Parents and the Elderly

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 Islam puts great emphasis on the status and honor of parents and elderly folk. Parents are next only to God Almighty when it comes to respect, obedience and honor. God says in the Qur'an:

“Your Lord has decreed to you that: You shall worship none but Him, and you shall be kind to your parents; if one or both of them live to their old age in your lifetime, you shall not say to them any word of contempt nor repel them and you shall address them in kind words. You shall lower to them your wings of humility and pray: ‘O Lord! Bestow on them Your blessings just as they cherished me when I was a little child.' Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts. If you do good deeds, certainly He is most forgiving to those who turn to Him in repentance." Al-Qur'an 17:23-25

God did not give any one a choice to select children or parents. This choice is made by God Himself, therefore, He wants everyone to honor His choice by putting the requirement of obeying the parents immediately after commanding the human being to obey Him. He has commanded the believers to be kind to their parents and make a prayer of forgiveness for their parents, their children and believers at large.

In Islam, there is no room for nursing homes for elderly people. Taking care of the elderly is considered an honor and blessing. Mothers are particularly honored; the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Paradise lies under the feet of your mother.” Serving one's parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. When parents reach old age Muslims are required to treat them with mercy, kindness and selflessness. All elderly people of the community enjoy the similar respect and honor.

Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and all believers on the Day when accountability will take place.

Tags: What does Islam say about Parents and the Elderly, Parents in Islam, Elderly in Islam, Islam, Muslim
References: What is Islam? The Institute of Islamic Knowledge,