Abdul-Rahman is a radio broadcaster, he enjoys playing football, badminton and cricket. In his free time, he also enjoys watching basketball and listening to music.
Here is his story.
Can you briefly tell us about your condition and how it affects your daily life?
I have suffered from mental health problems since I was in college and since the age of 19 with Chronic Schizophrenia. I was admitted to hospital in around November of 2001 when I was experiencing a lack of sleep. I was going through a period of three consecutive nights when I could not sleep and I still remember I could not eat or drink. I couldn’t speak to people at all and I was hallucinating a lot of the times I could hear and see things unfolding which did not appear to be apparent to the eyes, so what I mean is that I could see things which other people were not seeing or hearing. It felt as though sometimes someone was whispering things as they would pass me by but nothing was being said. I was treated with medication of Aripiprazole 20mg dose in 2002 and discharged from Trafford General Hospital and what I remember most about the experience is that I was only going out for evening prayers but going back to the hospital after evening prayers during Ramadhan. I was in hospital for at least six weeks at that time. My other condition is also concealed as cerebral palsy which is a brain disorder that affects your movement and overall functionality and involuntary movements and another symptom is slurred speech. I’ve been diagnosed with this condition since 2002. I was made aware of this when I was in a meeting with an employment officer who brought to me a medical record I was told I had this condition since birth.
How has your disability empowered you?
It’s not my disability which has inspired me but it’s the urgency to continue to plough through the situation which has brought me to face different challenges. My Lord has helped me overcome these challenges by bestowing me two supreme qualities, patience and endurance to make me realise that there are better opportunities out there for me. Maybe completing education was not the best thing for me but this has opened eventually new doors for me which have emerged as a result of showing perseverance and patience.
Has your disability hindered you in achieving your dreams and life goals?
“It’s hindered the possibility of achieving my goals in terms of attaining a permanent job and in terms of the length of time taken to attain a permanent job, but this has not hindered my ability to continue with life and this has not played a detrimental factor in terms of living my lifestyle, it has not stopped the way I want to live.”
What stigmas and barriers do individuals with disabilities face in the Muslim community?
What stigmas and barriers do individuals with disabilities face in the Muslim community? People with disabilities face barriers in terms of physical disability, they face the challenge of not having something that is critical to the way they live and it’s a pivotal part of their life. If you take a blind person as an example, they rely on physical aids to help them get around such as canes and the sounds of the environment that they are roaming in rather depending on their natural eyesight and peripheral vision.
How can we change the negative attitudes towards disabled Muslims in our communities?
How can we change the negative attitudes towards disabled Muslims in our communities? We have to prove those people wrong by performing to the best of our ability. We must demonstrate our highest level of discipline and make sure that we show dedication and commitment towards our goals and objectives and we must ensure that we have the trust in Allah’s will and presence and believe in ourselves until the end.
If you take somebody’s eyes away, thats a imperative part and a integral part of their body because a person sees everything with his eyes and he can only take full advantage of a situation when their vision is in full tact. He can make a bigger impact on a gathering of friends if they can only see that person and they can enjoy these moments to their maximum potential with perfect eyesight. However that doesn’t mean we can’t support the person with a physical disability such as sight loss. We can still make them part of our experiences by giving them the love and support they need and spending time with them.
What advice would you give to your fellow Muslims with disabilities who are struggling with the daily challenges of living with a disability?
What advice would you give to your fellow Muslims with disabilities who are struggling with the daily challenges of living with a disability? Keep on working hard at whatever you’re doing and make this the focal point for yourself to build a platform on and progress forward by taking every day in your stride. Don’t become complacent, always remain patient with yourself and others, and maintain your good character.
What is your greatest achievement thus far?
What do you think of the Disabled Muslim Matrimony service?
I have not had the opportunity to use it yet but I would love to try diving into the website and commence a search for a potential partner.