Malappuram, Kerala: A mosque which started from the humble means of a shed in Kerala's Malappuram, is now leading the way for many more across India.
Around 380 km away from capital Thiruvananthapuram, Masjid Rahma Mosque has found a unique way to ensure it reaches out to its deaf and mute believers. It has started interpreting the Friday mass or Juma with sign language, considered a first in India.
For many like Unais EK, a 25-year-old teacher, this means inclusiveness, access and understanding to one of the most important weekly rituals for practicing Muslims. "This is such a welcome move. There should be many mosques which follow this example. For me, this means I can understand the Juma now clearly. This is inclusivity," Unais said. The mosque started offering Friday mass through sign language from May 26.
The inspiration behind the move came from the everyday need to meet the religious aspirations of over 200 deaf and mute people being trained in Malappuram's Ability Centre - a centre for the differently abled. "I believe differently-abled are entitled to equal opportunities in all spheres, not just education or employment. They should be able to fulfill all their faculties and needs, including religious," said Chairman of Ability Centre, Ahmad Kutti.
With the move, the mosque has become the talk of the town, offering even a new perspective for many who offer their prayers there.