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Friday, 25 April 2008

Rights and Care of the Disabled

Rights and Care of the Disabled
Taken from islamonline.net

Q: What are the rights of the mentally and physically disabled in the Muslim community? Is there any evidence in Islam that these people should be accommodated for and not restricted to their homes? What should Muslims do for such people?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, it gives us pleasure to receive your question and to see the Muslim youth are interested in knowing the teachings of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants as a way of life.

Islam pays great attention to caring about the disabled and guaranteeing them an honorable life. The jurists have tackled the importance of providing medical, physical, and religious care for the disabled and making them aware of their rights. So the community should provide them with care and protection.

Elaborating on this, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, professor of fiqh and its principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:

Being mentally and physically healthy is one of the great things that we should be grateful for. At the same time, sickness—be it mental or physical—is a test from Allah to mankind. Therefore, one has to be patient, grateful, and thankful to Allah for whatever He gives.

As for those people who are disabled in the Muslim community, they deserve full attention and all types of assistance and treatment. They shouldn't be subject to any type of humiliation, rejection, or discrimination based on their health.

Furthermore, it is an obligation upon Muslim community to provide them with whatever they need and whatever will help them.

As for restricting their movements, this would only be allowed if it is proven to be a part of their treatment. Meaning, they should not be isolated for the sake of isolation but for the sake of providing them with more treatment.

Certainly, Muslim community has to give a lot of attention to these disabled people. It is a consensus among scholars that the whole community will be considered sinful if these people are neglected and abandoned or humiliated. Therefore, it is a duty of all Muslim community, especially the leaders to look for means and ways leading to treat and attend to the needs of these disabled people. May Allah grant every sick Muslim and human being a good health and longevity.

Q: What is the philosophy of rehabilitation and counseling of disabled/special needs people with regard to Islam?
Taken from islamonline.net


Thank you for your question.

Muslims believe that God has given His complete and perfect guidance for humankind in the form of the glorious Qur'an. Naturally, the Islamic worldview as well as philosophy of life are derived from the pages of the Qur'an itself. And Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) has practically demonstrated how Muslims can translate the principles of that guidance into every day life.

As for deriving 'a philosophy' of counseling and rehabilitation of the special needs people, we need to go first to the same basic sources of Islam, namely the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet.

In the terminology of Islam, we may not see any term corresponding to the modern expression, "people with special needs" (i.e. disabled persons who need special care and attention). But all the norms and guidelines necessary for the counseling and rehabilitation of those in need have been clearly outlined in the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

For instance, read the verses of the Qur'an that say what mean:
*{O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).}* (Al-Hujurat 49:3)

*{And cooperate with one another towards righteousness and piety and do not cooperate towards sinfulness and aggression.}* (Al-Ma'idah 5:2)

*{Whoever saved a life, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.}* (Al-Ma'idah 5:2)

Also, Allah directly addressed the Prophet as *{a mercy for all}*. (Al-Anbiyaa' 21:107)

In addition to the commandments in the Qur'an, we have the directives of the Prophet too. For instance, the Prophet is reported to have said:

"Whoever meets the needs of his brother, Allah will meet his needs." (Al-Bukhari andMuslim).

He also said: "Show mercy to those on earth, and God will show mercy to you." (At- Tirmithi and Abu Dawud)

Evidently, the foregoing bears out Islam's emphasis on universal human rights, besides laying down its basic philosophy of help and support for all those who suffer, including the victims of war, poverty or natural calamities; as well as the handicapped or disabled people. This support is made possible as Islam makes it obligatory for the wealthy and able-bodied persons to support the less fortunate.

The Prophet has emphatically said: "None of you is a true believer until you wish for your brother what you wish for yourself." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

He has also said: "Charity is prescribed for every person every day the sun rises." (Ahmad)

And "if one removes a hardship of a Muslim in this life, Allah will relieve a hardship from him on the Day of Judgment." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The philosophy is there; and the resources for helping and supporting the needy should be provided by the Muslims themselves, by way of zakah and other charity.

And, in the light of our modern scientific and psychological discoveries and theories, a very advanced and effective methodology should be adopted in order to achieve the best results as visualized by the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

As for taking care of the disabled, brother Mohsen Haredy, a member of the Ask About Islam team, would like to add the following:

Muslims also believe that being disabled is a test from Allah in this life, and therefore can be a blessing in disguise. Every disabled person should be patient and live up to this challenge. Allah promised those who observe patience a great reward in the Hereafter:

*{Only the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure...}* (Az-Zumar 39:10)

It has been proved that people with disabilities have been gifted with other talents and capabilities. They excel over others with such gifts. It is as if Allah is compensating them for their disability.

People with special needs should be given due respect and attention. They should be cared for. All their needs should be fulfilled and they should not be isolated as they are an integral part of the society.

Both individuals and communities must try their best to help them with whatever means they have. Schools are to be established for those people to qualify them to be active members in their respected communities. Job opportunities that fit their health conditions should be provided.

Further Reading:

Why Does Allah Allow Suffering and Evil in the World? - Islam Online

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The Leper, the Bald and the Blind

The Leper, the Bald and the Blind
Taken from everymuslim.net

Hadhrat Abu Huraira (R.A.) relates that he heard the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) say, Allah tested three persons from amongst Bani Israel, a leper, a bald headed man and a blind person. An angel was sent down to them in the form of a human being. He came to the leper and asked, "what is the thing you like the best?", "a fine colour, neat skin and cure from this disease for which people hate me." came the reply. The angel ran his hand over his body, his disease vanished and his body got a fine colour.

