For Friday’s sermon, the imam will discuss the rights of elderly people in society.
Islam attributes a special status to the elderly and orders its followers to treat them with respect and show compassion to them in their old age. Honouring the old is even associated with exalting Allah, worshippers will hear.
In Islam, serving older people, treating them mercifully, providing for their needs and comfort and taking care of their health and well-being are duties incumbent on each Muslim.
The imam will tell the faithful that it is right for the elderly, man or woman, to have priority in all aspects of daily life.
“The youth must give precedence to the old-aged at government service departments by offering them their seats or allowing them to take their turn in the queue,” the imam will say.
“They should also give them the preference to enter first and to cross the road. Indeed, they are successful those who embrace such gracious conducts and will, by Allah’s favour, attain great rewards.”
Another aspect of the Prophet’s respect and mercy towards the elderly is that he instructed Muslims not to prolong prayers when they lead worshippers, lest it becomes a burden for the elders amongst them.
He said: “If anyone of you leads the people in the prayer, he should shorten it for amongst them are the weak, the sick and the old.”
The imam will explain that showing the utmost care and dutifulness to the elderly is among the noblest deeds.
“This is because our past, which is a source of pride to us, and the bounties of the present that we are cherishing are all the produce of our grey-haired ones. It is our duty, therefore, to show gratitude to them for all the good they did to us. This is in line with the teachings of the Quran in which Allah, the Almighty says: ‘is the reward for good [anything] but good?’ (Ar-Rahman: 60)
“It is such a gracious attitude that one sit with the elderly and check on their well-being, share their memories with them, benefit from their experiences and listen to their words of mouth. We should also raise their spirits by receiving them well, showing hospitality to make them feel our happiness for meeting them, in addition to filling their spare times by engaging them with activities that may benefit them in this life and the next.”
It is the duty of Muslims to teach their children the etiquette of dealing with the elderly and how to show respect to them, the imam will tell worshippers.
“Such traditions are deeply rooted in our society and should be inherited from one generation to the next. This way, we can pay back to our elderly people part of their rights on us and foster the good bonds between generations.”