Visiting the Sick, Elderly and Newcomers, Dr.Emdad Khan
SNMC is a unique organization in many of its activities, one such activity, is the weekly local visits. We should visit the sick as it helps us to reflect and reminds us of the blessing of health. When we visit each other in good health, bonds of brotherhood and friendship are strengthened. But when we visit each other in times of sickness, it will give comfort and hope to the sick and the family that the community is with them during challenging time.
Following the sunnah of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), since its inception in June 1998, a team of snmc volunteers has been visiting, once in a week, residents and local hospitals to be with the sick, elderly and newcomers. Until 2014, we used to visit to inform local residents about the prayer facility and the financial and volunteering supports for building the masjid. From 2015, during our visit, we thank the families for their support in building the masjid and state the benefits of taking care of the elderly parents and relatives.
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “On the Day of Judgement, God will announce: O son of Adam, I was sick, yet you did not visit Me. He will reply, ‘O God, how could I have visited You since you are the Lord of the Worlds? God will say: Did you not know that so and so slave of mine was sick, and yet you did not visit him? Should you have visited him, you would have found Me by him. ” [Sahih Muslim]
Ali (R.A.) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘When a Muslim visit his sick Muslim brother in the morning, seventy thousand angels make Dua for his forgiveness till the evening. And when he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels make Dua for his forgiveness till the morning, and he will be granted a garden for it in Jannah.’ [Al-Timizi, Abu Dawood]
The Quran states,” Your Lord hath decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy as they cherished me in childhood.” [Al-Israh, 17:23-24]
As we have been visiting for the last 20 years, we have observed firsthand the plight of the elderly. Many occasions, we observed, the elderly is not accorded the respect and dignity that every human being needs, even by own children and relatives.
Compassion and respect towards the elderly is an essential duty as the Prophet (PBUH) stated, “He is not one of us who does not show love to the young and who does not show respect to the elder.” [At-Tirmizi]. Unfortunately, we noticed the decline in this habit, along with the decline of Islamic practices. But in life cycle, who is young now, surely will grow old one day. Prophet (PBUH) stated “If a young man honors an elderly on account of his age, God appoints someone to honor him in his old age.” [At-Tirmizi].
May God help us all, to fulfill our duties towards the elderly, to love and respect them and to set a good example for our own children.
Currently, snmc visitation team has over 50 members, each week average 10 to 15 brothers participate to visit home, hospital and to welcome the newcomers in the community. We encourage every member of Muslim community, to volunteer for the local visit or any other snmc activities, they like to serve to fulfill the need of the community. May Good Bless SNMC Community. Ameen.