Two testimonies: MECA Incarcerated Muslim Support Project

By: Soha Yassine

As you know, MECA has partnered with The Claremont Forum Prison Library Project to send books to Muslim inmates. Additionally, we have sent dozens of DVDs and CDs of ICSC khutbas, Sunday Program lectures, and more to Imam Tariq Aquil, President of the Muslim Chaplains Association of America to be shared with inmates hungry for Islamic materials. Below you will find two letters, one from an inmate, and one from Imam Tariq about the impact these things have had. These touching notes are a testament to the need of such projects. If you are interested in getting involved with the MECA Incarcerated Muslim Support Project, please contact me at

Letter from Muslim Inmate

To Soha Yassine
The Prison Library Project
As Salaam Alaykm.
This is [name omitted]. I’m writing to inform you that your Muslim reading material came today, and it was truly a welcome surprise. I needed everything you sent and that was a blessing from Allah. I want you to know that I actually cried when my name was called to come and get the mail you sent to me.
Allah is the best of planners and I have been praying for my situation to change for the better. And my prayer was answered. Let me thank you in advance for all you have done for this Muslim brother. If you have any more Muslim reading material that you can send to me it will be greatly appreciated.

Letter from Muslim Chaplain

May 28, 2012

As Salaamu’ Alaikum,


Dear Sister Soha,


This letter comes to express my appreciation for the wonderful CD library that the Islamic Center of Southern California donated to the men at Soledad State Prison.

Just to place things in perspective, the prison houses 7,000 men with an average of 300 Muslims at any given time. Our library is interfaith and available to all inmates without regard to religion.

The CD’s have been well received and have spurred serious productive conversations among the inmate population.  It will probably come as no surprise that the favorite series among the CD’s are Dr. Hathout’s “Straight Talk” programs.   Dr. Hathout seems to defy those who speak of the digital or generational divide as he remains relevant to us all.

The CD’s also provided the atmosphere for the First Interfaith Panel Presentation at the prison which was entitled  “I Believe…” Just to add a personal note I really appreciate the time and effort that went into preparing the compilation of over 100 lectures, khutbahs and discussions.

Once again, I thank you for your support and assistance and pray that Almighty God (Allah) richly reward you.


Your brother in service to Allah

Imam Tariq Ansaar Aquil

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