Then the angel asked him what property he would like the best ? The man said, "camels or cows." (one of the subnarrator of the Hadith was uncertain). The man was given a she camel ten months pregnant and the angel said, "may Allah bless it for thee."

Then the angel went to the bald headed man and asked the same. The man replied, "beautiful hair and cure of the ailment, for which people hate me." The angel ran his hand over his head and his disease was cured leaving him with beautiful hair.

Then the angel asked him what property he would like the best ? The man replied, "a cow." Thus he was given a cow carrying a calf and the angel said, "may Allah bless it for thee."

Then the angel came to the man who was blind and asked the same. He asked that Allah restore his sight so that he may see the people around him. The angel ran his hands over his eyes and his sight was restored. Then the angel asked him what property he would like the best ? The man replied, "a goat." Thus he was given a she goat carrying a kid.

These animals in due course gave birth to their kids multiplying very soon so that one had a valley full of cows, bulls and a third of the valley full of goats.

After some time the angel visited the leper in his original form and said to him, "I am a poor and needy person, having spent all my means of sustenance in the course of my journey, I beg you, in the name of Allah, who has given you a decent colour and a neat skin and much wealth, to furnish me with a camel to enable me complete my journey." The man expressed his inability to oblige the angel and said, "I have many obligations to fulfill."

The angel said, "It appears as if I have seen you before. Are you not a leper, who shunned people and was poor, whom Allah enriched?" The man said, "I have inherited this property from my ancestors." The angel said, "If you are speaking a lie, may Allah return you to the condition in which you were."

Then he came to the bald headed person in the original form and repeated his request to him, and got a similar reply to the one he had received from the leper. The angel said, "If you are speaking a lie, may Allah return you to the condition in which you were."

Then the angel visited the blind man repeating his request once more. The man said, "indeed I was blind and Allah restored my eye sight. You may take what you will and leave what you like. By Allah I will not refuse you anything you may wish to take in the name of Allah, the Lord of honour and glory.

The angel said, "keep all you have. All three of you were being tried. Allah is indeed pleased with you and is angry with your companions." (Sahih Bukhari:Volume 4, Book 56, Number 670)


It is to be kept in mind that sometime Allah tests his slaves by giving wealth and property in order to see whether one considers it as a trust of Allah or one's own treasure. It is, however, an obvious fact that wealth often makes people proud and negligent. Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an; “And know ye that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial.” (Qur’an: 8/27)

Now a days, the craze for earning more and more wealth, has caused a widespread immodesty, repulsion from religion, lack of faith and betrayal of conscience. Simultaneously, the evil is rampant in every place. Moreover, there is a hadith which affirms this fact that wealth is a source of trial for human beings. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) says; “Verily for every people there is a trial and the trial of my ummah is wealth.” (Tirmizi: 2/59)

On an occasion, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) warned his companions saying: "By Allah! I do not fear your poverty, but I fear the worldly materials will be extended to you, they were to the people before you. And you also would compete for the luxuries of life as they did. And consequently you too would perish as they did.” (Muslim; 2/407)

Furthermore, let us be generous and open handed with the poor and the deprived for the sake of Allah. Such deeds will serve us a source of well being.

The above Hadith tells about the consequences of two misers (i.e. the leper and the bald-headed man). Therefore, keeping in mind their fate, we ought to avoid being stingy. A Hadith clearly points out that miserliness is a bad thing.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said; "Verily you should avoid miserliness as it had destroyed the earlier people and moreover, it instigated them to bloodshed. It sometimes tempted people to make lawful the unlawful." (Muslim : 2/320)

The Glorious Qur’an also throws light upon this subject; “And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity.” (Qur’an: 64/16)

Allah has many favors upon us, and these we should be thankful by:
1- Recognizing, and affirming Allah's favor upon us.
2- Confirming that his bounties upon us are from Him.
3- Spending of His bounties given to us for His Pleasure and sake (such as giving out Zakat and charity etc.).

Allah the Almighty said: "When harm touches man, he calls to Us (for help); then when We have rescued him from that harm) and changed it into a favour from Us, he says: "Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it." Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not!" (Qur'an 39:49)

A Lesson from Disabled People

A Lesson from Disabled People
Taken from islamcan.com

Once, a visitor was being shown around a leper colony in India. The colony was built to provide a shelter for those people who were poor and had various physical disabilities.

At noon a gong (a metal disk that produces a sound when hit with a hammer) sounded to gather the inhabitants for the midday meal. People came from all parts of the compound to the dining hall.

Suddenly, everyone started laughing at seeing two young men, one riding on the other's back, pretending to be a horse and a rider. They were having lots of fun.

As the visitor watched, he was told that the man who carried his friend was blind, and the man being carried was lame (who couldn't walk). The one who couldn't see used his feet; the one who couldn't walk used his eyes. Together they helped each other and reached their destination.

Let us use each other's strengths to make up for the weaknesses of others. Our strength is in unity, not in division.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine

Poem: Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine
Author and Source Unknown.
Thanks to Koyes Khalique for forwarding this poem

Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
and wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, she passed a smile.

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.