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TROID IAP (Inmate Assistance Programme): Year in Review

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Update (2013.09.14):

Read our Post-Ramaḍān View: http://www.troid.ca/index.php/forums/prison-da-wah-outreach/1971-muslim-inmate-assistance-programme?start=20#2310

TROID IAP (Inmate Assistance Programme):
A Year in Review

 $2000/$10000 raised in Ramaḍān 1434

Examples of letters we recieve:

 

My Image  My Image  TROID IAP (Inmate Assistance Programme) 


The Facts:

  • 120+ Inmates currently correspond with TROID IAP
  • Inmates write to IAP from over 18 States in the USA, as well as local Canadian and inmates located in the Caribbean, have written to us.
  • Each inmate writes from their own correctional institution, there are some institutions which we receive multiple letters from different inmates, the largest being:

    FCI Bennettsville, South Carolina - Over 30 Inmates
    Collins Correctional Facility, New York – 14 Inmates and counting
    Over 14 Institutions across Pennsylvania with multiple inmates writing to us from each

  • Donations total since re-launch of IAP = $3700 (total for last 12 months)
  • Shipping costs for IAP = $ 1250
  • Donations equivalent to 75 IAP Book Packages (A great start, but the number of inmates is much higher, and continues to rise, al-hamdulillāh)

  • What Inmates are requesting most:
  1. daʿwah Material (Books on ʿAqīdah and Fiqh are at the forefront)
  2. Catalogues of Books they may be able to purchase outside of what IAP is able to offer
  3. al-ʿArabīc Courses – Books, CDs etc. (many inmates want to spend their time learning the language of the Qur’an)
  4. Fiqh Answers (We reference some of the students of knowledge when specific Fiqh questions arise, we have contact with them through email, and they are very good at responding and helping inmates, Allāh increase them in good and reward them for their assistance. For general fiqh questions, we reference the books and websites of known Salafī organisations that reference the ʿUlamāʾ’ of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamāʿah)
  5. Connections upon release from prison (many brothers have accepted Islām in prison, and are seeking to move and live in or around a Salafī community) 

$10,000 Needed Annualy ($1502/$10000 raised in Ramaḍān 1434):

The Inmate Assistance Program was a consistent and flourishing program a number of years ago at TROID, but due to limited resources and manpower, the IAP was unable to sustain itself and began to decline in responses and in turn also declined in letters being received, albeit letters would still come sporaḍīcally, one every few months or so. When some brothers began reading the letters that would come in, some dating back 3 years unanswered, and recognizing the urgency and necessity of daʿwah and the needs of the Muslims who are incarcerated, IAP became a project that could no longer be overlooked or left without response. al-Hamdulillāh, TROID was able to set aside volunteer time and part of the back office, dedicated to revamping the IAP, on a more organised and consistent basis. Right from the restart, the IAP went from receiving one letter every few months, to receiving 3-8 letters a week! Maa shaa’ Allāh!

The goals set out by the refreshed IAP, is to establish a consistent connection with our brothers in prison and correctional institutions across North America, being the link for them to connect with and receive ‘Ilm based information from the Qur’an and Sunnah, the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah, Students of Knowledge, and spreading this great daʿwah, with the aid of Allāh (Subhāna wa ta ‘Āla). It is also a great opportunity for assisting other needs, such as companionship based on Islām and unity with the Salafīs far and wide. Letters we have received have indicated that inmates have tried writing to many organizations and daʿwah centres, having TROID IAP as the only one who responded, in one case and inmate wrote to over 40 organizations over a 2-year course.

The main obstacles that we find for this sustainability of this project are firstly, and most importantly, donation/funding. This program is 100% sponsored by brothers and sisters who donate to it. We started with a goal of raising $10,000 yearly, and for the inaugural year, we have been able to collect over $3600, plus books that have been donated separately, and all praise if for Allāh. The amount raised has been a great boost in making IAP a prison “household name” in many institutions. The demand and letters have been increasing, and we would like to be able to accommodate those who write to us. The donations cover packages for inmates (as per posting), as well as shipping costs. Another obstacle that presents itself is the delay in responding to inmates due to the sheer amount of letters that come in, and on average there is one volunteer to process all letters from receiving to shipping out packages. Typically, we send out two shipments a month, in two week intervals.

Whether through volunteering time locally or aiding with the rizq that Allāh (Subhaana wa ta‘aala) provides us, there are many ways to gain rewards by assisting this great program, In shaa’ Allāh. Along with giving a sense of accomplishment and assistance to Muslims in need, we can actually provide support to our brothers, with the aid of Allāh, through literature, companionship, ease and connection to knowledge. Aiding a Muslim in need is a right upon us if we are able to assist them, in many cases they may be oppressed in their environment from different angles including being assaulted while worshipping Allāh, or the institution disallowing some forms of worship (such as congregational prayers). Most of the brothers that are incarcerated have become Muslim during their incarceration and not beforehand; there are also brothers in the prison system due to various circumstances. All letters that we have received thus far are from those brothers who are striving to become better Muslims, and increase in their knowledge and understanding of the dīn, In shaa’ Allāh. Indeed these brothers face many trials while incarcerated, and Allāh tests those whom He loves. In a general Naṣīḥah from Imām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz (raḥimahullāh), he stated:

Allāh’s Wisdom dictates that He test His Servants with good and evil, health and illness, poverty and affluence, strength and weakness, to see how they will behave. Will they obey Him in prosperity and adversity, fulfilling the Rights owed to Him at all times and under all circumstances? Allāh (Exalted be He) says:  ...and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned. And He (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:  Alif-Lâm-Mîm. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allāh (Alone) knows their meanings.]  Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested.  And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allāh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allāh knows all that before putting them to test). When this is made evident, Allāh (Glorified be He) tests His Servants, try their patience and thankfulness, so that each one will be rewarded according to their status and their deeds. It is, therefore, obligatory on Muslims, if Allāh grants them monetary blessings, to remember their poor Muslim brothers and comfort them through their money and help them to bear the burdens of their lives.”

