Is reward of the prayer of a young person more than an old person?
Is it true that rewards for prayers of a young man are much more than those of an old man? If yes, then what is the explanation?
I am asking in order to remove the misunderstanding that people have regarding the prayers of an old man. It is generally held that an old person need not pray since, in any case, his 70 prayers would amount to just one prayer of the young. I think that in one’s youth, one finds oneself more attracted towards others’ appearances and is more inclined towards establishing a life of partying. But in old age, there are fewer chances for such obsessions to rule. So, if a young man is keeping away from the above-mentioned, and is spending his life according to Allah’s commandments then he is better-off, otherwise not. Please explain.
I think you have answered the question correctly yourself. The criterion is not quite as much one’s age as it is one’s circumstances. Since when you are young, you normally tend to be fascinated by worldly attractions more strongly than when you are old, it is imagined that the prayer of a young person is more valuable than that of an old one. There are verses of the Quran and ahadith which tend to support that view. However, old age has its own distractions i.e. love for fame, ego, obsession for the worldly growth of children, etc.
There is no reason why an old man should not pray because he cannot get as much reward as a young man’s prayer would get. The purpose of prayer is not just to get reward. It is, more importantly, going to help in evading punishment in the Hereafter. Also, it is the right of the Almighty that we should pray to Him, whatever be our age.
One thing more: You can not pray even as an old man unless you get permission (Taufiq) from the Almighty. If a person has got that Taufiq from the Almighty in his old age, we should encourage him, instead of discouraging him.