The Status of the Elderly in Islam

On a visit to a post office in San Diego, California, I noticed an elderly lady struggling to get out of her car. Alone and probably in her mid-seventies she held the door with a trembling hand as she stepped out of the driver’s seat. “May I help you Ma’am?” I said, stepping out of my own car with an outstretched hand. “No, thank you”, she replied, politely and with a smile, perhaps reluctant to take help from a stranger.

I watched her as she proceeded towards the building with difficulty. Her dignified refusal, despite the difficult situation she was in, moved me immensely. She was clearly too old to be running errands, and perhaps too old to drive safely.

I realized that the situation of this old lady was not unlike millions of other elderly the world over, who are deprived of the love and care they need and deserve in their old age.

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