Friday sermons in sign language at mosque in Kerala, India

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SHAFAQNA – The austere beauty of azan or Muslim call to prayer might still elude them but a new mosque, specially designed to cater to differently-abled believers, will enable those who are hearing impaired to appreciate the finer points of a Friday sermon.

Inaugurated on Monday, Masjid Al-Rahma at Pulikkal in Malappuram, India, built on a serene 5-acre campus, has facilities whereby speeches during Friday sermons (khutuba) will be rendered in sign language, the first mosque to do so in the country.

Similarly, sermons at every prayer meet in the mosque will avail the services of a sign language specialist and will be displayed on LCD screens installed on the walls of the mosque. The mosque has the capacity to accommodate around 500 people.

“Even when people with other disabilities benefit from religious talks and preaching during Friday namaz, the hearing impaired are left out. We hope this mosque would prove a blessing for them”, said Musthafa Madani, chairman of Ability Foundation, a non-governmental charitable organization under a leading Mujahid group. The mosque is also fitted with ramps, arm rests in toilets and wheel chairs meant for the differently abled.

Madani, whose NGO runs an institution with 300 differently-abled students, including 200 hearing impaired students, revealed that they first got the idea of a special mosque after the staff of the institution came to know that most of the hearing-impaired students were skipping prayer meets and Friday namaz as they were struggling to follow the sermons.

Hussain Madavoor, a senior Mujahid leader and also chief patron of Ability Foundation, said that the opening of the mosque dedicated to the hearing impaired is a great leap for the Muslim community.

“It should be considered a historical event as an NGO, with the support of NRIs and local people irrespective of caste and religion, came together to promote equal opportunity for the disabled”, he said.

The mosque was formally inaugurated by C P Umar Sullami, president Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama in the presence of various Muslim scholars and religious leaders from across the state.

The construction of the mosque began in October 2016.

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