Tahirah is an inspirational young woman who enjoys spending her time volunteering for the Harmony Youth Project. Here is her story.
Can you briefly tell us about your condition and how it affects your daily life?
I am partially sighted and I am also on the autistic spectrum. My sight is okay because I wear glasses. I used to wear contacts but they were hard to use, in my opinion I prefer wearing glasses as they are easier to deal with. I find it difficult seeing in the dark when it’s foggy or raining, I also need to sit close to the board or have stuff enlarged for myself so I can see.
How has your disability empowered you?
“My disability has helped me feel more confident as I don’t let my disability define what I can and can’t do because, yes, I might be partially sighted but that doesn’t stop from doing anything that love or would want to do.”
Has your disability hindered you in achieving your dreams and life goals?
Yes and no – growing up I’ve had to understand there are so many windows of opportunities that I can do, but unfortunately I didn’t want to myself as I always wanted to do things that I couldn’t do. However now as I’m older and matured I have learnt to take on opportunities that I can achieve and do.
What stigmas and barriers do individuals with disabilities face in the Muslim community?
We find it hard to find someone at the same wavelength as us – we just really want to be understood by others. However, unfortunately it’s hard for some Muslims who have learning disabilities/difficulties to find people who understand us. We have a voice, the right to get married and have a job but unfortunately people don’t seem to see that and think we’re thick. We might struggle but we can get the job done if you give us time.
How can we change the negative attitudes towards disabled Muslims in our communities?
Don’t give up you can do whatever you want as long as you work hard enough to get where you want to be and what you want to do.
What is your greatest achievement thus far?
I have found what I would like to study, it’s Floristry, and I am hoping inshaAllah I get into Wigan and Keigh college. I am also volunteering at a youth club called Harmony Youth Project.
What do you think of the Disabled Muslim Matrimony service?
I think it’s long overdue having a website to find someone to get married to. With this site it’s going to help Muslims with learning difficulties to find and connect with someone inshaAllah.
I am really happy that my auntie told my mum about this website to let me know and to help me find someone that’s on the same wavelength as me.