View more letters here: 

My Image  My Image  TROID IAP (Inmate Assistance Programme) My Image  My Image  My Image


Ibn ʿUmar (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) reported: The Messenger of Allāh (ʿalayhi wa-ṣalātu was-salām) said:

“A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfils his brother’s needs, Allāh will fulfil his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allāh will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhārī and Muslim]. 

Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) reported: The Prophet (ʿalayhi was-ṣalātu was-salām) said:

“He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allāh will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allāh will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allāh will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allāh supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…” [Muslim]

We ask Allāh (subhaana wa ta‘aala) to continue to bless this project and increase it in its sustenance and benefit for all those who are involved. We also ask that you spend towards such a cause where the benefits are not all seen on the surface, but benefiting Muslims who are seeking to increase their īmān, to those who are giving daʿwah to other prisoners that will accept Islām, to those families and friends these inmates are connected to and the generations after, Allāhu Alim. The benefits are endless and Allāh knows their limit of this reward. We ask that you donate generously to this noble cause, and assist Allāh’s religion.

More sample letters - Help your Brothers in Need: 

My Image  My Image  TROID IAP (Inmate Assistance Programme) My Image  My Image  My Image

Action Plan:

With the initial establishment of the programme a success, we have turned our attention to creating a standardised welcome package. We have created a Mini-Library for Muslim Inmates. This set of books and Islamic essentials will be sent to each and every Muslim inmate in shaa' Allāh (pending availabilty).

The Mini-Library for Muslim Inmates consists of:

  • The Noble Qurʾān (al-ʿArabīc hardback) (supplied by KSA Min. of Islamic Affairs)
  • The Noble Qurʾān (pocket-size English) (reg. $12.99)
  • Fortress of the Muslim (duʿāʾʾʾ book) (reg. $2.99)
  • Islamic Rulings for Incarcerated Muslims (reg. $8.99)
  • Some of the Benefits of Sūrah-Fātiḥah (reg. $7.99)
  • The Three Fundamental Principles (pocket-size) (reg. $4.99)
  • Upright Moral Character (reg. $9.99)
  • The Concise Collection of Creed and Tawḥīd (pocket-size) (reg. $7.99)
  • Exemplary Principles Concerning the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allāh (reg. $23.99)
  • Fundamentals of the Salafī Methodology (reg. $16.99)
  • Prayer Mat (cost pending)
  • Koofī (reg. $5.00)

Total package cost from TROIDStore ($101.91 + shipping), discounted package price for distribution to Inmates $75 [incl. shipping]

In order to streamline the Muslim Inmate Assistance Programme, we are now focusing our attention of raising funds for these mini-library kits. Our hope is to get these libraries into as many institutions as possible. We have a goal of $10,000 per year which would cover 113 mini-libraries, or potentially 30-40 institutions in shaa' Allāh.

If you would like to sponsor a package, please paypal $75 (or $75 x how many mini-libraries) to info (@) troid.ca  - full details/payment options are below.

You may read recent letters from prison here.


More information is here: http://www.troid.ca/index.php/forum/prison-da-wah-outreach/1990-suggestions-to-include-in-a-muslim-inmate-package#2098


Initial Annoucement (August 2012):


At TROID, we are currently working to revamp our Muslim Inmate Assistance Programme. Each month the centre receives letters from incarcerated Muslims from across the United States and Canada. Most of the correspondents are Muslim converts who are in need of basic assistance. From the common help requested:
 

  • Qurʾān (al-ʿArabīc/English)
  • Prayer Mats
  • Books (New/Used/Damaged)
  • Pamphlets/Articles (from reliable websites)
  • MP3 Audio (Loaded onto MP3 Devices)
  • Compasses (to determine general direction of Qiblah)
  • Counselling (moral support, friendship, enquries and assistance)
  • Questions Answered (coordinated with a student of knowledge)
  • Liaison with Chaplain Services (For lessons, library and Advice on Needs of Muslim Prisoners)

The needs are great, the requests are many. However, this is a project which has lay dormant for some time. Al-Hamdulillāh, we now have the human resources in place to coordinate this important project and we are looking for cooperation from the Muslim community locally and internationally to help facilitate our Muslim brothers and sisters behind bars. We receive upwards of ten letters a month and expect this number to grow with the success of the programme in shaa' Allāh. Coordinating the needs of Muslim inmates is a mainstay project of The Reign of Islamic Daʿwah (TROID) which dates back to the 90's, we hope to jumpstart this project, seeking the help of Allāh firstly, then your kind support. 

What's needed:

We need to establish a budget of $10,000 per year (approx $830 a month) to provide the aforementioned needs. For those who would like to assist:

Paypal (Worldwide): send to info -@- troid.ca (mention Inmate Assistance Programme in the subject)

Cheque (Worldwide): payable to "The Reign of Islamic Daʿwah"

Muslim Inmate Assistance Programme
C/O TROID
874-A Weston Rd.
Toronto, ON. Canada
M6N 3R6

Bank Deposit (Canada): Visit any BMO Bank of Montreal and deposit to:
(Transit) 04312 (Account) 1030563
Mark "Muslim Inmate Assistance Programme"

Jazākumullāhu Khayran

We have created a forum section to discuss, update and reach out. Visit the Prison Daʿwah Outreach section today and read some sample letters we receive: http://www.troid.ca/index.php/forum/prison-da-wah-outreach

We ask Allāh to make it a success.

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