People with Special Needs in Religious Literacy

Ibero-American Journal of Exercise and Sports Psychology

Research - (2022) Volume 17, Issue 1

People with Special Needs in Religious Literacy

Elan Sumarna1*, Muhamad Parhan2, Mursyidin Abdurrahman3, Jenuri Jenuri2, Ganjar Eka Subakti2 and Zubir Zubir
*Correspondence: Elan Sumarna, Department of Islamic Religious Education Study, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Indonesia, Email:
1Department of Islamic Religious Education Study, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Indonesia
2Department of General Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Indonesia
3Department of Prodi Islamic Family Law, Institut Aagama Islam Negeri Zawiyah Cot Kala Langsa Aceh, Indonesia

Received: 01-Aug-2021 Editor assigned: 04-Aug-2021 Reviewed: 28-Jan-2022, QC No. 1111; Revised: 01-Feb-2022 Published: 18-Feb-2022
Copyright: 1111


This study was to determine the extent of the existence of those with special needs (special needs) in religious literacy. The East's disrespect, especially the Muslim community towards special needs, is not the result of Islam as its religion but by a culture that is not friendly to special needs. In this case, they are generally Muslims who are not literate towards Islam as their religion, which in content strongly recognizes the existence of special needs. This article aims to present the existence of people with special needs in religious literacy, while, in general, society views that religion does not say much about them. Circumstances, where religion is seen as less talking about them, can be found in various research journals. However, as a religion, Islam has been talking about them in substance long ago without the slightest discrimination. This study applied a qualitative approach with a literature review method. The participants of this research were 2 people with special needs who were involved in the tahfidz Quran program, the head or the Kiai of the Islamic boarding school. The research instrument is how Islam guides people with special needs, the data is taken from journal articles, hadith collection books, the Quran, and other supporting books. Special needs, according to Islam, are those with physical and mental limitations, which generally impact their relatively limited potential. In Islam, this condition does not negate their existence as caliphs on earth, along with a set of rights and obligations.


Special needs. Islam. Community culture


Este estudio fue para determinar el alcance de la existencia de personas con necesidades especiales (necesidades especiales) en alfabetización religiosa. La falta de respeto de Oriente, especialmente de la comunidad musulmana hacia las necesidades especiales, no es el resultado del Islam como religión, sino de una cultura que no es amiga de las necesidades especiales. En este caso, generalmente son musulmanes que no saben leer y escribir acerca del Islam como su religión, que en el contenido reconoce fuertemente la existencia de necesidades especiales. Este artículo tiene como objetivo presentar la existencia de personas con necesidades especiales en alfabetización religiosa, mientras que, en general, la sociedad considera que la religión no dice mucho sobre ellos. Las circunstancias, en las que se considera que la religión habla menos de ellas, se pueden encontrar en varias revistas de investigación. Sin embargo, como religión, el Islam ha estado hablando de ellos en esencia hace mucho tiempo sin la más mínima discriminación. Este estudio aplicó un enfoque cualitativo con un método de revisión de la literatura. Los participantes de esta investigación fueron 2 personas con necesidades especiales que participaron en el programa tahfidz Quran, el director o el Kiai del internado islámico. El instrumento de investigación es cómo el Islam guía a las personas con necesidades especiales, los datos se toman de artículos de revistas, libros de colección de hadices, el Corán y otros libros de apoyo. Las necesidades especiales, según el Islam, son aquellas con limitaciones físicas y mentales, que generalmente afectan su potencial relativamente limitado. En el Islam, esta condición no niega su existencia como califas en la tierra, junto con un conjunto de derechos y obligaciones.

Palabras clave: necesidades especiales, Islam, cultura comunitaria.


