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View Full Version : Respect for the Elderly

scared one
08-04-2005, 10:08 PM
i wonder what the quran says about treating the elderly/pedesterinians. wonder what it would say about holding the door for an elder person. or hurting them or beating them up(never did any just curious).

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idris patel
08-05-2005, 09:00 AM

In all cases we are taught as Muslims, that we should respect the elderly even if they are senile. Our respect to the elderly is more confirmed toward our parents. In Surah Al-Isra' (Night Journey), Allah says to us:

... and that you be kind to parents. Where one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. [17:23]

Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) instructed us to respect all those who are old and at the same time we are to have mercy on the young. In one Hadith, it is said:

I advise you to be good to the elderly, and to have mercy on the youth. [El Dailami]

It was reported by Aisha that Prophet (pbuh) instructed us to respect people according to their position. We are informed that any young person who respects the elderly, is to be respected when he becomes old. In one Hadith, the following is reported: Narrated by Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) saying that the Prophet (pbuh) said: Any young person who is kind to an elderly because of his age, Allah will send him someone who will be kind to him when he becomes old. [Tarmazi]

In another place, our beloved Prophet (pbuh) denounces the young if they don't respect the elderly in as much as the elderly are denounced if they don't have mercy on the young. the Hadith is as follows:

Narrated by 'Amr Ibn Shu'aib through his father and from his grandfather (May Allah be pleased with them), saying that the Messenger of Allah said:
He is not of us, the one who does not have mercy on our young ones, and the one who does not know the respect of our old ones. [Dawood & Tarmazi]

The respect that the Prophet (pbuh) instructed us to give to the elderly is also in the field of prayer itself. We are to feel sympathy and concern for the elderly while we are performing the prayer. We should not extend or prolong the congregation prayer especially if there are elderly among the faithful. In one Hadith the Prophet (pbuh) said: Narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (pbuh) said: When a person leads a congregation prayer, let him make it short, as there may be around the weak, the sick and the elderly. However, when a person prays by himself, he may extend his prayer as much as he wishes. [Agreed]

I wish to mention here that Allah Himself gives, among other things, respect to the elderly Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) says in this regards:Narrated by Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) saying that the Messenger of Allah said:
Among the respect that Allah bestows is to the one who is elderly, gray-haired Muslim, the one who memorized the Qur'an without bragging or deserting it, and the respect to the just ruler. [Abu Dawood]

The elderly in society are to be treated with kindness, cared for and respected. The shamefully despicable condition of the elderly in today's world is a disgrace to humanity.

After raising their children; crying over them, working for them, sleepless nights spent in concern over them and teaching and giving them the best years of their lives, too often these same children turn around and walk away. In the name of freedom they leave their parents and pursue their own happiness, wealth and material gain. Hasn't it occurred to them that they can live their lives, pursue their aims and still cater to the needs o f their parents? The emergence of old folk's homes is a shame on modern day mankind. The elderly are discarded as unwanted, unneeded and unthanked in a throw away society.
In Islam, the condition of the elderly is quite a different thing.

Allah says in the Qur'an,
"They ask you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) what they should spend. Say: Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and the poor who beg and the wayfarers, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well."
(Sura Al Baqara 2:215)

"And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small."
(Sura Al Isra' 17:23-24)


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