve and remove inaction, stagnation and limitation, and let him move forward and progress.
A practical point:
Think about people around you, start from your own family and then go further. Which one is a 'meskin' in any mentioned aspects? What is his right (Ta`am) which should be provided by you for him?
The answers of these questions are our duties and responsibilities in our own communities; no matter where we are. So, according Al-Ma`un surah we are responsible to be aware of 'Meskin's demands to help him.
B: Who is 'Yatim'?
'Yatim' is someone disconnected from the source which/who has been his parent, teacher, trainer and nurturer or manager. He has been left alone and lonely, so the lack of this helpful and effective source makes serious troubles and regression in his life.
Note: In English you find the word "orphan" for 'Yatim' which as you see is not sufficient.
What does 'Yatim' need?/ Conclusion:
He needs to be warmly welcome and to be properly connected to a source to receive help, reinforcement and support, kindness, 'Ta`am', respect, knowledge and training in some tasks in which he is alone and powerless. 'Yatim' needs the mentioned support to be taught and trained, and then progress. He needs it till the time he is able and wise enough to handle his own life himself ('Boloogh').
A practical point:
Could you recognize who is 'yatim' around you? How can/should you help him? Start from the closest to you and then go further. Do remember not to be harsh to 'Yatim' and push him aside. (Al-Ma`nu, verse 2)
I started from myself! I am a 'Meskin' and a 'Yatim' without... Are you?!
Considering the explanations of the words 'meskin' and 'yatim', I have found out without connecting to Qu`ran and understanding it properly and sufficiently, I am a 'meskin' and 'yatim' because of the shortage or lack of divine and Qu`ranic 'Ta`am' and connection to the Nurturer in any possible aspects of my life. It is truly my situation because as a needy, weak creature I need the Divine 'Ta`am', connection, support, kindness, training and help forever to be fed, helped, trained and rescued. What about you?
(Qu`ranic Dictionary for definitions: At-Tahghigh by Allameh Mostafavi)