My prison sentence started with two charges of armed robbery—but it ended with somebody committed to reforming himself.

I was guided to this way of life in 1987 and I’ve been on a journey ever since. A journey that’s taken me through various Shia and Sunni communities, including the community of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, through multiple prisons, and through the traditional beliefs and practices taught by the Tayba Foundation. Just as it has for thousands of other incarcerated students, Tayba helped me grow in my education and in my moral foundation. Helping students with successful reentry is the next step.

That’s why I’m excited to be a part of the Project Homecoming transitional house with Tayba and DREAM, and why I’m asking you to consider donating today.

Along my journey I learned to speak, read, and write Arabic—but in prison, getting access to Arabic-language resources on Islam is nearly impossible. All across the country, prison staff are known to discriminate against Muslim inmates. And that discrimination turns into policy.

It means no books to learn and teach the deen. It means no halal food in the cafeteria (I can’t tell you how many years I lived on peanut butter and jelly and ramen noodles). It means that a lot of us are left unguided.

And what’s worse, is that if and when we’re finally able to come home, a lot of us are also left unsupported. You might face condemnation from your family. Often times, you won’t find any place to stay. By the grace of God, a local imam allowed me to start serving at his masjid and provided me a room. Had it not been for him, I would have been homeless. But I was blessed, because that’s not something that can work for everyone.

So even if you reach the point of learning to focus on the internal struggle of improving yourself, you have to face the hardest external struggles just to get by.

Having studied with Tayba while incarcerated, and having seen Dream of Detroit’s work in the community, I’m committed to Project Homecoming. That’s why I signed up to be the first house manager, to share whatever I’ve learned to help brothers get back on their feet.

I hope you’ll make a donation today so that we can be sure the Project Homecoming house can open up this year—that we can finish the house rehab and get started with the important work of welcoming brothers home.

I can’t tell you how crucial it is to be in a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment. To have help getting your essentials like a license and health care. And to be surrounded by other brothers all encouraging each other down a positive path. For some brothers, this could be their one shot at survival.

With the help of the Most Gracious, we’re going to make this work. And in the years ahead, God-willing, hundreds of brothers will successfully pass through our house. Meaning that today’s donations from supporters like you could change lives for years to come.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. May God bless you in these final days of Ramadan.

-Abdul Bari

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"The true life that God wants for all people—not one people—their true life is a life of cooperation… community life!"
- Imam W.D. Mohammed