What does the Quran say about the elderly?

One of the famous hadiths in Islam is the hadith about mother.  This hadith stresses the importance of honouring  one’s mother such  that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) repeated the word mother 3 times before finally saying father.  But this hadith does  not necessarily focus on how Islam views the elderly.  Because a mother, or a father is not necessarily old.

So how does Islam sees the elderly?

Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one or both of them reaches 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

( Quran 17: 23-24).

This comprehensive commandment  prohibits worshipping other than Allah, and at the same time to have an undivided loyalty to do what Allah has commanded us to do and to avoid everything Allah has prohibited us from doing.

We learn that after Allah’s rights, there’s our parents’ rights in this very  verse.  Their rights to be respected, served and obeyed.  The morality we can learn from this verse is that children should be grateful to, and respectful of, their parents, and we should serve them as they have nursed us when we were little and helpless.

This command does not only apply to Muslim parents.  If your parents are not Muslims, this command applies to them too as long as they do not ask you to do anything that is against Allah’s wills.  This moral and mental attitude became  part and parcel of the Muslim society.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, 

He is not of us who does not have mercy on young children, nor honour the elderly              


Caring for elderly is one  ibadah that  is considered as charity in Islam.  Ibn al-‘Arabi observes, 

Support for one’s family and relatives fulfills the criterion of charity while upholding family kinship

(Ibn al-‘Arabi, 1994, 2: 96).  

As Muslims, it is in our culture to care for our elderly, and this doesn’t just stop at our own parents or parents-in-law.  Muslim communities have been taking care of their elderly aunts or uncles too.  This culture is in sync  with the hadith narrated by 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) 

And the  hadith :

Whosoever desires to have expansion in his sustenance and a prolonged life, should treat his relatives with kindness

(Bukhari, 1987, 2: 728, 348). 

May we be among those who care for our elderly and put their rights where they belong.


Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272970617_Old_Age_and_Elderly_Care_An_Islamic_Perspective

A Muslim Revert’s Diary Ep 13: Tommaso Khâlid Valisi

This Italian Muslim shares his story of conversion to Islam, from researching about Islam all by himself to converting to Islam at the age of 15.  What inspires him to maintain his declaration of faith in a minority-Muslim country?  Let’s listen to his story.


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A Hadith on Charity

حَدَّثَنَا عَبَّاسُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْعَظِيمِ الْعَنْبَرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا النَّضْرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْجُرَشِيُّ الْيَمَامِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عِكْرِمَةُ بْنُ عَمَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو زُمَيْلٍ، عَنْ مَالِكِ بْنِ مَرْثَدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ تَبَسُّمُكَ فِي وَجْهِ أَخِيكَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَأَمْرُكَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهْيُكَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِرْشَادُكَ الرَّجُلَ فِي أَرْضِ الضَّلاَلِ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَبَصَرُكَ لِلرَّجُلِ الرَّدِيءِ الْبَصَرِ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِمَاطَتُكَ الْحَجَرَ وَالشَّوْكَةَ وَالْعَظْمَ عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِفْرَاغُكَ مِنْ دَلْوِكَ فِي دَلْوِ أَخِيكَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ وَجَابِرٍ وَحُذَيْفَةَ وَعَائِشَةَ وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ ‏.‏ وَأَبُو زُمَيْلٍ اسْمُهُ سِمَاكُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ الْحَنَفِيُّ ‏.‏

Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said :

“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1956, Book 27, Hadith 62, Vol. 4; English translation Book 1, Hadith 1956, Source: sunnah.com).