Este estudo teve como objetivo determinar a extensão da existência de pessoas com necessidades especiais (necessidades especiais) na alfabetização religiosa. O desrespeito do Oriente, especialmente da comunidade muçulmana para com as necessidades especiais, não é o resultado do Islã como sua religião, mas por uma cultura que não é favorável às necessidades especiais. Nesse caso, eles geralmente são muçulmanos que não são alfabetizados em relação ao Islã como sua religião, o que, em seu conteúdo, reconhece fortemente a existência de necessidades especiais. Este artigo tem como objetivo apresentar a existência de pessoas com necessidades especiais no letramento religioso, embora, de maneira geral, a sociedade perceba que a religião pouco fala sobre elas. Circunstâncias em que a religião é vista como menos falando sobre eles, podem ser encontradas em vários periódicos de pesquisa. No entanto, como religião, o Islã tem falado sobre eles em substância há muito tempo, sem a menor discriminação. Este estudo aplicou uma abordagem qualitativa com o método de revisão de literatura. Os participantes desta pesquisa foram 2 pessoas com necessidades especiais que estavam envolvidas no programa tahfidz Alcorão, o chefe ou o Kiai do internato islâmico. O instrumento de pesquisa é como o Islã orienta as pessoas com necessidades especiais, os dados são retirados de artigos de jornais, livros de coleção de hadith, o Alcorão e outros livros de apoio. As necessidades especiais, de acordo com o Islã, são aquelas com limitações físicas e mentais, que geralmente impactam seu potencial relativamente limitado. No Islã, essa condição não nega sua existência como califas na terra, junto com um conjunto de direitos e obrigações.

Palavras-chave: necessidades especiais, islamismo, cultura comunitária


The existence of rights and obligations of those with special needs in the West in the 20th century was very worrying. It was because parents, especially those from children with special needs, chose to leave and even exile them to daycare centers. It could be seen from a study result conducted by the American Census Agency in 1996, which reported that of all children with special needs under the age of 18 years, eight percent did not live with their parents but with relatives who were willing to care for and care for them intensively because of their disorder (Gerstein et al., 2019). In 2002, it was known that there were around 879,000 children in America who experienced neglect, violence, and other deviant acts, either committed by their parents or other communities outside their parents (Nkuba et al., 2019). The cases that happened to them made them need special services and assistance to ease their burden. The needs they want are not just clothing and food but more than that, namely in the form of deep attention regarding their mental condition (Aschieri et al., 2021). As for the increasing number of special needs and to slow down their growth, in 1995 and 2003, special schools in the Netherlands developed special funding to finance them. However, all these policies have not significantly slowed down the rate of increase (Hsiang et al., 2020).

As it is known, special needs have limitations in terms of not having the ability to guarantee their needs by themselves, either in part or as a whole of normal individual needs and or social needs as a result of their limitations, both innate and not in terms of physical and mental abilities (Fonagy et al., 2017). Therefore, pessimistic problems in their empowerment process always come to the surface. The pessimistic views addressed to them are not only because of their limitations but also due to cultural issues that are not friendly (Russell, 2021). This unfriendly culture issue was that Western society at that time still saw special needs as a product of failure, curses, and other bad titles. In ancient civilizations, for example, in Athens and Sparta, whose citizens valued education and physical strength above all else, they strictly obliged children born with disabilities to be killed (except blind) in a special practice of infanticide (Doran, 2018). In addition, another effort is to internalize values with religion to form a value (Parhan et al., 2020) and main value (Parinduri et al., 2020). In some cases, special needs parents chose to drown them or abandon them in the forest until they died. At the beginning of the century AD, parents of children with special needs or masters might remove part of their body for business purposes, namely by making them beggars to provoke people's comparison (Løvgren & Turner, 2019).

