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New SignLabs Videos

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You may remember back in August 2008, MuslimMatters helped to launch SignLabs.org, a project set up to encourage Muslims to engage with the Deaf community, and improve Islamic education for the Deaf.

One of our objectives was to use video aids to help people to learn the basics of sign language, starting with the alphabet:

Now, four new videos have been released showing you how to sign a few simple words in BSL that may prove useful in everyday conversation.  We will try to produce parallel videos in ASL in the near future, insha’Allah.

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The following links should take you straight to the high-definition versions of the videos on YouTube (note: if they play in “fast forward” mode upon first loading, rewind to the start to play at normal speed):

We also have other projects in the works, related to the “Sign Islam” aspect of the initiative. Subscribe to our mailing list and/or Facebook group to keep up-to-date with all the latest developments, especially if you wish to get involved.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dr Mehzabeen b. Ibrahim joined MuslimMatters as a blogger in late 2007 under the handle 'iMuslim', whilst still a struggling grad student. Since then, she has attained a PhD in Molecular Biology and a subsequent Masters in Bioinformatics, and now works as a specialist in this field for a well-known British, medical charity, masha'Allah. Somewhere in between she found the time to get married, alhamdulillah. She likes to dabble in photo and videography, a sample of which can be found on her personal blog: iMuslim.tv.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Amad

    January 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    Really a positive and great effort mashallah.
    May Allah reward you for all your effort.

  2. Ibn Abu Aisha

    January 24, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Barak Allahu Feeki Sister for the beneficial videos. My university, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is also the world’s largest National Technical Institute for the Deaf aka NTID, a technological university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. As such, it is very common to see interpreters in classrooms alongside instructors who communicate in sign-language to deaf students. Alhamdulillah we have been blessed with a very active Deaf brother, Nashiru (nicknamed Nash), a Ghanian by origin, who graduated from RIT last year and went to Gallaudet University in Washington DC and founded the world’s first Deaf Students MSA. He is back to RIT to continue with his Masters. I once sat down with him and discussed topics in ‘Aqeedah. He said he had never heard of such beautiful concepts before and that no one had ever taken the time to explain our Kalimah to him. Subhan-Allah tears filled my eyes, how Blessed we are to have the sense of hearing and how few are the people who even care to gain knowledge of the Deen.

    Alhamdulillah yesterday, for the first time, we had Nash translate the Friday khutbah in ASL (usually we have non-muslim interpreters but I thought it would be more beneficial to have a Muslim who is more cognizant of Qur’anic and Islamic terminology do the translating). A few weeks ago I was going to ask ibnabeeomar to advertise on MM about a short documentary called A Deaf Perspective: Silent Islam which highlighted the efforts our Deaf brothers and sisters put into practising this Deen. Alhamdulillah Nash told me that Sister Mehzabeen from UK has been spreading the word about it. I was really happy to know this and I ask Allah to Bless you abundantly sister.

    Subhan-Allah Nash told me how so many deaf students are thirsty for knowledge of Islam but that most communities do not accommodate their needs. For example he said in New Jersey, some deaf students would put money together and hire an interpreter for half an hour each Friday to interpret the khutbah at a local masjid. And this would be at some crazy price. But the dedication of these brothers and sisters is remarkable, that they put money together to have a non-muslim explain the Deen to them. There is a lot to talk of and feel sad about this part of society that we seldom hear of. Insha Allah Nashiru will be teaching American Sign Language (ASL) soon and I am really looking forward to learning and mastering it. I remember seeing a video from an ISNA conference where Alhamdulillah they have interpreters specifically meant for the deaf audience. I hope that someday AlMaghrib can also have such a facility and we can spread Da’wah to a much broader audience, I ask Allah to make me contribute in this effort Insha Allah.

    May Allah increase all of us in knowledge of this beautiful Deen and enable us love our brothers and sisters as we love our ownselves. Ameen.

    Wassalamu Alaikum.

  3. Amatullah

    January 24, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    MashaAllah this is awesome! I would like to learn ASL bi’ithnillah.

  4. ilmsummitee

    January 24, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    SubhanAllah, what a inventive great project! May Allah reward those who initiated it and those who continue through with it……

    I remember learning ASL back in elementary; I still remember most of the alphabet. We had to converse with deaf children our age and we loved it.

    Though, I’m still somewhat surprised of the braille qurans for the blind; the difficultly level in learning to read them? Mashallah, that was awesome the first time I actually saw them.

  5. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 24, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    innalhamdolillah. may Allah increase the barakat of all these beneficial projects.

  6. iMuslim

    January 25, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    Wa ‘alakykum salam wa rahmatullah

    Ameen to all of your aadiyah.

    @Ibn Abu Aisha – that was a lovely message, jazakallah khair for sharing. Before reading my name, I was thinking: “I know brother Nash!!”.

    The good news is, SignLabs is just one of several projects going on at the moment to help Deaf Muslims, masha’Allah. Human beings are thirsty for knowledge, especially true knowledge of their origins; and a lack of hearing, or sight, or any other physical ability, will not deter them from seeking and receiving Divine guidance, alhamdulillah.

    Those around them can make the road to guidance smoother, either by offering assistance, or getting out of the way! :)

    Personally, I feel SignLabs has been more of a PR project so far, bringing greater attention to a need in the community. We, along with other groups, are working on longer term solutions to that need, that will hopefully be simple, fun, and above all – rewarding, insha’Allah.

    Please join our mailing list if you haven’t already.

  7. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    April 18, 2009 at 2:03 AM

    bismillah was salamu alaykum, the video in the link for islamic words has gone “private.”

    tonight alhamdolillah, was the first night of divine speech in houston with nouman. and it was wonderful, mashaAllah, and we spent 3 hours on the balagha of surah fatihah. :)

    and i got home, looking for a friend on skype to talk to about the class, and found a brother who moved from Houston to NY to continue his education, alhamdolillah. and he had just finished having dinner with his guests — deaf Muslims from around the world also studying at RIT. and they taught me the signs for as salamu alaykum, alhamdolillah, mashaAllah, and inshaAllah, and it was wonderful especially on the night we spent so much time on alhamdolillah to “see” the word and give it expression with more than just my speech.

    may Allah increase the love among the Muslims, and bring the hearing-Muslims softness of the heart that they might truly listen to their deaf brothers-and-sisters-without-hearing. we have a lot to say to each other, inshaAllah. :)

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