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Embracing Love: Encouraging Remarriage for Senior Citizens from an Islamic Perspective

11 Jun. 24: On June 9th, Tahira’s house is buzzing with excitement and activity, as everyone eagerly anticipates an event that remains a societal taboo. Aboobakr’s grandchildren are thrilled as they admire their new dresses for the occasion. Their mother asks them, “What’s the special event today?” the children joyfully exclaim, “It’s our grandfather’s wedding!”

Marriage is considered a social contract and a sacred bond, emphasizing companionship, mutual support, and love. While the focus on marriage often centers around younger couples, the significance of marriage remains equally relevant for senior citizens or older individuals.

In Islam, marriage is encouraged as it aligns with the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The Prophet emphasized the importance of marriage for all ages, stating, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry….” (Bukhari) This guidance extends beyond youth to encompass individuals of all ages, including seniors. By remarrying, senior citizens not only fulfill a Sunnah but also embark on a journey of spiritual growth by embracing companionship and fulfilling half of their faith, as stated by the Prophet.

Najma Nazeer with her father-in-law Aboobakr

Najma Nazeer, an Assistant Professor – Dept. of Mass Communication at MES Asambi College in Kodangalloor (Kerala), noticed how loneliness was affecting her father-in-law, Aboobakr after his wife passed away. After discussing the situation with her husband, Umar NA, and father-in-law, they decided to seek a marriage proposal for Aboobakr.

Najma explained, “All six of my husband’s other siblings are against the marriage, but my husband and I made this decision after talking with my father-in-law.”

She added, “We wanted to help and encourage Uppa to rediscover love and spend the rest of his life with a companion. This marriage should be seen as a social commitment.”

The newly married couple Aboobakr and Tahira

Aboobakker, 78, and Tahira, 66, have married, celebrating their union and challenging societal norms.

Loneliness and social isolation can deeply affect the well-being of senior citizens, leading to depression and a sense of purposelessness. Remarriage provides an opportunity to combat these feelings by offering companionship and emotional support. Islam places great emphasis on the role of spouses in providing comfort and solace to one another. The Quran describes spouses as “garments” for each other, symbolizing protection, warmth, and intimacy. (2:187) Through remarriage, senior citizens can find a new source of emotional connection and support, enriching their lives with love and companionship.

Marriage is the cornerstone of family life in Islam, fostering stability, unity, and continuity across generations. By encouraging remarriage among senior citizens, communities uphold the value of family and strengthen the social fabric. Remarried seniors not only contribute to the establishment of new families but also serve as role models for younger generations, demonstrating the enduring importance of marriage and commitment. Moreover, remarriage can help in blending families, creating bonds of kinship, and fostering a sense of belonging within the community.

In addition to emotional and spiritual benefits, remarriage can also contribute to the physical and financial well-being of senior citizens. Spouses often provide each other with practical support in daily activities, healthcare, and financial matters. Through remarriage, seniors can share resources, alleviate financial burdens, and enjoy a higher quality of life together. Furthermore, the companionship and emotional security provided by a spouse can have positive effects on physical health, promoting longevity and overall well-being.

Islam emphasizes that marriage is a timeless institution that transcends age, offering spiritual, emotional, and societal benefits to individuals of all stages of life. Encouraging remarriage among single senior citizens aligns with the teachings of Islam, promoting companionship, emotional support, and family values.

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