Disability in Islam: Challenging Saudi Disabled Teachers’ Perspectives


  • Ali Aldakhil




Disability, Islam, Teachers, Saudi Arabia.


This study aims to critically explore how do Saudi disabled teachers perceive the nature of disability in relation to Islamic teachings, as this impacts on themselves as disabled teachers and how they interact, treat and teach their disabled students. The two primary sources of Islamic teachings – the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (i.e. Hadiths)- were used to conceptualise this inquiry and ground it in the literature. These sources examined to understand how they approach disability in relation to disabled participant teachers’ understandings and to understand how Islam interprets disability. Disability-first language was used in this study because it puts the problems of disability on society rather than disabled people (Aldakhil, 2020). Data were generated through conducting in depth semi-structured telephone interviews with ten disabled teachers. Findings show critical contradictions between teachers' understanding of disability and Islamic teachings, as Miles (2007) puts it, it is true that the views of people of a particular faith often do not reach the standards taught by that faith. The study also show that the right interpretation of Islamic teachings has the potential to promote an affirmative model of disability that could challenge the unquestioned assumptions of disability presented by participant teachers.