Imam Dr Zijad’s Corner: Compassion for Children/Respect for Elderly

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Compassion for Children/Respect for Elderly

Reported by ‘Amr bin Shu’ayb that Muhammad (S) said: “One who has no compassion for our little ones and does not honour the elderly, is not one of us.” Abu Dawud & Tirmithi

Transliteration: “Laysa Minna Man Lam Yarham Sagirana Wa Lam Ya’rif Haqqa Kabirina.”

Note: Islam is unequivocal about the parents’ duties towards their offspring. To comprehend those duties, first we have to understand that God has not given parents an opportunity to be parents without a purpose. Creation of human beings is not merely the manifestation of God’s creative power, but it is also the manifestation of His supreme attribute – Rahmah (mercy, compassion, kindness, grace). In its human dimension, these attributes of mercy, compassion, etc. are reflected in the parental instincts of affection and sensitivity toward their offspring. That divine fountain of love and mercy continues to manifest through the feelings and heartbeats of parents.

Likewise, traditionally Muslims have accorded their elders this lofty status, and the decline in this practice we see in some Muslim countries is concomitant with the overall decline in adherence to Islamic principles. In the cycle of life, the youth and old age are only a matter of time, for one who is young, must surely grow old one day. Islam reminds the young of this basic truth of the human condition, through a narration of the Prophet in which he stated “If a young man honors an elderly on account of his age, God appoints someone to honor him in his old age.” [Tirmidhi]

 

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