Posted by: Dawud Israel | June 9, 2008

Developing Islamic Sign Language

Sometimes it is hard to explain to non-Muslims about the basics of Islam. Most of the time they can’t even pronounce the words or even remember them. But these words that we say everyday, “salaah, Allah, sawm” etc. are very important in our daily life.

Now imagine being deaf and how much of an issue this could become in today’s society where Islam is looked down upon and then trying to learn your religion. One of the issues is developing sign language for deaf Muslims for words and phrases related to Islam. Some aspects of it are developed but other’s aren’t.

Watch this videos by Global Deaf Muslims

This deaf sister is very active on Youtube doing Dawah via sign language. Truly amazing!

There are a few videos out there on Youtube where people translate the meaning of the Quran into sign language for deaf Muslims. It makes your grateful that you can hear but also stresses the need for more Muslims to do social work in this field since it’s one that is completely forgotten.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.


  1. mashaAllah..this is great. ive been in contact with the pres of this organization and i pray that they continue to thrive. my daughter was born deaf and with a progressive hearing loss and finally we got her a cochlear implant..mashaAllah she is bilingual in arabic & english..she is not the norm i know, but more and more kids being born deaf are being implanted at younger ages and with intensive speech therapy by Allah’s Will they are thriving and successful in mainstream classrooms and life in general.

    for parents who wish not to implant and go about signing-most of the worlds deaf population..then we as muslims certainly have a responsibility to help them understand islam -deeply really so i totally support the idea of universal sign terminology for muslims who are left behind-those of whom are deaf.

    and at the same time, i completely advocate for the idea of cochlear implants and more research ought to be done on how we can make it more costly for muslims across the world..because in the west..parents are capable through insurance as the surgery, therapies and everything else regarding it is very costly can be up to 70,000$…
    but maybe to start at just unversal newborn hearing screens in the muslim world would be good too-so that newborns can be fitted with hearing aids and given a chance to hear a bit of what we all hear and therefore given the opportunity to learn oral langauge even if they still need to depend on sign mostly (called total communication). usually in non-western countries kids arent diagnosed with a hearing problem until its very very late for intelligible speech development..and if it is detected there is a severe lack of support.

    so what you have brought to the attention of others on your blog is a very worthy thing and great start-however there are many many many things that need to be done for the advocacy of muslims who are deaf..

    with Allah’s will for sure, and one step at a time i guess..

    barakAllah feek

  2. Subhana Allah I didn’t expect to get any comments on this topic but I learned a lot in your few words.

    I remember the first time I saw ASL I was just totally amazed. I want to learn ASL and use it for the benefit of Muslims one day–in a cause similar to this.

    Please let me know if you need to promote or help out in any causes related to deaf or disabled Muslims.

    Jazaka Allahu khayran. đŸ™‚

  3. OMG, jazakallah for reminding me about this Dawud! Learning sign is on my list of “things to do before I kick the bucket, insha’Allah!”. I don’t even know any people who are hearing impaired, but I would still love to learn it… i just found this site after trying to search for a local community course (didn’t find it!).

    You can learn BSL online for only £15! I am gonna bug my friend into signing up with me (no pun intended) so we can practise together… I just hope we don’t end up insulting someone’s mother when our skills are called upon, haha. đŸ™‚

  4. SubanAllah this is a good reminder. I have always wanted to learn ASL. I remember becoming aware of the deaf muslim community years ago when a deaf muslim brother, Benjamin Varner (may allah have mercy upon him) was killed at Gallaudet University. I believe he converted at around age 13. Looking at this reminds me of his story. There are so many opportunities for dawah and outreach in communities that we often forget about

  5. Bro dawud… can you ask sis Suhaa to e-mail me? I think she’d be great for you-know-what, insha’Allah… heehee. << sorry, that is my “excited to have a cool secret” giggle!

    In case sis Suhaa is reading… my contact details are on my blog (click on my name, and you’ll find it, insha’Allah).

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