USIM’s Disabled-friendly Friday Sermons

NILAI, June 9, 2017 – The delivery of Friday sermons at the Islamic Complex of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) is different from Friday sermons elsewhere where it is also delivered using sign language.

USIM’s Islamic Center, in collaboration with The Faqeh Foundation, assigned a sign language interpreter for Friday sermons delivered every week. Starting from today’s Friday prayer, the Faqeh Friends Volunteers, under the Faculty of Quran and Sunnah Studies (FPQS) that comprises of students from USIM, will take turns to become interpreters.

Multimedia and Digital Info Unit of USIM’s Strategic Communications Centre also assists in the technical and visual aspects, where the interpreter is shown directly on the main screen in the prayer hall for the delivery of sign language.
The main purpose of the sermon in sign language are to accommodate those with hearing disabilities so that the essence of the sermon delivered by the preacher can be understood and appreciated.

Brother Muhammad Zaid Abdul Samat, 23, the first to be assigned as a sign language interpreters on duty for Friday prayers, felt excited with a bit of nervousness.
“Alhamdulillah, I was able to convey the translation of today’s sermon very well after referring and prior training for the selected sermon. My colleagues and I who took the Dakwah Tanpa Suara (Voiceless Da’wah) Course in FPQS feel that this opportunity offered to us by USIM and the Islamic Center is a very good chance to highlight the skills we learned”.

“Sign language translation of Friday sermons is not only for texts in Malay, but for other languages as well, such as Arabic and English, including verses of the Quran and Hadith”, highlights Muhammad Zaidi who is taking a Bachelor of Quran and Sunnah Studies.
Students of USIM who take the Dakwah Tanpa Suara Course in FPQS are happy to call themselves as deaf du’at (Islamic preachers) compared to normally being called as sign language interpreters.

Haji Norakyairee Mohd Raus, lecturer of the braille course in FPQS, said that public perception that carelessly label the disabled as “children of heaven” will indirectly encourage various parties, particularly parents, to seemingly overlook those entrusted to them and educating the disabled to learn religion.

“Through my observations, the number of mosques that provide sign language interpreters during Friday sermons is very small. The move made by the administration of USIM’s Islamic Complex should be applauded because this is a form of da’wah to this minority group and a way to recognize them”, remarks Haji Norakyairee, who also served as the khatib of today’s Friday prayer, with a sermon entitle “The Disabled: A Blessing in Disguise”.?

Prepared by:

Mohd Zaini Othman
Strategic Communication Centre (StraComm)
Level 1, Canselori Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)
71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan
Tel : 06-798 8026/8027/6284 Faks : 06-798 8204