A thousand years later, the European community’s attitude made children with special needs shunned, isolated, and even put in cages to be used as a means of spectacle and chatter. They were likened to groups of prostitutes, criminals, and so on, who had to be shunned and punished. This condition continued until the reform era, and changes in the history of religion, in this case, was Christianity. It happened in the 18th century, where only priests and elite people were allowed to be literate, while society was generally left ignorant and required to understand religion as understood by the religious elite (Bargheer, 2018). Therefore, in the 18th century, religion's role became dull in speaking about culture, in addition to the fact that Christianity did not touch much of society and culture (Vuong et al., 2020). However, along with the literacy of Western society, they become culturally literate, which in turn causes Christian religious institutions to begin to think that special needs are those who need care because they are powerless as a result of God's will. From their treatment, it was initially opened up to more humane treatment (Arruda, 2020).

As explained above, the cultural problem that is the root of the people's problem of being unfriendly to special needs is something that has been abandoned by Western society. For Western society, along with their literacy in cultural literacy, this unfriendliness is no longer an obstacle. It is because Western society's culture has now been able to deepen cultural literacy by setting aside religious literacy (Halafoff et al., 2020). In their view (West), someone must be optimistic about special needs that they are entitled and able to be empowered. Meanwhile, in developing countries, such as in Indonesia, religious and cultural literacy are not in an opposing form, as is the West's case, but people do not know and certainly have not studied the relationship between cultural literacy and religion, and vice versa (Sumarni & Kalupae, 2020). Society views that culture and religion are not related; culture and religion do not affect each other. This understanding was born from the understanding of Western materialism, which gave birth to secularism towards religion. However, such awareness, in which Western people have forced their religion to touch cultural literacy, is a failure so that they differentiate between religion and life (Van Niekerk, 2018). However, conditions in the West today (secularism) are inversely proportional to developing countries. What has become trash and obsolete in the Western view has become something modern in the view of the developing countries. It is an example of a problem related to secularism against religion. In this post-modernism, the West, in this case, America, again discussed the importance of religion in understanding cultural literacy. The religious understanding that continues to be developed in the West contributes to the younger generation and even for policy-makers to be directed to develop their literacy (Sahin, 2018).

From the description above, the West's enlightenment on the existence of special needs began with its literacy in culture, not in religion. It is different from what is in developing countries. In developing countries, especially in Indonesia, religion is considered not to touch the existence of those with special needs. The religion in question is Islam, which did not separate culture and religion in the history of religion. Therefore, it is opposite to Christianity in the history of Western civilization. The differences in the history of Christianity in the West, which did not support cultural literacy, have made Western society unfriendly to special needs. Meanwhile, the Indonesian people's hostility to special needs is due to their lack of understanding of Islam's teachings. The difference between the two situations, namely between the history of Christianity in the West that did not touch cultural literacy and the history of Islam that touched cultural literacy but was not understood substantially by its followers, related to special needs shows a gap and a reason that this article is only focused from an Islamic point of view.

Research Problems

People with special needs conditions, with all their limitations both from themselves and from the surrounding environment (local culture), made some parents choose to hand them over to a daycare institution. It is one of the main factors causing special needs to become even more severely limited because they are increasingly disconnected from their environment. Therefore, the way out that must be taken through Islam is to put them in line with others by returning them to their environment. This process of incorporating them back into their environment is known as inclusion.

Research Questions

Therefore, starting from how Islam talks about those with special needs, in turn, it can give rise to the following problem formulations, how Islam talks about special needs? how does Islam talk about their rights and obligations in this life? and how Islam as a religion can change people's mindsets to be friendly to them? This research focuses on how Islam views people with special

