The Philosophy of the Objective and Purpose of Islamic Law: Economic Protection of the Elderly

The Philosophy of the Objective and Purpose of Islamic Law: Economic Protection of the Elderly

Raihanah Azahari (University of Malaya, Malaysia), Asmak Ab Rahman (University of Malaya, Malaysia), Raihanah Abdullah (University of Malaya, Malaysia) and Mardhiah A. Rahim (University of Malaya, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3773-1.ch014


Population and life expectancy of the elderly are increasing in Malaysia, while the birth rate is declining. Increasing age results in physical and psychological changes. Life at this age can be challenging, especially from an economic standpoint. Economic protection refers to a sense of safety and protection derived from a solid income or other resources to support present and future needs. People need food, clothing, shelter, and good health to survive. In Islam, this is a basic requirement for human life. Inadequate economic protections contribute to increased poverty and affect the quality of life, contrary to the philosophy of the objectives of Islamic law, which seek to preserve its five major interests: religion, life, property, lineage, and intellect. As a holistic religion, Islam does not ignore economic protection and its role in preserving human life, including for the elderly. This chapter discusses forms of economic protection for the elderly that ensure achievement of the objectives of Islamic law.
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The Elderly In Islam

The elderly are referred to as al-Musin in Arabic (Ibn Manzur, 1990) or as advanced in age (al-Sheikh, al-Ajuz) and extremely old (al-harim). These terms have different meanings corresponding to the changes that occur in the elderly. According to Ibn Manzur (1990), sheikh refers to the early age of the elderly, when grey appears in their hair. The term for “extremely old” (harim) means the last age for senior citizens, while “advanced in age” (al-Ajuz) refers to those who are weak in terms of physical and mental strength.

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