I was struck by a recent article published in The New York Times. The writer conducted an extensive research on the elderly people in Japan and the way they live in the final years of their lives– while facing lonely deaths. Japan, as you all know, is the most rapidly aging society in the world, and, perhaps, the most lonely one as well. The question is how to spread the light of Islam to the people who have lost all their hopes in their future, have no one to be taken care by, and, often face the prospect of lonely deaths in their living places.
The industrialization of modern Japan in the 60s and 70s entirely changed the Japanese culture in ways previously unknown to Japan where multi-generational homes had been a norm. In the words of the author in the article mentioned above, Japan was introduced to a Western structure of life centered on the nuclear family at that time.
With the widespread of Western culture, people started having a fewer number of children, began to live in smaller houses, and thus lost touch with other extended family members. As a result of the above, they became lonely and had no one to talk to most of the time.
Although, most of us, the Muslims are busy in our day to day lives, we may think about these lonely souls, reach out to them, look after them to the extent we can, talk to them, keep in touch with them on regular basis, and, gently explain the concept of Allah. Our kind behavior will, Insha Allah, develop a soft corner in their hearts for Muslims and Islam.
We need to reach out to these lonely people, give our helping hands, and show them the path to Allah which leads to eternal peace, and paradise to its adherents. However, if we are serious, we have to become an example to those who need Divine Guidance but, do not know where to look for guidance.
Subhanallah. This is a wonderful idea, I think. I recall to have come across some hadeeth about Rasulullah SAW approaching those at their deathbeds to embrace Islam. I suggest to study these hadeeth and make an action plan of how to practically do this where you are.
Ideally, Islam should be something that we are proud of, because alhamdulillah Allah has chosen us as people who bear the Truth that the Quran and sunnah has taught. So, do not keep the gift of Islam to one’s self, the teachings should be shared with as many people as possible, whether young or old, family, friends or strangers. I think this is the attitude that all Muslims should have, as evident in many of the Sahabah RAhm and even Rasulullah SAW who continuously learned, taught and lived Islam till it reached numerous generations to come. Including us. Alhamdulillah.
In the scope of Japan, one knows the place where one is at very well, so he or she should do as much as possible with the resources and opportunities available. The more we learn about Allah, Islam, Quran, Sunnah, the lives of Rasulullah and the Sahabah, and how it shaped the world we are in today, the more we will come to love Islam and be proud of the Truth that we hold. Laa ilaaha illallah.
May all the world bow down to Allah and only Allah one day, as He is the Most Loving, Most Merciful.