Literature Review

About child development, Al-Ghazali divides five stages of development Al- Janin, Al-Tifl, Al-Tamyi›z, Al-‘Aql, Al-Awliya›, and Al-Anbiya› (Rahman et al., 2020). Al-Janin stage is the stage where a child is still in its mother's womb in the sense that the environment (including knowledge) that affects him is the mother's environment. Al-Tifl stage is the stage where a child has entered the process of habituation and training. In this stage, his knowledge still comes from what he is used to and trained on. In this connection, the child's depth of knowledge is identified through the environment he has acquired during that time (Medina et al., 2018). The habituation and old people around the child climate can form and build their environmental care (Karim et al., 2020). Sophisticated technology-assisted tools can also foster children's attitudes and habits (Suzana et al., 2020). but it needs to be considered also with these sophisticated tools, because these tools will produce a phubbing attitude without control (Afnan et al., 2020). As for the Al-Tamyi›z stage, it is the stage where a child has begun to baligh (mature), marked by specific signs of maturity. A child is said to have reached maturity if he understands choices. In this case, he has started to be relatively aware of selecting and sorting his knowledge, especially those related to ethics (Garson, 2021). Meanwhile, related to his knowledge, he begins to become aware of what is around him. At this stage, he can think in the sense that all his actions are not born, except through his prior judgment.

The al-'Aql stage is the stage where a person already has a perfect understanding level. What is meant by perfect understanding is in the frame of the process, we're in this stage, a person has succeeded in exploring reality by successfully arranging the knowledge he gets, analyzing, and finally formulating his theories (Cheng, 2018). The stages of Al-Awliya› and Al-Anbiya› are the highest human minds possessed by the prophets and saints and are not ordinary humans. Therefore, the discussion here is only up to the fourth stage (the Al-'Aql stage). By knowing the stages of child development as described above and then being compared with the various developments that the children with special needs go through, the child development conveyed by Al-Ghazali is general stages that have not been specified by other matters relating to disorders of child development (Gayatri & Kosasih, 2019). As it is known that along with the increasingly complex and almost uncontrollable social and technological impacts, some cases of children who are late in development, both mentally and physically, will interfere with their development so that the actual stages of development that must be passed are not valid. Therefore, this case (children with special needs) is included in the case of khariq al-adat (out of the ordinary) so that further investigation is needed. The analysis is to compromise the two facts above namely, the stage of normal child development as stated by al- Ghazali with abnormal child development and the rules inherent in it.

The compromise referred to by the two facts above is through a deductive approach, namely by identifying the furu' case, which appears later to be discussed from the ushul's perspective. Or maybe, it can be analyzed through an inductive approach, namely by drawing the phenomenon of furu' (children with developmental disabilities) into a ushul/main case to be able to approach this reality so that the existence of his identity can be identified (Ridder, 2017). Talking about the generality and specificity of an argument (dalil), scholars have different opinions in seeing the specificity of a text (nash). Regarding the theory of generality and the specificity of a proposition, many scholars have discussed it (Miley et al., 2020). In the following, theories are quoted as a starting point to underlie what will be discussed much later. Hasan (2018) states that fuqaha scholars are divided into two major groups related to the generality and specificity of an argument regarding its specificity, namely between Hanafiyah Ulama and Jumhur Ulama. The Hanafiyah Ulama group sees a verse with qarînah, only what is found in that verse without comparing it with other verses or information. It is because they consider the texts of the Quran to be qath'i as long as there are specific dalil with them.

Meanwhile, the Jumhur Ulama represented by the Maliki, Syafi'i, and Hambali groups have the same standard in seeing an argument's operational standards. For them, specialists function as an explanation, with which the argument can be operational or not and can be taken from other texts that come from the hadiths regardless of whether the hadith is ahad (Mikva, 2020). In their view, the material from the Quran texts (which 'am it) is Zhan (zhann al-dilalat) because of its many specializations. In this case, for more details, it can be seen how the two groups of scholars interpret the verse about ablution (wudhu) (QS. Al-Maidah: 6), as follows “O you who believe (who are âmenû, who wish to reach Allah and submit to Him in this lifetime)! When you rise for the Prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and your feet up to the ankles. And if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution (if you are canonically unclean from the sexual act) then wash your whole body. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you come from the privy or you have touched women, and you cannot find water, then go to clean earth and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. Allah does not want to put on you any difficulty, but He wants to purify you and to complete His blessing upon you. Hoped that you may be grateful”.

