How should we treat old aged parents? We may have difficulty in being patient against their wrong behaviors. What would you advise?

The Details of the Question
How should we treat old aged parents? We may have difficulty in being patient against their wrong behaviors. What would you advise?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

If people are defeated by their souls, they should show the consequences of the events to the mind and this is how they should convince the mind and the soul. Respect for elders is essential. We might end up with an eternal punishment if we treat our elders in a way which may break their hearts. For this reason, we should always consider the cost that our behaviors may result in and we should always remember this. This will become a habit in time and in any case, spiritual consequences will be remembered first.

Our elders remained patient against any troubles and problems we caused them while they were raising us, similarly, now we should remain patient against our elders who behave like children.

The matter of respect for parent from the Risale-i Nur Collection:

Should one of them, or both, attain old age in your lifetime, do not say "Ugh!" to them (as an indication of complaint or impatience), nor push them away; and always address them in gracious words.Lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy, and say: "My Lord, have mercy on them even as they cared for me in childhood. "Your Lord best knows what is in your souls (in respect of all matters, including what you think of your parents). If you are righteous (in your thoughts and deeds), then surely He is All-Forgiving to those who turn to Him in humble contrition.” ( The Qur’an, Al-Isra’, 17:23-25).

“O heedless one in whose house is an elderly parent or an invalid or someone no longer able to work from among his relations or brothers in religion! Study the above verses carefully and see how on five levels in different ways it summons children to be kindly towards their elderly parents. Yes, the highest truth in this world is the compassion of parents towards their children, and the most elevated rights, their rights of respect in return for their compassion. For they sacrifice their lives with great pleasure, spending them for the sake of their children’s lives. In which case, every child who has not lost his humanity and been transformed into a monster honours those respected, loyal, self-sacrificing friends, serves them sincerely, and tries to please them and make them happy. Uncles and aunts, maternal and paternal, are like parents.

So understand from this how base and lacking in conscience it is to be contemptuous towards those blessed elderly people, or to want their deaths. Know what a wicked wrong and iniquity it is to want the lives to pass of those who sacrificed their lives for yours.”

O you who struggles to secure his livelihood! The means of plenty and mercy in your house, and the repeller of disaster, is that elderly or blind relative of yours, whom you belittle. Beware, do not say: “My income is little, I have difficulty in making ends meet,” for if it was not for the plenty resulting from their presence, your circumstances would have been even more straitened. Believe this fact which I am telling you; I can prove it most decisively and can convince you. But in order not to prolong the discussion, I am cutting it short. Be content with this much. I swear that this is absolutely certain; my evil-commanding soul and own devil, even, have submitted to it. You should be convinced of a fact which has smashed my soul’s obduracy and silenced my devil.

Yes, the All-Glorious and Munificent Creator, Who, as the universe testifies, is infinitely Merciful, Compassionate, Bountiful, and Generous, provides infants with the finest of sustenance when His sends them into this world, causing it to flow into their mouths from the springs of their mother’s breasts. So too, He provides, in the form of plenty, the sustenance of the elderly, who are like children though even more in need and deserving of kindness and compassion. He does not burden the avaricious and miserly with their livelihood. All living creatures, all their species, declare through the tongues of their beings the truth expressed by the following verses:

“For God is He Who gives [all] sustenance,-Lord of Power and Steadfast [for ever].” ( The Qur’an, Adh-Dhariyat, 51:58)

“How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is God Who feeds [both] them and you;” ( The Qur’an, Al-Ankabut, 29:60)

they state this munificent truth. In fact it is not only elderly relations, certain creatures like cats, who are a friend to man-their sustenance also comes in the form of plenty, sent within the food of the human beings. An example which corroborates this and I myself observed is as follows: my close friends know that for two to three years my appointed lot every day was half a loaf of bread, the loaves in that village were small, and very often this was insufficient for me. Then four cats came and stayed with me as my guests, and that same portion was sufficient both for myself and for them. There was frequently even some left over.”

“This situation has recurred so often that it has made me certain that I was benefiting from the plenty resulting from the cats. I declare most definitely that they were not a load on me. Also, it was not they who were obliged to me, but I to them.”

“O man! If an animal which is as though wild is the means of plenty when it comes as a guest to the house of a human being, you can compare for yourself what a means of plenty and mercy will be man, the noblest of creatures; and the believers, the most perfect of men; and the powerless and ailing elderly, the most worthy of respect and compassion among the believers; and relatives, the most worthy and deserving of kindness, love, and to be served among the ailing elderly; and parents, who are the truest and most loyal friends among relatives, if they are present in a house in their old age. According to the meaning of, "If it was not for the elderly, bent double with age, calamities would be visited on you in floods," you can see what an important cause they are of disasters being repelled.”

“O man, come to your senses! If you do not die earlier, you too will become old. If you do not honour your parents, in accordance with the meaning of, “the punishment is similar to the act that required it,” your children will not be dutiful towards you. If you love your life in the hereafter, this is an important treasury for you: be dutiful towards them and gain their pleasure. While if it is this world that you love, still try to please them, so that through them your life will be easy and your sustenance plentiful. For if you are contemptuous of them, wish for their deaths, and wound their sensitive and easily hurt hearts, you will manifest the meaning of the verse,

“They lose both this world and the hereafter.” ( The Qur’an, Al-Hajj, 22:11)

“If you want the mercy of the Most Merciful One, be merciful towards those in your house whom He has entrusted to you.”

“There was someone called Mustafa Cavus, one of my brothers of the hereafter. I used to observe that he was very successful both in his religious life and his worldly life. I did not know the reason for this. Then I later understood that the reason for his success was that he had understood the rights of his elderly parents and he observed them to the letter; due to them he had found ease and mercy. God willing, he repaired his life in the hereafter as well. Those who wish for good fortune should try to resemble him...”

“O God, grant blessings and peace to the one who said: "Paradise is beneath the feet of mothers," and to all his Family and Companions.”

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