Saturday, November 05, 2005

Why Do I Feel So Bad? --By Selma Cook

[Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.]
(Al-Israa’ 17:23)
What a wonderful exhortation indeed! No words of contempt, no move to repel them! Address them in terms of honor! Anecdotal evidence about the state of the parent-child relationship in the Muslim community tells us that children are not internalizing Islamic values and instead are quite contemptuous and dishonor their parents regularly. And the situation seems ever worse for adult children with elderly parents because the tendency there is to say to the parents, do not interfere with my life. How shameful is our situation indeed! Did we not heed any lessons from the life of our beloved Prophet Yusuf (peace and blessings be upon him) when his brothers so mistreated their elderly father? In one incident, the Qur’an captures a dialog between the sons and their father as follows:
[When the caravan left (Egypt), their father said: “I do indeed scent the presence of Joseph: Nay, think me not a dotard.” They said: “By Allah. truly thou art in thine old wandering mind.]
(Yusuf 12:94-95)
On the one hand, the father is asserting that he is of stable mind and body and on the other hand, the sons are saying of their father that he is in effect senile. Captured for all of eternity, this dialog bears profound meaning for us today in the steps that we can take to improve the condition of the elderly by restoring to them the dignity and honor which Allah has bestowed upon them.


sara said...

It is a bad habit to send our elderly to senior citizen homes. It is also bad to get rid of our parents and send them to nursing homes. The presence of our parents in our own houses is a blessing from Allah (swt). Their presence will bring peace, happiness, concord, tranquility, mercy and reward from Allah. We should try our best to request our parents to stay with us at our own houses so as to receive the blessings of Allah. We should give a good example to the non-Muslim to do the same with their parents. If we take the initiative and practice this good habit in the American society, we will establish a better society where there is no generation gap. There won't be animosity between the young generation towards the elderly. Instead, there will be kindness, respect, sympathy, concern, and love toward one another. We feel sorry for the elderly who are living in nursing homes, that they are not wanted in the society, that they are deserted, and that arson is committed on them to get rid of them. Poor are the elderly in this society! Many of them are being attack while walking on the streets, robbed and killed. Others are killed while asleep in the nursing homes. Still others are strangled for no reason.
I want you to think seriously about yourself when you will be old. Think seriously abut what is going to happen to you in this part of the world when you will become a senior citizen. I am sure none of us want to be deserted, unwanted or to be thrown away in those nursing homes. None of us want to think that he is a liability when he still an asset to the society.
I wish to request that you visit some of the nursing homes and see for yourselves the life habitat of the elderly. Try to see the type of treatment they receive, the type of food they eat, the type of atmosphere they live in, and the type of feeling they have. Many of us will run away from those places. However, if anyone wishes to live in the open society, he will not feel safe either. We hope and pray, that we will do something good as of today to improve the situation. Once it was said:
Treat people the way you like to be treated.
Also it was once said:
The way you treat people, you will be treated.
Let me end this chapter with this Hadith:
Were it not for the elderly who are praying, were it not for the nursing infants, and were it not for the youth who are praying night Tahajud, people would have been destroyed.
Let us pray that Allah guide us to the straight path. Let us ask Allah's guidance and forgiveness. Ameen.

Small Blue Thing said...

Yes, it´s hard to see how we can fight against illnesses, and getting older than we were just a century ago... but we just don´t like pretty much to see old people. It seems sometimes that society likes only young, beautiful and good-smelling citizens... no seniors, no fats, no disabled... If this is not a nazi nightmare of a "perfect race", what is it? :(

Some seniors in Spain choose by themselves a retirement apartment sometimes _I think they do to be more independent, as many families here have got the grandfather or mother to be a nurse-for-free at home while they´re working... or on hollidays. But it´s something they choose, not a ridding.

I´m glad my family takes care of my grandma, despite of she´s not been a nice person all our lives. It´s a sort of advicement for me.