It is well known that the disabled – such as the deaf, the blind, and the mute – are not exempted from carrying out the religious obligations. Like other normal people, they are mandated by the Shari`ah (Islamic Law) to offer salah, zakah, etc.
Here, we’d like to cite the following Fatwa issued by the late Muslim scholar, Sheikh ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy upon him), the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia:
(The child who is deaf and mute, when reaching the age of puberty, is considered to be accountable and expected to fulfill the obligations of salah, etc.
He may be taught what he needs to know by means of writing or signs, because of the general application of Taklif (assuming religious responsibility) that everyone, upon reaching the age of puberty and of sound mind, is addressed by Shari`ah injunctions and must abide by its teachings. Puberty is reached at the age of fifteen, or when one starts to have a wet dream or when coarse hair grows around the private parts. In the case of women, there is a fourth sign of puberty, which is the onset of menstrual periods.
I call upon the guardian of the one who is deaf or mute to pay zakah and fulfill other financial obligations on his behalf. He also has to teach him what he does not know by all possible means so that he will understand what Allah requires of him and what Allah has forbidden for him.
We can quote, as evidence, the words of Allah:
So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can. (Al-Israa’17:1)
And the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can.” (Muslim)
It goes without saying that Al-Mukallaf (a person addressed by the Shari`ah injunctions) who happens to be deaf or dumb should fear Allah and keep his duty towards Him as much as he can by doing that which is enjoined upon him and abstaining from that which is haram (unlawful). He should try to learn as much of the religion as possible, through watching, writing and responding to signs, so that he may understand what is required of him.
Moreover, Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, states:
Disabled persons are required to carry out their religious obligations. The blind have to be taught how to offer salah, and should be directed to the qiblah (direction of the Ka`bah). As for the mute and deaf, they can offer salah even by signs. Nowadays, schools that teach those disabled have spread worldwide. This helps in teaching those people how to pray and perform other religious duties.