“If a young man honours an elderly person on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to honour him in his old age.” – Sahih Tirmidhi
The Prophet Muhammed ﷺ demonstrated the importance of respecting the elderly when, as observed by Anas bin Malik, an older man came to talk to the Prophet. People were hesitant to make room for him, but the Prophet said,
“He is not one of us who does not have mercy on young children, nor honour the elderly.”
The teachings the Qu’ran make it clear the importance of honouring and caring for older people, yet right here in the UK and around the world, millions of our elders are grappling with loneliness and poverty.
More than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people in the UK say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. Older people in the UK are also massively impacted by poverty; the number of homeless people over the age of 60 has increased by 40% in the last year alone.
Around the world, millions of older people are living below the poverty line, battling to survive in the face of malnourishment and disease. With winter approaching here in the UK and in many countries around the world, elderly people are even more vulnerable to falling ill in the freezing temperatures.
You can follow the example of Muhammad by providing the support older people need to make it through the winter with warmth and dignity. In the UK, you can volunteer with Penny Appeal’s Team Orange to provide essential winter kits, companionship and nutritious food to the elderly this winter.
You can also give an elderly person in Asia or Africa all they need for health and happiness this winter by Adopting a Gran with Penny Appeal! For just 33p a day, you can help us provide quality care for an older person living in poverty, so that they can experience the same health care, support and nutrition as our own loved parents and grandparents.
It is not enough for us to pray and meditate on scripture; we must act upon its wisdom.
“The Prophet said: ‘Glorifying Allah involves showing honour to a grey-haired Muslim’” – Abu Musa al-Ash’ari