October 1st is celebrated as International Older Person’s Day to appreciate older people and senior citizens around the world. Governments are giving incentives to their senior citizens perhaps because of their contribution to society during their younger days or in honor of their long life or for other reasons.
While in the West, they place their senior citizens in the homes of the aged, in Muslim countries, Muslim elderly people are given special treatment. They are taken care of by their children and relatives who place upon themselves a religious and family obligation to take care of their elderly people.
Sometime ago, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced all senior citizens of Turkey aged 65 or above will be provided free housing, free medical and a lifetime monthly stipend for US$300 livelihood sustenance. He even said a fully-paid one hajj to Mecca for the seniors will be sponsored by the Turkish government.
Other Muslim governments have also ways of taking care of their senior citizens in terms of health, sustenance, and other social needs in order for them to enjoy good life as they age.
While governments have their own ways of taking care of their elderly, the Muslim society owes at least five things to our senior citizens:
1. Give respect to them: They want nothing but respect! Each senior citizen should be given due respect and importance by the youngsters and by the society who in turn can learn and benefit from their experiences, knowledge, and views.
2. Follow Islam teaches: We must not also forget that Islam teaches us to respect and care for the elderly.
3. Society should come forward: It is the duty of society to look after senior citizens and their welfare.
4. Give basic facilities: The Government should provide Senior citizens with basic facilities such as free health care, free transportation, and universal pension.
5. Free education for them: Free education for those who want to further study.
Islam has sets of rules for everything for the good of humanity, taking care of the elderly among them. – Muslimedia.PH