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 hope in their future, have no one to be taken care by, and, often face the prospect of lonely death in their living places.
The industrialization of modern Japan in 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 nuclear family at that time.
With the widespread of Western culture, people started having 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. Ou kind behavior will, hopefully, develop a soft corners 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 peace, and to the heaven to its adherents.