The Hanafiyah Ulama views that this verse is qath'i so that there is no need for takhsish from the hadiths. In that case, they see that the letter wawu is not a conjunction that validates the orderly ablution. Therefore, it is permissible for them to be irregular in washing the limbs (Espino‐Gonzalez et al., 2021). As for the Syafi'i, Hambali, and Maliki scholars' views, it is imperative to have an orderly washing of the limbs during ablution because there is a Hadith narrated from Hamran, where he saw Uthman bin Affan performing ablution like the Prophet Muhammad’s ablution. From the description above, it can be concluded how the two different paradigms used by each play a very proper role in determining which direction the interpretation is directed (Cotter, 2019). Through their paradigm, Hanafi Ulama see that this verse is qathi aldilalah; hence, they determine that despite its general position, the verse does not need takhishsh. It is different with jumhur scholars who have the opposite opinion so that in this case, it is permissible for the Hadith Ahad to specify the generality of the above verse. The confusion of the scholars' opinions above is natural when viewed from their scientific background (Ross-Hellauer, 2017). Meanwhile, scientific process skills can form a character of child (Rinto et al., 2020). Conversely, scientific process skills can be formed by training and inquiry (Erdawati et al., 2021). In this case, it is related to the uneven distribution of Hadith in their area. In the Imam Hanafi area, the distribution of Hadith is very in short supply. It is different from the conditions of the areas where other Imams live.

For Imam Hanafi, the situation in which the distribution of the Hadith was very lacking, in the end, forced him to look at the Quran alone by not comparing it much with the Hadith so that this situation seemed to force him to look at the verse, with the qarinah in it, as direct operational texts (nash). Thus, for Hanafi reason becomes more dominant when looking at the above verses (Wahab et al., 2018). The Jumhur group is represented by the three Imams armed with a large supply of Hadith among them so that they ultimately paved the way for having the same paradigm with their Hadith collection books (al- Muwatha Maliki, Musnad Shafi'i, and musnad Hambali), where Hadith can be used specifically on the arguments (dalil) of the Quran which are still general. In the discussion about âm and khash of a proposition, which in this case is their specificity, the difference between them is that they depart from the root of the problem where the distribution of Hadith is accidentally uneven (especially what happened in the area where Hanafi lived). Therefore, in the paradigm of thinking, Imam Hanafi always states "ages" when he sees whether the verse has mukhashis or not. Also, if the mukhashish is not contemporary, then Hanafi sees it as Nasikh. However, it is different from other Jumhur Fuqaha. In their view, there is no term 'ta'arudh' in one text with another. All that is in their view is that one is bayan for the other (Zabihi & Bayan, 2020). It can be concluded that a text (nash) cannot stand alone in determining a law before going through the istinbath process first. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate a theory as a bridge that can give birth to laws from texts which are only informative (Burton-Jones & Volkoff, 2017). For example, the hadith narrated by Abu Dawud in the book Sunan Abu Dawud no. 4678 of Jabir Ra.

Received from Jabir, he said, Rasulullah (PBUH) said: "The separation between servant and kufr is to leave a prayer." (Abu Dawud, Juz.4: 219). On the other hand, Rasulullah (PBUH) said in the hadith Bukhari no.6780, “Meaning: It was received from Umar bin al-Khattab that at the time of the Prophet (PBUH), there was a person named Abdullah, who was then called himar so that the Prophet (PBUH) smiled. Against that person, Rasulullah (PBUH) once whipped him because he was caught drunk. However, one day, he also came to the Prophet Muhammad in such a state, and he also ordered to whip him back. (Seeing the condition of that person who seemed to have no deterrent), a friend prayed, 'O Allah curse him for what he did!' Rasulullah said, 'Do not you curse him because, by Allah, you do not know that he loves Allah and His Messenger”. (Bukhari, 1422 H Juz 8: 158). In this connection, the Hadith, which states that you are kafir if you leave the prayer, cannot be used as evidence (hujah) to punish him as an infidel, but this is only for general information. The hadith's purpose and operation will be known after there are other arguments (dalil) that specialize the hadith to its true proportions. In other words, the sentences in the Hadith ةالصلا كرت رفكلا نيبو دبعلا نيب cannot be used as evidence (hujah) as long as it is not coupled with Hadith تملع ام هللاوف هونعلت ال هلوسرو هللا بحي هنإ so that it has a perfect understanding that what is meant by disbelievers in the Hadith is only a major sin, not apostasy.

