Spirituality Today: Our Elderly

Twenty-First Letter and Twenty-Sixth Flash (Treatise for the Elderly). Let’s reflect carefully upon what Bediuzzaman Said Nursi advises: “Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. * And out of kindness, lower the wing of humility, and say: “My Sustainer! Bestow on them Your mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” * Your Sustainer knows best what is in your hearts: if you do deeds of righteousness, indeed he is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again [in true penitence]. (Holy Qur’an, 17:23-25)
O heedless one in whose house is an elderly parent or an invalid or someone no longer able to work from among his relations or brothers in religion! Study the above verses carefully and see how on five levels in different ways it summons children to be kindly towards their elderly parents. Yes, the highest truth in this world is the compassion of parents towards their children, and the most elevated rights, their rights of respect in return for their compassion. For they sacrifice their lives with great pleasure, spending them for the sake of their children’s lives. In which case, every child who has not lost his humanity and been transformed into a monster honors those respected, loyal, self-sacrificing friends, serves them sincerely, and tries to please them and make them happy. Uncles and aunts, maternal and paternal, are like fathers and mothers.”
We must heed these glorious words whenever we encounter our elderly. Furthermore, we need to develop our empathy and be proactive in visiting and assisting our elderly as part of our daily lives. Our elderly are treasured blessings for our families and ourselves.  Our mothers are the most elevated of all as the Most Noble Messenger Muhammad reminds us: “Heaven is underneath mothers’ feet.” (Ibn Maajah). And remember: we too shall grow old.
–Dr. Osman Birgeoglu

1 Comment

  1. MaguOctober 13, 2013

    In terms of family, I will say this. My mother looks at me and sees a son who could have done so much more if he did not devote so much time to that Islamic stuff . She is saddened whenever she thinks of it. But her sadness cannot compare an ounce to mine, when I think of my own mother living life without knowing Allah and perhaps dying without faith. But I know that if I were to put family first, then both of us would be weeping on the final day. If I cannot stand up and show that faith is worth living for, then what good am I?

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