Our Story: 10 Years in the Making

How it all Began…

It all began in 2002 when an inmate sent a letter to Zaytuna Institute (now Zaytuna College) asking for help in finding sound Islamic resources to learn his deen (religion). From then on, Shaykh Rami Nsour began teaching this student along with another incarcerated student over the phone. In 2008, Tayba Foundation was launched by Shaykh Rami and Ustadh Nabil Afifi, primarily to serve the incarcerated brothers and sisters who are looking to learn their deen. However, Tayba’s early mission included teaching Islam to children and non-incarcerated adults as well. Over the years, we realized that the greater need is in helping our incarcerated brothers and sisters, so we decided to concentrate all of our efforts in teaching them sound Islamic knowledge.

Shaykh Rami Nsour with a newly released brother – Hayward, 2000

Where are We Now?

In 2008, Tayba foundation was serving only two incarcerated brothers in California. In 2018 alone we have served over 3000 Incarcerated across the United States from whom 70 are females.We are in 36 states and 288 states and federal prisons. Every week, we receive hundreds of  requests for course materials. We’ve come a long way and we need to keep going to serve the rest of our incarcerated brothers and sisters in need. We’ve also launched our life skills and reentry services to the released or pre-released brother and sisters. In 2018 we assisted 6 Muslims parolees as part of our reentry package and send 50 life skills courses to  25 students.

Our first booklet released in 2008. (1)

In the last few years, we’ve received the support of dozens of scholars and public figures like Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Suhaib Webb, Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali, Imam Tahir Anwar, Shayka Zaynab Ansari, Ibn Ali Miller… and the list goes on.

Many of our blessed students who get a chance to get out of prison, are active in society – serving as imams, teaching the deen to others (those who have received ijaza from Shaykh Rami), and even starting their own businesses. We have students who graduated from College and University. Our Islamic education courses can now be credited as electives by Adams State University. Some students have even written books; our “Islam 99” book was written by an incarcerated student and was sent to 1000 students this year!

Letter from Rodney Abdul-Hakim Thomas

Looking Towards the Future…

We continue to improve our Islamic curriculum by adding new courses every year. Our most recent addition is the Hadeeth 101 course and coming soon will be the Ihsan 201 course, created by one of Tayba’s current students: Amin Anderson.

We look to expand our life skills and a re-entry program for our students to help them have a better chance of success when reentering society. In a few years, we would like to see Tayba develop its own life skills curriculum that fits and better serve the needs of the majority Muslim beneficiaries.

As for the Reentry Program – We would like to open multiple transitional houses around the US, become a Cognitive Behavior Therapy Certified organization to help with the counseling services in prisons and, have a team of peer mentors to coach released brothers and sisters.

We must say that we have come this far only with the tawfeeq (success) of Allah subahanahu wa ta’ala, the many volunteers that He has put in our path and the supportive donors He has allowed to help us. Finally, we ask for your persistent financial support so that we can continue to serve our incarcerated brothers and sisters.


(1) Feel free to download our first booklet by clicking here.

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