“Whoever guides a blind person for forty steps, Jannah is certain for him” said our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, as related in Baihaqi and Tabrani.
SubhanAllah! I heard this Hadith for the first time last summer when Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmad, may Allah continue to elevate his status, was visiting this City of Enlightenment with a group studying with him in the combined Kitaba/Dirasa program. Included in the intimate group of about 30 participants were two blind sisters and others who were visually impaired.
I was honoured not only with the privilege of sitting at the feet of a most humble scholar during lively and inspiring sessions, but to be in Khidmah to Sister Sana (listen to Sister Sana being interviewed about her Umrah experiences here) and Sister Sumairah, guiding them for more than forty steps, alf alf alf ShukriLlah.
I was in contact with the Dirasa team weeks prior to their visit seeking a way with the authorities in Masjid Nabawi for the sisters to be able to spend some quality time in Rowdha without being overwhelmed with the crowds. Not an easy ask now that the Rowdha is open 24/7 for brothers. Unlike a few years ago when the Masjid closed for a few hours between Esha and Fajr, when special visits were possible. Alhumdulillah with persistent meetings explaining the request, a strategy was planned. The duty sisters managed to arrange two separate evenings for us to be in Rowdha towards the end of the session for sisters’ Ziyarah when it was empty, waiting for the brothers to come and dismantle the temporary canvas barrier they erect segregating brothers from sisters during the three visiting times allocated for sisters.
There were many lighthearted moments; giggles and wonderment shared. At one stage we felt we were in a ‘secret seven adventure’ as a cue came from one duty sister to meet another to wait for another to give the nod, for another to whisk us away from crowds of other sisters who were being refused entry as it was beyond Ziyarah time. We scurried outside, a secret knocking code was tapped on one of the huge closed doors. Instructions to hurry and to avoid letting others to follow came from the sister we were now pursuing. The great door opened, we rushed in, then it was shut. It was an adventure! An adventure that finally ended in the MEADOW! SubhanAllah.
Sister Sana and Sumairah exude such charisma and combined have been blessed with amazing abilities and qualities and a determination to live life to the fullest. Muslimah, Hafizah, lawyer, IT specialist, mother, wife, home maker, sister, daughter; roles taken on with love, devotion and an infectious enthusiasm. I did not want the time spent with them to end!
The visit did not pass without a few incidents. One evening after offering Esha Salat inside Masjid Nabawi a group of sisters ‘attacked’ saying we had been engaged in palm reading! While waiting for Salat two of us were describing the layout of Rowdha to Sana and Sumairah by ‘drawing’ with our fingers on their palms…so they feel a sense of where Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was in relation to his favoured companions RadhiAllahu anhuma, the rest of the Hujrah and the Mimbar and the Mihrab etc. This was perceived as palm reading in Masjid Nabawi. Quite a commotion, and a profusion of tears ensued until all was explained.
Relying on the tactile to learn and absorb the world around them meant there was a lot of ‘touching’ inside the Masjid. Feeling how the Mushaf are arranged on the marble shelves jutting out of the huge marble pillars, which we got them to hug so they could sense the enormous size, feel the smooth surface, and the air conditioning vents surrounding them. This caused consternation among other sisters watching with many expressing annoyance. How quick we are to judge and pounce without considering all the variables within the scene we are witnessing. The lessons in Surah Kahf with Musa and Khidr As Salamu alaihimaa beckon to be studied over and over.
The above models of Haramain and the diorama of Madinah as it was during the time of the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam are part of the Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah Research and Studies Centre. A request was made for the sisters to have access to these but there has recently been a change in management, and the exhibition hall is no longer open to the public, so we were not granted permission. Insha’Allah there is a lot to be done to raise awareness of the special needs of the differently abled with those in authority. Hopefully before the next program this can be addressed, Insha’Allah.
Anas ibn Malik RadhiAllahu anhu narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger SallAllahu alaihi wasallam saying, “Allah said, ‘If I deprive my slave of his two beloved things (i.e., his eyes) and he remains patient, I will let him enter Paradise in compensation for them.”
May all whom Allah Ta’ala, by His Infinite Wisdom, has decreed to be impaired find solace in this promise and find bliss in their final abode, HIs Eternal Garden, Ameen
Click here for the Kitaba 2011 summer Umrah details and here for their Rihla to Spain in April and here for their Taqwa and Knowledge course in the UK in February.
Insha’Allah give generously to this noble cause, gaining the reward for spending in charity and knowing you have actively assisted those who have been marginalized within the community: Support Muslims with Sensory Impairments.
And visit the Deaf Da’wah site which “helps promote the wellbeing and growth of Deaf Muslims by providing space and opportunity to explore faith as part of their identity”, and Deaf Umrah, Masha’Allah! Do watch the tear jerking video of their Umrah. And while including the deaf in this post check out MuslimDeaf too! And make the intention to become involved in some way with our Muslim brothers and sisters with these differing abilities and capabilities, Alhumdulillah.
SubhanAllah, may all involved in these projects of awareness reap benefits in both worlds, Ameen.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.