بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه
Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
من أتت عليه ستون سنة ، فقد أعذر الله إليه في العمر
“Whoever has been granted sixty years (of life), Allaah has excused him from that age.”
[Tafseer at-Tabari, 12/1 (173); Shu’ab al-Imaan, 7/3320 (who said it was cited by al-Bukhari); Hilyat al-Awliya’, 3/296 (who said it was proven) – graded as saheeh by al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5945]
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has made concessions for the young who have not reached puberty; and for the elderly of the ummah.
أعذر denotes pardon, over-looking a fault and excusing one for any of his short-comings. This is because Allaah reverses the (stages of) creation of man from childhood to adulthood and then from adulthood to old-age, where once again man is very much like a child in terms of his mental faculties and physical strength. This is also from the meaning of the Words of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى:
وَمَن نُّعَمِّرْهُ نُنَكِّسْهُ فِي الْخَلْقِ ۖ أَفَلَا يَعْقِلُونَ
“And he whom We grant long life – We reverse him in creation (i.e. weakness after strength). Will they not then understand?” [Yaseen, 68]
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى also Said about the phases of life:
وَنُقِرُّ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ مَا نَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا ثُمَّ لِتَبْلُغُوا أَشُدَّكُمْ ۖ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُتَوَفَّىٰ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ لِكَيْلَا يَعْلَمَ مِن بَعْدِ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا
“And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known…” [Al-Hajj, 5]
Thus those who go through senility after the age of sixty, are excused for all of their errors made due to the decline and feebleness of their mental and physical state – see also ‘Fath al-Bari’, 6056.
Allaah knows best.