the Practice of Islaam in Prison
Ali Khalid Abdullah, Prisonersolidarity.org
June 6, 2007
Department of Public Safety and Corrections
Louisiana, Correctional Inst. For Woman
St. Gabriel, LA 70776
Inmate Maryam Uloho #464534
RAHMAANIR RAHEEM (In the name of Allaah, Most gracious, Most Merciful)
the Peace of Allaah be upon you.
forward this letter to you in regard to the above captioned inmate
regarding her practice of Islaam at your facility.
am an inmate and Islaamic Imaam (Spiritual Leader), and would like
to share a few words with you regarding the religion and requirements
of individuals seeking to learn about this religion. My purpose
is to help facilitate you and your staff's broader understanding
regarding this religion (which is widely misunderstood), especially
in light of the tragic events that are taking place in the world
be advised that Ms. Uloho have not asked me to contact you. In fact,
she does not even know I am writing, but she will be receiving a
copy of this letter.
take this initiative because she and I have been corresponding with
one another and I have been sharing, as best as I can, information
to help aid her and other interested parties, in the proper application
and understanding of this religion.
Uloha has brought to my attention that she is a "beginner"
in Islam and thus seeks to learn and advance, so that she will be
able to practice her religion in the most correct form. As I have
explained to her, one may be a Muslim for many years and still --
in the true sense of the word -- be a "beginner," because
there is so much to learn. In fact, one will never in a lifetime,
learn everything there is about the religion. Just as in Christianity
or in Judaism, learning takes place in perpetual stages, until the
day one dies. Therefore, when Ms. Uloho implies she is a "beginner
in Islaam", she is, in fact, speaking the truth.
have been a Muslim for over 35 years and there is still much for
me to learn. For example, every Muslim is required to learn the
language of Arabic because that is the language in which the Qur'aan
was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him),
and as such, it is the language in which we must offer our prayers.
It matters not if you are an American, Japanese, a Spanish speaker,
an Italian, or what have you, all must learn Arabic, which can be
a trying language.
is a language of words with precise, unquestionable meanings, as
well as multiple nuances. Many of its words cannot be translated
verbatim. For example, as-Samad, one of the names of Allaah, can
mean the Absolute, the eternally Besought of all, etc. Classic
Arabic has consistent, predictable rules of grammar, pronunciation
and spelling, making it actually a fairly easy language to learn,
but very difficult to master. It is hard to comprehend the Our'aan
correctly, which can have an effect in one's understandings of such
words as "Jihaad." Jihaad literally means the "inner
cleansing" or "cleaning," but also has other meanings
that include fighting in the way of Allaah. This does not necessarily
mean a literal fight, but rather the more important spiritual inner
fight against one's own
negatives. Sadly, however, we have individuals who have taken the
word of "Jihaad" and used its meaning one dimensionally,
for self-serving interests, political aspirations and vengeance
etc. These individuals need to be properly educated, as do the general
don't wish to take up much of your time, but I wanted to share with
you so that Ms. Uloho should not be looked upon suspiciously when
she expresses being a "beginner" in the religion of Islaam.
I thank you in advance for your time and understanding. Please feel
free to call upon me if you desire. May Allaah, be with you and
your loved ones during these turbulent times.
Khalid Abdullah # 148130
Muskegon Correctional Facility
2400 S. Sheridan Rd.
Muskegon, MI 49442-6298