Will you explain the verse "It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful." (An-Nahl 70)

The Details of the Question
Will you explain the verse "It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful." (Surah An-Nahl 16/70)
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.

Allah states in the verse above that He deals with us, His slaves, however He wishes, that He creates us out of nothing, that He makes us die before we get old and that He makes some of us live until a feeble age when we forget abut what we have known and then makes us die.

“Some of you will be let live until a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much)”

The expression “feeble age” (ardhal al-umur) is also used in the 5th verse of the chapter al-Hajj. What does “ardhal al-umur” mean? The verse explains it as “to know nothing after having known”. In other words, “If We grant long life to any, We cause him to be reversed in nature… “(Yasin 36/68). That is, ardhal al-umur denotes the period when the body cannot function fully due to getting old hence the brain cannot operate fully and loses its abilities; the brain cannot fulfill its duties fully although it is alive, it loses its psychological powers or those powers decrease. It is also called the period of senility.

Hazrat Prophet took refuge in Allah from getting very old, that is, living until a feeble age. He prayed Allah so that He will not let him live until that age.

In a hadith, the Prophet took refuge in Allah from many things and stated that one of them was the period of weakness in one’s life. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas narrates: "The Messenger of Allah would pray after performing the prayer and take refuge in Allah from the following things, saying, "O Allah! I take refuge in you from cowardice, feeble age, the mischief of the world and the torture of grave. (Bukhari, Jihad, 25, Daawat, 37)

Anas b. Malik narrates, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would pray as follows, taking refuge in Allah: " O Allah! I take refuge in you from laziness, cowardice, getting very old and stinginess. (Bukhari, Daawat, 42)

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