Inclusion into the environment is that they have to go through three core inclusion factors, a conducive learning environment, intensive guidance provided, and adequate general care structures (Engelbrecht et al., 2017). Inclusion is defined as an approach in which children with special needs must be considered equal and must even be included in all sides of life. The word "inclusion" does have the meaning of inclusion. In this regard, inclusion is equivalent to a sense of belonging and rewarded for all of their work (O’Brien et al., 2020). In a broader definition, they both emphasize that inclusion means including life and participation using one's abilities in daily activities as a member of society, including in schools, religious activities, playgrounds, work, and recreation. Inclusion is a philosophy that brings diversity to students, families, teachers, and even community memberships to jointly create schools and other social institutions based on acceptance (Naraian et al., 2020).

In the context that special needs must be included with the surrounding environment, it is a major factor in developing intelligence. Meanwhile, religion plays a role as a pattern in the development of culture, and with that culture, a child’s cognitive development can continue to develop, so it is with Islam as a religion. In this regard, research on how Islam talks about special needs and their rights and obligations will impact how far the community and culture can understand special need’s identity. Therefore, people's understanding of special needs through Islam as a cultural guide, in turn, can promote empathy and community support for special needs.


General Background

This research was conducted using a qualitative approach in the sense that this research was to describe and even analyze a phenomenon, in this case, related to the existence of special needs in the perspective of Islam as a religion. After that, it was also examined whether people or groups were thinking about those through existing journals. Then, from this approach, it is hoped that there will be more implementation theories in explaining what and who they are, along with opportunities for empowerment in actualizing their rights and obligations.


The participants of this research were 2 people with special needs who were involved in the tahfidz Quran program, the head or the Kiai of the Islamic boarding school. Because this study uses the literature review method, the results of interviews with participants are used to strengthen journal articles and books on how Islam views people with special needs.

Research Instrument

The research instrument is how Islam guides people with special needs, the data is taken from journal articles, hadith collection books, the Quran, and other supporting books.

Data Analysis

The other approaches employed in the analysis process were deductive and inductive as tools in analyzing this study’s content. Furthermore, from these two approaches, it is hoped that it will facilitate the birth of the process of istidlâl and istinbâth al-ahkâm in identifying the existence of special needs identity. In this study, the deductive approach was an attempt to examine more deeply from two different facts, namely those related to the normal stages of child development with abnormal developmental stages, both of which were compromised and discussed in a ushul (main) case. Meanwhile, the inductive approach was an effort to make the phenomenon that occurred, in this case, the special needs, as the main (ushul) discussion to then look for its shelter (argument/dalil).


This study aims to describe the literacy of religion, especially Islam, to special needs. This research has not been widely researched, whereas, in the Muslim world in general, not many have examined the existence of special needs. Meanwhile, culturally, in general, the community still sees that special needs are a crazy person or a cursed child who is free from his nature as a learning being who does not need to be empowered. Regarding the lack of research on special needs from an Islamic perspective, even in most of the people of Islamic countries, which are the centers of Islam, culturally, they do not pay attention to their rights, one of which is in the field of education. The evidence is expressed by Olusanya et al. (2018) in their research Inclusion of children with developmental disabilities in Arab countries: A review of the research literature from 1990 to 2014. They stated that 42 studies related to the inclusion of children with developmental disabilities in Arab countries, where more than two-thirds of the study were conducted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. The results indicated that relatively few studies had been conducted. Therefore, it is natural when Tekin (2015), in his research Improving Child rights in the Gulf: Expectations from the brand-new child law of Oman, stated that in Oman itself, the education law for special needs is still in the struggle. They include countries that are still in the stage of developing this education. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare teachers (Keller et al., 2016).

