Financial Support for Pilgrimage and its Impact to the Well-Being of the Elderly in Kelantan
Keywords:elderly, financial assistance, pilgrimage, well-being
The increase in the lifespan of the population has made many Malay Muslims practicing hajj at older age. Furthermore, the high cost of pilgrimage leads to a long period of time needed to provide financial resources. Every year, the departure of the pilgrimage becomes a phenomenon in the Malay community. Most studies in the West show pilgrimage can improve the well-being of senior citizens. In Malaysia, senior citizens find a variety of ways in order to perform hajj, such as saving money from agricultural activities, saving up from their retirement money and receiving money from their children. The objective of this article is to identify the primary source of financial support that the elderly received in order to perform the Hajj and its impact on their well-being. A qualitative approach was used to collect data involving in-depth interviews and participant observations on 10 respondents aged 60 years and above. This respondent was selected through snowball sampling and purposive sampling. The data was analysed using content analysis related to the major sources of money obtained to perform the pilgrimage. The findings show that self-support is a major source for the elderly in rural areas to perform the Hajj. This personal savings come from the formal and informal work of the elderly are kept in various ways. The study found three aspects of well-being of the elderly who went for the Hajj which are happiness, emotional intelligence, and spirituality. This study contributes to the knowledge on the importance of saving money and the role of family as the provider of social support to parents going for Hajj. The government should make it compulsory that every Muslim must create a saving account specifically for Hajj and save their money there for the purpose of performing Hajj.