Allah Almighty, who is the All-Compassionate Creator, provides the elderly with a powerful hope and shining light of solace through the All-Wise Quran, write IBRAHIM OKSAS and NAZEEMA AHMED.
FOR every change in our lives, be that the beginning of a new year, a new challenge or a new opportunity, it is instructive for us to seek the extraordinary guidance that proceeds from the All-Wise Quran, which allows us to navigate life’s opportunities and challenges in the most efficacious manner.
In his contemporary Quranic tafsir, Risale-i Nur (The treatise of light), Bediuzzaman Said Nursi expresses that the spring, source and fountain of all true guidance emanates from belief in Allah. It is this light of imaan that forms the foundation for the way in which we engage with the world in all its complexities.
In this increasingly complex time in which we find themselves, Bediuzzaman discusses and enumerates the nature of the challenges that believers have to confront, especially those faced by the elderly and those who experience ill-health. He provides the remarkable remedies and solace that proceed from the Divine guidance contained in the All-Wise Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah.
With respect to aging, for the elderly it is likely that when they consider that they are getting old, they may experience a more immediate reality that the day in which they find themselves too has grown old, so has the year grown old; and so too has the world become old. Bediuzzaman shares that as the time of departure from the world approaches and the elderly have to face the imminent separation from those they love, a sad and melancholic state of mind and heart may result.
However, he says that Allah Almighty, who is the All-Compassionate Creator, provides the elderly with a powerful hope and shining light of solace through the All-Wise Quran, for He presents Himself in a hundred places in the All-Wise Quran as the Most Merciful of the Merciful.
Thus, Allah Almighty always sends His mercy to the assistance of His living creatures on the earth who seek it, and every year through the spring, He provides for His creation innumerable bounties and gifts from the unseen, for example, sending them to those elderly who are in need of rizq, and Allah manifests His mercy in greater abundance relative to the degree of weakness and impotence of his creation, notably the elderly.
Bediuzzaman states that for the elderly, therefore, relying on Allah Almighty’s mercy is their greatest hope and most powerful light, obtained through forming a relation with the Most Merciful One through imaan, establishing the five fard salaah and by being obedient to Him.
In addressing the elderly, Bediuzzaman confirms the necessity of acknowledging that they are departing, and that there is no value or benefit in deceiving themselves in this regard. He says that, due to the gloomy delusions which arise from heedlessness and in part from the people of misguidance, the barzakh (the intermediate realm), which may appear to be dark and full of separation, is in reality the meeting-place of friends. It is the world where they shall all meet with foremost Allah’s Beloved (SAW) and with all their friends.
The elderly should recognise that they are going to the world of the one who every year for more than a thousand years has been the ruler of millions of people, being the trainer of their spirits, the teacher of their minds and the beloved of their hearts. It is to Rasoolullah’s (SAW) book of good works, in accordance with the meaning of ‘the cause is like the doer’ that every day is added the equivalent of all the good works performed by his ummah (community).
Bediuzzaman cites that it is proclaimed through authentic narrations and accurate divining of reality that when Rasoolullah (SAW) came into the world, he exclaimed: ‘My ummah! My ummah!’ So too, at the Last Judgement when everyone thinks only of themselves, he will again declare, ‘My ummah! My ummah,’ and with sacred, elevated self-sacrifice, Rasoolullah (SAW) will hasten with his intercession. This is then the world to which the elderly will depart. A world that is said to be illuminated by the stars of countless ouliyah (saints) and asfiyah (purified scholars) revolving around that sun (SAW).
Bediuzzaman confirms the superlative light and intercession of the Glorious Rasool (SAW) for the elderly, for our Rasool (SAW) is the model, ideal, proclaimer and representative of Allah Almighty’s compassion, and the bearer of the gift of guidance that he brought to humankind. Thus, the way in which to share in that being’s (SAW) intercession and to profit from his light, and be saved from the darkness of the barzakh, is to follow his glorious Sunnah.
As stated in the introduction to this article, we recount Bediuzzaman’s perspective that the remedies for all our challenges and tribulations in this world should proceed from the guidance of the All-Wise Quran, and as such, especially for the elderly, should afford the light of hope and consolation in their old age. Allah Almighty gifted us a book, to explain His relations with us and what He desires from us.
This most sacred of all books, the All-Wise Quran, says Bediuzzaman, is a book of law, a book of prayer, a book of wisdom, a book of worship, a book of command and summons, and a book of thought. It is a unique, comprehensive sacred book comprising many books to which humankind can seek recourse for all their innumerable needs. This light-scattering book is recited by millions of people on a daily basis, and it is said that every letter of it affords at least ten merits and rewards and, sometimes, ten thousand and, sometimes – through the mystery of the Night of Power – thirty thousand.
Bediuzzaman concludes that since this Quran that we have is the Word of the All-Glorious Creator of the heavens and earth, proceeding from His Rububiyyah (Absolute Dominicality), and His all-encompassing rahmah, it is His decree and is a source of His unending mercy and, therefore, we should all adhere to it.
In this magnificent Quran are found a cure for every ill, a light for every darkness and a hope for all despair. The key to this eternal treasury is imaan and submission to Allah Almighty, and listening to the Quran and accepting it, and constantly reciting and reflecting upon the truths and guidance that it teaches.