Saturday, June 19, 2021
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Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) : An advocate for the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)

By M Ahmad

Before Islam, people of Madinah used to prevent the lame, the blind and other disabled from sharing food with them because they deemed them disgusting. They showed unjust behaviour with these people which also include isolation and other discriminations.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) transformed the lives of the disabled people by teaching the Society that there were no stigmas or bad attitudes for those with disabilities. Prophet emphasised that disability itself can not affect the individuals if they have strong faith.
The Society, according to Islam, is obliged to assess, assist and respect the person with disability and give the person an equal life chance. To us, Prophet was initiator and defender of disability rights. 1400 years ago, Prophet made sure that the persons with different abilities were catered for and were given their right and privileges, including to right for a normal life, just anyone else.
The Prophet’s behaviour towards disabled people in an example par excellence for us. In addition to greetings Abdullah Ibni Umm Maktum, a blind by birth, with respect and humanity, the Prophet (pbuh) designated him as the leader of Madinah many times in his own absence and also allowed him to perform Adhan (Azan). Similarly Julaybib, who was a dwarf, was a best companion of Prophet (pbuh). While Julaybib was shunned by the Society, the Prophet befriended him, took care of him and raised his dignity. Prophet loved him so much that he said “This man is from me and I am from him”.
The Prophet also accommodated the needs of those with disabilities. As an example, for those who were not able to perform their daily prayers while standing, they could perform it by sitting down and if they were not able to do so, they can pray while lying. The Prophet also said “one who recites Quran with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, he or she would have twice the reward of those who recite perfectly”. Prophet gave the disabled people a higher self-esteem and erased their sadness, misery and lack of confidence. The Prophet’s human gesture was powerful demonstration of the principle of inclusion.

(The Writer M Ahmad is Principal (I/C), Abhedananda Home, Higher Secondary Institution for the Specially-abled Children, Solina, Rambagh, Srinagar (J&K). email: [email protected])

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