6 Rights of Elderly Persons in Islam
We often fall short in our efforts to provide the utmost care for our elders even though Islam taught us to take a proper care of our elders when we find them in their old age. Those who practice it in their life will be rewarded on the day of judgement and those who ignore their rights will be given severe punishment.
In a Hadith reported by Abdullah ibn Amr, Prophet muhammad (SAW) said that ” A person is not one of us who doesn’t show mercy to our young ones, or acknowledge the rights of our elders.Source: Musnad Aḥmad 7073
We ignore the rights of our elders because we have become busy in growing our careers, and living with our wives and children. It is not a good character that we pay no attention to them even though we are aware that they are both legally and religiously entitled to their rights. We must not forget the fact that they were the ones who worked day in and day out to raise us, feed us, educate us, and got us married to our spouses.
People are said to be elders once they have reached their old age and when they are no longer able to care for themselves alone. It’s possible that they may be our parents or even our grandparents. They should be treated with respect and given proper care till the very end of their lives because we must never forget the sufferings and hardships they went through when we were younger. They did this for us so that we live a better and happy life.
If we continue to neglect their rights, we will put ourselves in the exact same situation when we reach their age. If we do everything to help our children now, they will take care of us when we become elderly and that is the time when we would need more assistance. Here are all of the rights that our senior citizens or elders are entitled to in their latter years.
Right to respect
There is none other than our elders who deserve the most respect in the world. It is because they loved us, made sure we grow up, and set a foundation so that we live comfortable life. They did it with no condition. Everything they did for us was unconditional. It is disrespectful when we don’t show respect to our elders when they walk by us. Islam advocates Muslims to take great care of their elders. When we find them in their latter days, we shall help them in all possible good ways. We will face the same when we don’t respect our elders because there would be a day when we will also become old and eventually die. So, if you find your parents or grandparents in your life, make sure you serve them well.
Right to food
Our elders deserve the same adequate amount of nutritional value that we provide to ourselves and to our children at all times. We should not leave them hungry at all as it’s a sinful act and something morally incorrect. We need to include them in all times of meals including our lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. Remember, what we do for our children, our parents did the same with us when we were younger.
Right for clothing
Clothing is important for all ages but we have to be very careful when we choose to clothe our elders. We should make sure that they need better and more suitable clothes to wear so that they are protected when extremely hot temperatures and cold seasons are around us. We should also buy them high standards clothes as we buy for ourselves, our wives, and our children. Allah will punish us for the reason when we say old people need old clothing, which isn’t right.
Right for medicine
Every time elders complain about health issues, they should be taken to the doctor for a proper checkup, and medicine. They deserve the treatment even if is expensive. Keep in your mind that our parents and grandparents did not sleep well when we became sick during our childhood. We should show the same amount of care to them when they are living their old days in their life.
Right to care
They also need the same amount of good care that we provide to ourselves and to our children. They need you and your family to be there to take proper care of them. It is very important that we don’t become blind to the fact that our parents gave up restful nights and spend days at work to look after us when we were younger. Taking proper care of your parents refers to your responsibility of taking them for a bath, cutting their nails, providing them food, wearing their clothes, etc.
Right for vacations
Parents have even right to have fun and relax in their old age. When we go out on vacations, we usually take along our wife, and our children, but never remember to take our old parents. It isn’t a good thing at all to keep them at home while we enjoy our vacations. Even they need some relaxation sometimes.
It is not as hard as we think to take care of our careers while showing care to elders. Both can be done at the same time without causing any trouble to us. Remind yourself the fact that they sacrificied their career pursuits when it came to taking care of us in our childhood. Children are the true wealth of all parents and they always make sure we get what we need in our life. We should tell our wives and children to take the responsibility of taking care of our parents when we aren’t around them. Instilling such values in the minds of our children will emulate their behaviours that would later benefit us in our old age. The true values we should teach them include respecting, helping, and caring our elders. Our children will do the same with us when become old as we did with out parents.