This post is part of a “spotlight” series highlighting other disabled Muslims—that I have discovered through my own research or met in person—to show other disabled Muslims that they are not alone. Today, I’ll be focusing on Sayfullah.
Sayfullah’s story is special to me not only because we share the same disability, but also because I can see how much he values being independent and communicating with others. If you watch the video closely, you can see that every time Sayfullah gets to do something independently, for example, pushing a button to open the door, his face breaks into a tiny smile. I have experienced the same joy of being able to do even the smallest of things independently, like putting on my shoes, so I can relate to how he feels. You can also see how much he values communication because he becomes emotional when answering certain questions with his communication device. This is a beautiful reminder that assistive technology allows disabled people to reach their full potential; it doesn’t in any way trap us or hinder us.
I also found his mother, Fadillah, to be so supportive of him, and that was so refreshing to see. I liked that she had high expectations for him, and that she was realistic about the supports he’d need in the future. I don’t think she would have reached this point had she not accepted her son’s situation. Here, I find her acceptance to be a wonderful thing. It allows her to support Sayfullah and help him achieve his goals and raise her son in an environment where there is no negativity directed towards his disability or his assistive devices. I believe that Sayfullah will have an easier time coming to terms with his limitations because of the supportive environment he is in. I also think that it will help him build the confidence to deal with discrimination in the future.
For more information about Sayfullah’s story, check out this article.