Old age homes
Take care of your parents when they need you most
SOCIETY BY SYED MUIZ QADRI
“Old age homes” has always been a disturbing phenomenon the world over. Some people try to justify their existence from the logical point of view. From the past few years the number of cases, where children have abandoned their parents, have increased. The main reason is that the children have settled abroad for their careers and have reached a point of no return. Also sometimes it’s because of lack of resources of sustenance that the children leave their parents to the mercy of God. This has kindled strife in the society. The question that arises in this scenario is that are old age homes really a solution to this problem and can they provide the solace to the parents which they need in their old age?
"My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small." (17:23)
This verse of the Qur’an clearly emphasises what a Muslim is supposed to do with his parents in their old age. He is not just supposed to feed his parents, but to give them sincere love, lower his voice, submit to them etc. Allah has clubbed the obligation of worshipping Him alone with being kind and attentive to parents. This shows the respectful status Islam has given to parents. Also Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) further endorsed this teaching by mentioning several major sins, and one of them being showing disrespect to parents (Sahih Bukhari). Hence in a Muslim dominated society, an inception of an old age home is in no way pragmatic. But the question arises—If Islam is so much clear cut about this issue then why do such cases are on the rise in this valley? The answer lies with the same parents who face such consequences. The children are not imparted the teachings of Islam. The parents leave no stone unturned to give them quality “education”, to send their wards to foreign countries if required, and to get them adjusted in best working culture. But they show great leniency when it comes to imparting the teachings of Islam. Since Islam is a prudent religion, the same parents face its consequences in the later part of their life. Had they imbibed the teachings of Islam among their children, the scenario would have been something different, something which every old parent desires.
Furthermore, one may argue that now the loss has already occurred, it’s better to send the parents to old age homes where they would get proper care, attention etc. But the situation is not as simple as it seems. What if their parents ignored them in their childhood, didn’t attend to them, would it have been pragmatic to send them to an orphanage? The answer is obviously no. Rather an intellectual mind would suggest counseling of such parents as to why they ill-treat their wards, and resolve the matter. Same argument holds true in the case of old parents also. If children are properly counseled and addressed, there are high chances that they can realize their obligations. The love of parents cannot be replaced by an orphanage. Similarly an old age home also cannot replace the love which parents require from their children no matter how much high-tech facilities are being provided.
Also if the child has to work abroad, he can take his parents along with him. For this to happen, parents must also compromise at some points, like leaving their birthplace which is obviously better than spending life in an old age home or remaining abandoned within the four walls of the house with none to cater to their needs.
Parents and children share the purest relationship. It is the duty of children to look after their parents when they are old and cannot care for themselves. Unfortunately, recent trends show that people would rather leave their parents in old age homes, an act which has devastating effects on the emotions of the abandoned parents.
Allah mentions in the Qur’an, “And We ordained upon man concerning his parents; his mother bore him enduring weakness upon weakness, and his suckling is up to two years - therefore be thankful to Me and to your parents; finally towards Me is the return.” (31:14)
Let's have respect and care for parents. Abandoning them means forgetting the most important lesson of our life.
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Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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