Research on special needs education in the Islamic world has not been done much (Tilt, 2018). Even in this case, even in America, Islamic schools do not have a meaningful program for special needs. It can be concluded that the awareness to make Quran specifically and Islam in general in the learning process has been widely found. However, when Islamic education is linked to special education, it is new in the Islamic world. There are two advantages when the research is aimed at how special education is in Islam. First, Islam as the majority religion will teach people that their religion has a didactic and methodical concept in dealing with them. Second, through a direct religious approach, the internalization of religious identity into community culture can immediately proceed to change the view of people who are still unfriendly to special needs to be more accepting and empathic to special needs so that learning and empowerment programs can be carried out relatively well.

As stated earlier, from the Islamic perspective, special needs have the same position. They have the same rights and obligations. As for what distinguishes them from others is only in the matter of method and approach. Therefore, Ashaari et al. (2012) in his research An Assessment of Teaching and Learning Methodology in Islamic Studies, views that Islam, which is embraced by a fifth of the world's population, has a real need to study Islam itself so that methodologies and approaches are born in responding to sustainable relevance and as a response to the demands given by globalization and modernity. In this regard, starting from the late 1970s, scholars have seriously discussed this failure and have suggested many plans to overcome weaknesses, one of which is by encouraging various ways of improving the teaching and learning methods of Islamic studies. special needs are seen from Sharia's objectives, which the Ulama call Maqashid Sharia, have been explicitly touched. In this case, Sulayman (2014) in his research Values-based Curriculum Model: A Practical Application of Integrated 'Maqasid Al-Sharia' for Wholeness Development of Mankind, stated that they also have the right and are obliged to receive moral guidance, which must be included in their school curriculum. The existence of special needs and their rights and obligations in the Quran are explicitly stated. In this case, the summarizes them in the following Table 1.

Table 1: Special needs terms in Quran.

No. Academic name/term Names in Quranic Literature
1. Mentally retarded سفيه (QS. 2: 282 ) 
2. Other disabilities that are mental/autistic لايستطيع  ان يُمِلَّ (QS.2 : 282)
3. Deaf صم ( QS. 2: 171)
4. Speech impaired (Qs. 17: 97)
5. Blind أعمى  (Qs. 80: 2), الأبرص و الأكمه  (QS. 3: 49)
6. Physical disability/  ضعيف (Qs.2: 282), الأعرج  (QS.24: 61)

Meanwhile, in the hadith, among them are "It was reported from Anas that a woman with special needs said to the Prophet Muhammad," Muslim hadith no.76, “O Messenger of Allah, I need you". Rasulullah replied, "O ummu Fulan, pay attention to what is your doubt, please what you want I will meet your needs”. Then, the Prophet succeeded in escorting him to several roads until her needs were met (Muslim, juz 4: 1812). Hadits Muslim no.38, “From Ibn Umar ra., He said: Rasulullah (PBUH) has two callers to prayer: Bilal and Ibn Ummi Maktum who are blind”. Rasulullah (PBUH) said, "Indeed, Bilal adhan at night, then eat and drink you until Ibn Ummi Maktum adhan (Muslim,, juz 2: Hadits Muslim no.131. Thabit said, "Then, Rasulullah (PBUH) married Julaibib to that woman”. However, when Rasulullah (PBUH) was in a battle, he asked his companions, "Have you lost someone?". The companions replied, "We only lost the Fulan and the Fulan (and Julaibib missed their details)”. Then, the Prophet (PBUH) asked again, "Have you lost someone?". They replied, "No." Rasulullah (PBUH) said again, "But I have lost Julaibib; look for him among those who were killed". They then found that Julaibib had killed seven enemies, and they killed him too." Rasulullah (PBUH) said, "Did not he succeed in killing seven people, and they succeeded in killing him, this is from me, and I am part of it". The (PBUH) called it seven people- later, he (PBUH) put Julaibib in his grave (Muslim,, juz 4: 1918).

