Know what a wicked wrong and iniquity it is to want the lives of those who sacrificed their lives for yours to pass quickly.
O you who struggles to secure his livelihood! That elderly or blind relative of yours whom you belittle is a source of plenty and mercy in your house and repels disaster. Beware! Do not say: “I have a low income and difficulty in making ends meet,” for if it were not for the plenty resulting from their presence, your circumstances would have been even more straitened. Believe this fact which I am telling you; I could prove it decisively and convince you, but I am cutting it short so as not to prolong the discussion. Be content with this much. I swear that it is absolutely certain; my evil-commanding soul and own devil, even, have submitted to it. So you should be persuaded by something that has smashed my soul’s obduracy and silenced my devil.
Yes, the All-Glorious and Munificent Creator, who, as the universe testifies, is infinitely Merciful, Compassionate, Bountiful, and Generous, provides infants with the finest of sustenance when He sends them into this world, causing it to flow into their mouths from the springs of their mother’s breasts. So too, He provides, in the form of plenty, the sustenance of the elderly, who are like children though even more in need and deserving of kindness and compassion. He does not burden the avaricious and miserly with their livelihood. All living creatures and all their species declare through the tongues of their beings the munificent truth expressed by the following verses:
For God is He Who gives [all] sustenance, – Lord of Power and Steadfast [for ever].(51:58) * How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is God Who feeds [both] them and you.(29:60)
In fact, it is not only the sustenance of elderly relations that comes in the form of plenty; the sustenance of creatures like cats who are friendly to man also comes in the form of plenty, sent together with the food of the human beings. An example supporting this, which I myself observed, is as follows: my close friends know that for two to three years my appointed lot every day was half a loaf of bread, the loaves in that village were small, and very often this was insufficient for me. Then four cats came and stayed with me as my guests, and that same portion was sufficient both for myself and for them. There was frequently some left over even.
This has recurred so often that it has made me certain that I was benefiting from the plenty resulting from the cats. I declare most definitely that they were not a load on me. It was not they who were obliged to me, but I to them.
O man! If a semi-wild animal is a means of plenty when it comes as a