By Chiwanda Gambo,
June 9, 2006
other day another Muslim and I were discussing Islam and its saving
power. We agreed that the guidance of Allah, provided in the words
of the Qur'an, is very important to us and all mankind. We felt
these words at heart because we are both Muslims and imprisoned.
We have an advantage over most people in the "free world"
because we see, up close and personal, Allah's saving power working
on some of society's worst human beings.
most beautiful words that I have ever heard, that have changed the
hearts of countless fallen souls in American prisons, were: Ash-hadu
al-laa ilaha illallahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah (I
bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness
that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
words of the Kalimatush-Shahadah (The Declaration of Faith) immediately
changed our views, pattern of thinking, and softened our hearts.
We have come to the realization that it is not all about us, and
that Allah has a greater plan and purpose for our lives, namely,
that we should worship him. (Q. 51:56)
basic nature is one of goodness and our hearts are constantly directing
us to seek the higher power outside of ourselves. Human science
affirms that there is a point in every man and woman's life where
transformation will occur for the better. Allah is the best of planners.
these fallen souls find the way of the life of Islam, they are transformed
from society's "worst of the worst" into respectable,
God-fearing human beings. The criminal behavior will be removed
and replaced with the tenets of Islam and moral dignity. Once Allah
blesses us to find the straight way, we become "lights"
for others to follow. Thereafter, our words and deeds should always
bear witness that we believe in Allah. A good Muslim realizes that
his good deeds must outweigh his bad ones. The greater balance is
what Allah will consider on Judgment Day.
Muslims, regardless of our location and conditions, we should always
attempt to do the right thing and live an Islamic lifestyle. Your
light is as powerful as you make it. A dim light from ill deeds
and sins will cause others to become lost on the path. If your actions
cause confusion and mislead someone away from the path, know that
Allah will punish you severely for your actions.
is truly a good rehabilitative tool to change the mind and heart.
Let's use it to our advantage.
Gambo T'Chaka A.K.A. McKinley Robinson, # 34076 Potosi Correctional
Center 11593 State Hwy. O Mineral Point, MO 63660
Chiwanda Gambo T'Chaka a.k.a. McKinley Robinson has spent nearly
three decades behind bars and is working toward his release and
life thereafter. He is co-founder and facilitator of Full Circle
program. Full Circle is a program designed to teach communicative
skills, cognitive awareness, alternative thinking, creative thinking,
downfalls of criminal behavior, goal setting, life skills, and other
life-transforming lessons. Because of his paralegal degree and the
legal assistance he gives to other prisoners, he is what is commonly
referred to as a "jailhouse lawyer." In fact, he currently
has a litigation against the Missouri Department of Corrections
concerning the Muslim community being denied a halal (lawful) food
diet which is consistent with their Islamic dietary laws and practices,
and concerning the staff's retaliation against him for pursuing
may contact Chiwanda Gambo directly by writing to him at the address
listed above. The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners: