Seniors

A rare aspect of manners that we find today in general society is respect for the elderly and those who are senior to us. As society progresses in many different avenues, it is unfortunate that manner’s in people are slowly disintegrating; especially for the youth. This is evident in the media and everyday lives of people. Seniors are not receiving the respect they deserve and elder abuse cases are on a sharp rise. Islam Care Centre wishes to ensure that as Muslims, we are under an obligation from our Lord to treat the elderly with kindness, respect and generosity.

God says in the Qur’an “Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them, since they cared for me when I was small (17: 23-24).” In this key passage in the Qur’an, we see that it is a commandment from god to be kind to our parents and disrespect towards them is prohibited.

The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a perfect example for human kind, his beautiful character and his kindness towards the elderly is a shining path for mankind to tread. In one instance the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized kindness towards parent’s to such an extent that he said “"May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, who’s parents, one or both, attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah (by rendering being dutiful to them)" (narrated by Muslim). This saying of the Prophet peace be upon him shows that kindness to the elderly is held in such a high esteem that the person who neglects such an honorable act will indeed be disgraced.

In another occasion the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said "Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us." This quote of the prophet (peace be upon him) clearly emphasizes that one who is not kind towards the elderly is not considered part of the Muslims. In fact being kind towards the elderly and showing them respect is in fact showing respect to God because the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said “"Part of respect for Allah is to show respect to an old Muslim and to someone who knows the Qur'an, as long as he does not go to excess in it nor turn away from it, and to respect a just ruler".

These beautiful pearls of commands from God and his Messenger are a small glimpse of responsibility that we have towards our elders. Our elders are our responsibility, they raised us, taught us and contributed to our community and society therefore it is a obligation on all of us to support them with kindness and mercy.

Elders in Qur’an & Hadith

“Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them, since they cared for me when I was small.” (17: 23-24)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: The Apostle of Allah said: Do not pluck out grey hair. If any believer grows a grey hair in Islam, he will have light on the Day of Resurrection. (This is Sufyan's version). Yahya's version says: Allah will record on his behalf a good deed for it, and will blot out a sin for it (Sunan Abu Dawud).

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah (by rendering being dutiful to them)". [Muslim].

353. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us."

357. Al-Ash'ari said, "Part of respect for Allah is to show respect to an old Muslim and to someone who knows the Qur'an, as long as he does not go to excess in it nor turn away from it, and to respect a just ruler."

359. Rafi' ibn Khudayj and Sahl ibn Abi Hathama reported that 'Abdullah ibn Sahl and Muhayyisa ibn Mas'ud came to Khaybar and parted when they were among the palm trees. 'Abdullah ibn Sahl was murdered. 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Sahl and Huwayyisa and Muhayyisa, the sons of Mas'ud came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and spoke to him about their (murdered) companion. 'Abdu'r-Rahman, the youngest of those present, began to speak, but the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Let the oldest speak first." (or "Exalt the eldest.")

361. Hakim ibn Qays ibn 'Asim reported that then his father was dying. he enjoined his sons: "Fear Allah and make the oldest among you your leaders. When people make the oldest among them their leaders, they follow their fathers. When they make the youngest among them their leaders, that lowers them in the sight of their peers. You must have wealth and use it well. It is an impetus for the generous and it will make you independent of critics. Beware of asking people. It is a man's last source of earning. When I die, do not wail. There was no wailing for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. When I die, bury me in land where the Bakr ibn Wa'il will not know where I am died. I used to waylay on the roads in the time of the Jahiliyya."

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: Allah's Apostle said: The finest act of goodness is the kind treatment of a person to the loved ones of his father after his death (Sahih Muslim)

Help: If you or a senior that you know is not receiving a basic need or assistance please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.