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Rights of the Disabled According to the Quran & Hadiths

Updated March 21, 2017

The Koran, or Koran, is the scripture of Islam, while the hadiths or sunnah are a collection of stories about the life and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. The hadiths are used as precedent in Islamic law, because they are believed to demonstrate what the Prophet approved of and disapproved of in specific cases.

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Islamic Perspective on Disability

The Islamic perspective on physical disability is that each person is created with both advantages and disadvantages by Allah. If a person is more talented in one area, he is less talented in another. If a person suffers from a physical handicap or disability, he has some special talent to compensate for it, whether he is aware of that talent or not. For this reason, disabilities are regarded as tests from God, designed to allow the disabled person to show his character and his own unique gifts.


"Zakat" is the obligation of a Muslim to provide charity to those in need. Providing for immediate relatives such as wives and children does not count as Zakat, but according to one of the stories about the life of the Prophet Muhammad, providing for a more distant relative who is disabled is an instance of Zakat. Muhammad is supposed to have said that charity is a daily obligation for all Muslims, and only those who wish for their brothers what they wish for themselves are considered believers.


The statements on charity in the Koran and hadiths have been interpreted to mean that Muslims are obligated to provide both support and education for the disabled. They are not to be kept apart from the society at large, except insofar as this is a necessary part of their medical treatment. They are not to be mistreated in any way. Because of the belief that the disabled should be provided with an education by society, there were several prominent disabled people in Muslim history.

The Disabled and Society

Atta Ibn Abi Rabah was a Mufti (Islamic) scholar under the caliph (ruler) Abdul-Malik Ibn Marawan. Atta Ibn Abi Rabah was paralysed and lame, but because of the right to an education for the disabled under Islamic belief, he became one of the greatest scholars of his time. Muslims believe the disabled should be given the opportunity to particpate fully in society to the greatest possible extent. According to the hadiths, Allah shows mercy in heaven to those who show mercy on earth, and the purpose of material success in this life is to provide for the weak.

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About the Author

Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson has been writing professionally since 1990, beginning with the "Pequawket Valley News." He is the author of nine published books on topics such as history, martial arts, poetry and fantasy fiction. His work has also appeared in "Talebones" magazine and the "Strange Pleasures" anthology.

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