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Chapter 5.1. Respect And Favour The Elderly

Recognize the status of the elderly and give them due respect. When walking with them, walk slightly behind, to their right. Let them enter and exit first. If you meet them, greet them properly and respectfully. If you discuss something with them, let them speak first, and listen to them attentively and graciously. If the conversation involves debate, you should remain polite, calm, and kind-hearted and you should lower your voice. Never forget to remain respectful.

Let me review with you some of the Prophet's sayings and traditions that uphold these polite manners. Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that Abdullah bin Sahl made a trip with Mahisa bin Masoud bin Zayed to Khaibar. When they were to about to return, Mahisa found Abdullah had been murdered. He went to the Prophet with his older brother, Howaisa and the victim's brother, Abdul Rahman bin Sahl. Mahisa who witnessed the incident started to talk, but the Prophet said, 'the elder, the elder.' At that, Howaisa spoke and then Mahisa

Another story emphasizes this behaviour further. When he was young, Abdullah bin Omar was at a gathering of the Prophet and his senior companions like Abu Bakr and his father. The Prophet asked his companions, 'Tell what is the tree that does not shed its leaves and which is like the Muslim.' The companions started suggesting names of desert trees. Abdullah bin Omar thought it was the date-palm. Since he was the youngest, and seeing Abu Bakr and Omar silent, he shied away and said nothing. The Prophet told his companions: 'It is the palm tree'. Later, Abdullah told his father that he knew the right answer but shied away. Omar said to his son 'For you to have said it right then, would have been worth a lot to me.'

Imam Ahmad, Al-Hakim and Al-Tabarani reported that 'Ubada bin Al-Samit stated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: 'Whoever does not respect our elders is not one of us.' Another version reported: 'Whoever does not respect our elders, is not compassionate to our youth, and does not give our scholars due honour, he is not one of us.'

This should not be taken to belittle the youth or look down on them. Imam Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas narrated that Omar was allowing him to attend his court with seniors who attended Badr. Some of them felt uneasy and asked, 'Why are you permitting him to attend when he is as young as our children?' Omar replied, 'He is [knowledgeable] as you well know.' Another version elaborates that Omar asked the seniors to explain Surah Al-Fatiha and only Abdullah in Abbas explained it correctly. Ibn Abbas said, 'I thought he asked the question just to demonstrate my knowledge to them.'

Chapters

Chapter 1

Importance Of Appearance

Chapter 1.1

Distinct Muslim Personality

Chapter 1.2

Cleanliness And Washing

Chapter 1.3

Arriving From A Journey

Chapter 1.4

Dress Properly With Family And Friends

Chapter 2

Entering Or Leaving A House

Chapter 2.1

How-to-enter

Chapter 2.2

Entering While Others Are Asleep

Chapter 2.3

Greeting

Chapter 2.4

Announcing Your Presence

Chapter 2.5

Seeking Permission To Enter

Chapter 2.6

Knocking And Ringing

Chapter 2.7

Answering 'Who Is It?'

Chapter 3

The Manners Of Visiting

Chapter 3.1

Keeping Appointments, Delays And Cancellation

Chapter 3.2

Declining A Visit

Chapter 3.3

Control Your Eyes

Chapter 3.4

Removing Your Shoes

Chapter 3.5

Choosing A Seat

Chapter 3.6

A Visitor Is Not An Inspector

Chapter 3.7

Timing Your Visit

Chapter 3.8

Greeting

Chapter 3.9

Sitting Between Two Persons

Chapter 3.10

The Host's Duties And The Guests' Rights

Chapter 3.11

Stay In Touch

Chapter 3.12

A Brief Advice To My Sisters

Chapter 4

The Manners Of Conversation

Chapter 4.1

Selecting Suitable Topics

Chapter 4.2

Talk In A Suitable Tone

Chapter 4.3

The Art Of Listening

Chapter 4.4

Discussions And Debates

Chapter 4.5

Swearing By Allah

Chapter 4.6

Answering A Question

Chapter 5

Social Manners

Chapter 5.1

Respect And Favour The Elderly

Chapter 5.2

The Elderly Are To Lead Prayers

Chapter 5.3

Walking With The Elderly

Chapter 5.4

The Elderly Are To Be Served First

Chapter 5.5

Manners With Parents

Chapter 5.6

Tell Your Family Your Whereabouts

Chapter 5.7

Respect The Poor

Chapter 5.8

Dealing With Non-muslims

Chapter 6

Manners Of Eating

Chapter 6.1

The Importance Of Eating Manners

Chapter 6.2

Manners Of Eating

Chapter 6.3

Manners Of Drinking

Chapter 6.4

Avoid Gluttony

Chapter 6.5

Gold And Silver Cutlery

Chapter 7

Weddings

Chapter 7.1

Weddings Are Part Of The Prophet's Tradition

Chapter 7.2

The Manners Of Attending Weddings

Chapter 8

Visiting The Sick

Chapter 8.1

Visiting A Patient

Chapter 8.2

Praying For The Sick

Chapter 8.3

The Length Of The Visit

Chapter 8.4

The Manners Of Visiting A Patient

Chapter 8.5

How The Ill Express Their Complaints

Chapter 9

Condolence

Chapter 9.1

Breaking Unpleasant News

Chapter 9.2

Expressing Condolences Is A Courtesy And A Duty

Chapter 9.3

Expressing Condolences And Sympathy

Chapter 9.4

Sending Flowers And Reading Quran During Funerals

Chapter 9.5

A Final Word