Every term we hear new stories from our students.

They continue to inspire and motivate us.

Come back here often to see new stories as we hear them, directly from our students.

Sister Khadija: As if she’d been Muslim all along

Khadija grew up in a dysfunctional home. Both of her parents were drug addicts and she was raised to see drug dealers as successful. Eventually, she was convinced to transport drugs and was arrested and convicted for this crime. She became Muslim because of a fellow inmate who invited her to a ta’leem (Islamic studies)...

Taahir: Appreciative and Altruistic

Tahir was one of our hardest working students and most willing to give back to the Tayba Foundation family.  He spent over two decades in prison, and was one of the nicest and helpful brothers we ever met. His story is similar to the stories of so many of our students. They endured extreme hardships...

Brother Nadir: The Ultimate Redemption

Nadir wasn't raised in a bad environment but made some bad decisions that led to his arrest at 16. He was held in jail until he turned 17 and then sentenced to 15 years in adult prison. He spent a few months in a juvenile facility until his 18th birthday, and then moved to a...

Brother Tabari: Transformative Tauba (Repentance)

Tabari Abdul-Zahir began formally studying the Islamic Sciences in early 2003 with Muslim scholars at Zaytuna Institute. Due to a series of bad choices and spiritual heedlessness, he found himself in federal prison for a non-violent drug crime from 2005-2016. It was in prison that Abdul-Zahir made the transformative ‘Tauba’ which Imam Ghazali said everyone...

Sajad: A story of introspection and self-reform

Sajad grew up as a troubled teen. He started associating with gang members and participating in destructive lifestyles, which inevitably resulted in a six-year prison sentence while still a teenager.  A year after his release and with no education or marketable skills, he found himself gravitating towards those same destructive lifestyles and being sentenced to…

Brother J.V: Incarceration & Conversion

"I had a dream of the Prophet ﷺ and took my shahada, but then I ended up in prison again." Incarceration I was a new convert to Islam when I was released from prison. While in prison religious strength was felt being within the Jamah because if I wasn’t to notice the straying of my...

Abdul Lateef: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioun.

Abdul Lateef, one of Tayba Foundation’s best students who just got out after 31 years in prison, is enjoying a Smoked Salmon Pizza at Falafel Corner, Fremont, Ca. He has stage 4 cancer and is on a restricted diet, so they made him a very special Smoked Salmon Pizza. The pizza was so good, the…

Aseem: 28 Years For A Crime He Didn’t Commit

Aseem is one of our students who was recently released from prison. He served 28 years for a crime he was found to be innocent of. Here is his picture as he walks out of San Quentin. Cost of Wrongful Incarceration: $1,260,000. September 9th, 1986 was a day that forever changed the course of this…

Stephan: Mujahid’s Transformative Experience

Would you like to see the transformative effect of a Tayba Foundation education? Stephan, “Mujahid,” went to prison as a young, angry man. He was a thug doing serious prison time in South Carolina, but Allah guided his heart towards Islam. Shortly thereafter, he found Tayba. Mujahid’s story is unique. He is not the typical prison...

Brother Nadir: A top Tayba student is rejoining free-society

A Tayba student getting out of prison is always exciting. But today's an even more special occasion. That's because brother Nadir is getting out. May 15, 2019. It's a special occasion because the Muslim ummah has just gained an incredible asset: brother Nadir isn't your run-of-the-mill student. He's reached a level where he could be...

Kevin: Ramadan Behind Bars

I come from a convert family (Irish American mother, African-American father), so I was born Muslim. So some of my best childhood memories are from Ramadan and staying some nights in the mosque. Our prison is supposed to have a policy of accommodating Muslims, but the problem is that our chaplain misrepresents the faith. He...

Darrel’s Essay – My favourite topic in Islam 99

If I had to choose a favourite topic or subject out of the book “Introduction to Islam” it would have to be the section that focused on “Hisba”. I found it most interesting. I was once a person who thought I knew it all and had Islam figured out. Only to discover I don’t know...

Abdul Khabeer: He translated the entire Quran in prison

In his infancy, Abdul Khabeer's mother put Drano in his baby formula & was sent to a mental institution. He was separated from his father at 10, making rounds in the foster care system. By 11, he committed his first crime. By 17, he entered prison. And at 19, he was given a 27 year...

Mujahid Abdus Sabur: From prison gangs to Islam

Growing up, Jason loved and looked up to his father. The only problem was that his father was a drug dealer. Despite his father’s efforts to keep him away from a life of crime, Jason got involved in gangs, theft and drugs in his early teens before winding up in prison at age 17.   The...

Yahya’s Story: It all started with a book

One of my biggest challenges in prison is being white [and Muslim],” Yahya wrote us. “The prison staff call me a traitor. As for the Muslims, most of them are taught to hate anyone who’s white.” Yahya became Muslim a couple of years ago. Previously a Christian, he read the book “My Great Love for...

Habibullah’s Story: From drug addict to an Imam

David’s father was found dead on the bathroom floor, likely due to his drug habit, when David was only two years old. His death broke David’s mother: she spent the next eight years in and out of prison and re-married twice. By age 10, David was sent to live with his uncle, but his deteriorating...

Anthony’s Story: Redemption and Human Potential

This is Anthony, one of our students in a Michigan prison. He converted to Islam because of the beauty he saw in the teachings. Originally, he signed up to go to Muslim services just so he could get out of his cell and be able to connect with his homeboy. At the time, he didn’t know…

Eid in Prison? A Former Inmate Recounts

In some prisons, Muslims do not have the luxury to perform the Eid prayer in congregation. The timing of the prayer or other factors, which would normally not be applied in such circumstances, are used as grounds to justify denying the brothers this opportunity to congregate. That being said, it should be noted that nearly…

Stephan “Mujahid”

Would you like to see the transformative effect of a Tayba Foundation education? Stephan, “Mujahid,” went to prison as a young, angry man. He was a thug doing serious prison time in South Carolina, but Allah guided his heart towards Islam. Shortly thereafter, he found Tayba. Mujahid’s story is unique. He is not the typical prison…

Gangsta Lovin: A Blood, a Crip and a Nonprofit

From left to right: Taahir, Yusef Wiley and TimeList board member, Ansar Greenwell. Photo by Sa’Nae Ellis They once used to be enemies. A Blood and a Crip. But now, Yusef Andre Wiley and Taahir Michael Prather have come together to make a difference. It sounds like a made-for-TV special produced by Snoop. Only it’s…