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Muslim Aid supports the theme of International Day of Older Persons 2014 - “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All”. This is because caring for the elderly is a fundamental principle of Islam and Muslim Aid was founded on the Islamic principles.
Islam places a great importance on the caring, respecting and supporting of the elderly, encouraging its followers to show respect to elders and take care of our parents, the sick, relatives, strangers and neighbours. Taking care of parents when they are old is considered to be a great blessing and an opportunity to earn reward and attain spiritual growth.
In Surah Al-Isra, verses 23-24, Allah (SWT) says, “ …and be kind to your parents. If one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them, since they cared for me when I was small.’’
The young and old are mutually dependant on each other. The old have experience as well as time and young have energy and enthusiasm. A society benefiting from the inputs of its old and young can look forward to a healthy, balanced and bright future and is bound to achieve happiness. The older people of the society play a vital role in educating and bringing up their children and grandchildren to be active and become responsible citizens in society. It is therefore important to invest in the healthcare of the elderly, especially those living in the developing countries.
Many vulnerable elderly people across the world are continuing to benefit from the healthcare services and other assistance in the field of emergency relief, housing and water and sanitation. Muslim Aid provides support in countries like Bangladesh, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Myanmar. In the UK, Muslim Aid launches its annual Winter Campaign every year to support the disadvantaged and vulnerable elderly residents. As the elderly are susceptible to health problems arising from inadequate heating and poorly insulated homes, people in need are given electric heaters and kettles, which enable them to avoid cold and keep themselves warm throughout the winter. In 2013, 1,463 homeless and elderly people received Keep Warm Kits in the UK.