As an additional explanation, Julaibib was an ugly companion of the Prophet (PBUH) with a physical condition that was not ideal. He was a hunchback, black, and short so that with such a physical condition, hardly anyone cared to pay attention to his condition, except the Prophet (PBUH), who appeared to pay close attention to him. One time, he (PBUH) asked Julaibib to get married. However, he refused because no woman would want him, given his physical condition like that. For that reason, Rasulullah continued to encourage him, and in the end, Rasulullah proposed a woman who was respected for him. As narrated in the above hadith, Tsabit explained that in the end, a woman was married to Julaibib, and the Prophet (PBUH) then prayed for them both. However, one day, when Rasulullah (PBUH) announced to anyone who would join the war, he went to join the battle leaving his wife, and in the end, he was martyred in a junub state. In the above hadith, Rasulullah (PBUH) gathered his companions and said: "Are all of them complete?" Many times, he asked questions like that, and the companions answered him that no one was left. Hearing that answer, the Apostle (PBUH) restrained his anger and said, "but I do not see Julaibib?" After that, people looked for Julaibib and found that he had been martyred and succeeded in killing seven of his enemies, and he was later killed. Regarding his corpse, Rasulullah (PBUH) intervened to bury him and put his body in the grave himself. He (PBUH) said, “this is for me, and I am for him”.

The words of the Prophet (PBUH) in directing Julaibib's funeral by saying that this was for him and me for him is no doubt a form of advocacy against humans who undermine the existence of special needs, while in this Hadith, Rasulullah (PBUH) paid close attention to it. In the Quran and the Hadith above, it is clear that Allah SWT and His Messenger are very concerned about special needs. In the view of the Shari'a, they must remain involved in various aspects of life regardless of their limitations. In this case, all approaches and methods are tried to meet the rights standard and facilitate all of their obligations. Thus, in the Quran and Hadith, with all their disabilities, they do not abort their function and role as caliph of Allah on earth. Based on the description above, in general, religion does not talk about the existence of those with special needs. It can be seen from the history of religion in the West, which has hindered Western civilization's growth. Thus, Western civilization finally emerged (including empathy in special needs) because they studied cultural literacy, not religious literacy. However, this religious attitude that hinders civilization does not apply to Islam. As a religion, Islam fulfills its function and role as a guide and guidance for humans in various aspects of life as a civilization, including an explanation of the existence of special needs. Thus, this paper has discussed the issue of special needs from an Islamic perspective.


It is the gap that the authors found, with which this research is directed from the point of view of Islam as a religion. Meanwhile, in a society (including the Muslim community), religion is the gateway to the entry of values, which are then institutionalized. Therefore, two things can be concluded from this study. First, research on the existence of special needs in Islam is expected to be a practical solution in changing the mindset of people in developing countries like Indonesia, where they see that special needs are a community that has lost rights and obligations due to their limitations. Thus, the process of internalizing an idea into culture through religion becomes a practical approach in changing a group's mindset from being contra to pro, from being unfriendly to being friendly, in this case, towards special needs. Second, this study reported that special needs in Islam are defined as those with physical and mental limitations, resulting in sub-optimal and even weak potential. However, this condition does not abort their existence as caliphs on earth, along with a set of rights and obligations.


This research is expected to contribute an initial concept in providing solutions to why in developing countries, especially those with a Muslim majority, the people are less friendly in responding to the existence of children with special needs even though their countries have issued laws and a set of rules regarding it. However, the law has not been fully applied.

Research Limitation

The limitation of this research is that it is just a literature review. However, solutions to change the community’s mindset through religious gates, in this case, changing the community’s mindset to be friendly towards special needs, have been and are taking place naturally in certain places.


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