Over the years I’ve noticed that Muslim parents of autistic children (not all, but some) do not know what a blessing Allah had bestowed upon them.
I feel that I have the need to start some form of communication with the Muslim community about this pressing issue … AUTISM.
Also, I have gathered some professionals to write about their experiences to show you all how to make life easier with this debilitating disorder.
Furthermore, I will include some helpful websites where you can browse around to get some learning materials to make learning fun, exciting, and successful for you, and your special child.
Most importantly, I will include a website where you can get spiritually recharged. I will be including video and audio lectures from some prominent Muslim scholars, which will help you to deal with the hardship that you may encounter from time to time. We all have our days when we feel, “I can’t go on anymore”, but the links that I will be posting will give you reminders insha’Allah, and they will help you to remember who to turn to in times of desperation.
Current estimates show that one in every 110 U.S. children has been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder (autism, pervasive developmental disorder and Asperger’s). Numbers of diagnosed children are changing, but unfortunately not in a positive way. It is an alarming statistic. There is another concern particularly for a parents of boys … they are four times more likely to have autism than girls.
Autism doesn’t acknowledge borders, colors, race or religion. Consequently it is affecting us as a Muslim community.
Recently, it came to my attention that there are several families who are struggling to deal with the stigma of having a special needs child, and it is quite disturbing what I have heard. I am not going to write the stories of these people, since they had trusted me and reached out to me in their dire state.
Among the Islamic lessons we may benefit from as regards dealing with an Autistic or special needs child, let us consider these words of the Prophet (saas):
Narrated An-Nu’man ibnu Bashir: Allah’s Messenger (saas) said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet (saas) said, “A faithful believer to a faithful believer is like the bricks of a wall, each enforcing the other.” While saying that, the Prophet clasped his hands, interlacing his fingers. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
These ahadith don’t mean that we should build a brick wall around our autistic child to keep them from the world … these children should not be deprived from the outside world as they are among the bricks of this great wall.
My intention is not to judge, but to try to convince you, that having such a child in your life is not a CURSE, but rather it is a BLESSING.
Personally I feel privileged that Allah has entrusted me to be a part of my autistic son’s awakening. I use the word awakening, because before my eyes, he is breaking through the barrier that kept him away from us. I would like to share our story with you today in this first post.
In 2004, one day literally my world changed, and the great brick wall threatened to crumble … Amin, my 18 month-old baby boy, was diagnosed with autism. I felt that I had lost my son. He was physically there, but I couldn’t even look into his eyes. His personality, temperament, and mannerism were changed.
In this kind of a situation parents go into a “FIGHT or FLIGHT” MODE. In plain English it means; you either start the incredible fight for your child, or you sink into a hopeless state or one of denial.
As a Muslim mother though, I knew that there is no room for hopelessness, I had to start the fight. I am thankful for what I have. I learned that the Muslim’s state of mind is always balanced. We thank Allah for the good we get, and we are patient with Allah if we receive or experience difficulty because we remember Allah is the Merciful and He knows what is best for us – “And Allah knows, and you do not” [Qur’an 2:216].
The Prophet (saas) is reported to have said ,”How amazing is the attitude of the believer. Everything is good for him – and that is for no one but the believer: If good times come his way, he is thankful and that is good for him, and if hardship comes his way, he is patient and that is good for him.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
Thus, the purpose of this blog to help Muslim families with autistic children. To give them spiritual reminders and offer helpful, practical advice as well as a support network for those who have no other support.
Non-Muslim visitors, though, are welcome too. Anyone who wants to be part of the great effort of helping these children, and the families blessed to raise them, is welcome here and asked to share their ideas with us.
So, I invite you all to join me in this journey, to see and appreciate the world from a different perspective.