B.C. Dodge talks to Nadir Thabatah in this episode of “What a Relief!” — IRUSA’s official podcast.
In this extra special episode of the podcast, B.C. flies solo and live from ICNA to interview Nadir Thabatah, co-founder and president of Islam By Touch. Islam By Touch is the first Muslim organization in North America dedicated to the blind community. Nadir and his wife and co-founder, Yadira Thabatah, produce the English meanings of the Qur’an and distribute them—free of charge.
Both Nadir and his wife are legally blind, and started this effort to fill a major gap in the community. Arabic braille Qur’ans have been available for decades, but Qur’ans in English braille did not exist until this recent initiative.
“Our primary goal is to make Islam more accessible to the blind community,” he says of his grassroots effort—so grassroots, in fact, that he literally puts these Qur’ans together himself, and his wife proofreads them. Each one has 10 volumes.
They want to spread the books everywhere they possibly can, and they aren’t for sale.
“Myself being part of the blind community, I know that blind people really don’t have money to spend like that,” Nadir says. “And accessible technology is not cheap.”
“There’s a lot of expenses that go into being visually impaired,” he says, citing transportation as just one example and joking about having an “Uber Gold” card.
Tune into this episode to catch this enlightening discussion, and most importantly, to find out how you can help. They don’t want to stop at Qur’ans, and with the support of the community, hope to venture into making additional books in braille, such as seerah books, children’s books, and more.
“If you’re able to support us in any way, whether it’s spreading the word, donating yourself, do what you can. Support this blind community. Imagine you sponsor one complete set of these books and a blind person picks up these books and Allah guides them. And they get married and have children, and their children have children. And then when that day comes that you stand in front of Allah, and you’re looking for every good deed you possibly can have, and then you have this lineage of people that come up behind you as a witness that your donation is a reason why they were guided.”
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