Indonesian mosque provides sign language translators for deaf
- 24 January 2019
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A mosque in Jakarta is providing sign language translators to assist deaf Muslims who want to take part in recitation activities, weekly magazine Tempo reported.
Five experienced sign-language translators are available at the Taqwa Grand Mosque in Mataram to help the deaf who have been regularly attending da’wah.
“Among the deaf worshipers, there are bachelors, teachers in special schools, and also a graphic designer,” Hariri, a sign-language translator, was quoted as saying.
According to Hariri, 70 deaf people on Lombok Island participated in the da’wah program of the Tabligh congregation. However, only around 30 regularly attended the event every Friday night.
“Alhamdulillah [all praise to God], da’wah can be a means of interacting with the outside world for the deaf community,” Hariri said.
“I regularly take part in this recitation, even inviting students to take part in the activities,” said Azmi, a member of the deaf community who is a regular participant.
Meanwhile, in Jordan, Al Hashmi mosque in Downtown Irbid held a sign-language-translated Friday sermon (khutba) for the deaf-and-mute community, the first of the estimated 6,300 mosques in the Kingdom to do so. Jordan Times reported that its imam, Zuhdi Smadi, said he hopes that “other mosques whose financial abilities are even better will follow suit and build on the deed”.
“We first thought of the idea when a university student who recently took a sign-language class said he would like to translate the Koran tafseer [explanation] sittings for his hearing-challenged friend. Before that, we had been completely oblivious to the fact that there are people who are left out from those sittings,” the imam said.
The sermon was attended on Fridays by five hearing-impaired residents from the area who had prayed at the mosque and at others nearby but were never able to understand the sermons.
The idea is already beginning to spread outside the Muslim community: Jordan Times reported that Basheer Gammoh, a board member of Irbid’s churches’ committee, said he plans to follow Al Hashmi’s example and appoint an interpreter for his sermon on the following Sunday.
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