This initiative is dedicated to our beloved 11th Imām Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī (ʿa), who spent the majority of his life in prison and under house arrest by the corrupt ruler of the time. He is the great grandson of our beloved Prophet Muḥammad (ṣ) and father of our beloved 12th Imām al-Mahdī (ʿaj).
We strive to teach and support those who are looking for a second chance and desire to walk the straight path, but are unable to access the necessary information passed down to us by the beloved Infallibles (peace be upon them all). Our program started out on this Mission by sending books and answering letters. Each year we strive to expand our network and services to provide complete spiritual support and education.
2nd Chance Books is a 501c3 non-profit organization, under the umbrella of Al Kisa Foundation, that was founded in order to assist incarcerated Muslims and those interested in Islam by providing them with educational materials, a support system, and tools for rehabilitation. The organization is composed of a team of dedicated individuals, including the founders of this organization, who came together to provide services for those in need. 2nd Chance is under the guidance of Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi and under the leadership of Shaykh Mateen Charbonneau and Shaykh Saed Ali Kulayni.
We have regular correspondence with inmates through letters.
We hear their reflections and stories and personally tailor the books we send to their needs and interests We also send quarterly magazines, postcards on Islamic holidays, and an Annual calendar with prayer times.
FACTS & STATISTICS
The USA has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. While Americans only represent 5% of the entire world’s population, it comprises nearly 25% of the entire world’s incarcerated population, with 2.3 million inmates. Most of these prisoners will fall victim to the cycle of the revolving door and become repeat offenders if they do not have the proper resources to educate themselves properly while serving their sentences.
Some goals of this program are molding leaders, transforming prisoners’ bad habits into good ones, achieving social reform, producing better citizens who will actively help their communities, and promoting awareness of the true teachings of Islam by teaching the morals and ethics of the Noble Prophet and his divine household.
2nd Chance seeks to provide the proper tools for change: free Islamic books on topics such as beliefs, ethics, morality, and family structure in Islam. The aim is for these books to be used as a tool for self-development and reform.
For prisoners who are reading this, we are honored to be at your service. Please write to us, and let others who are interested in Islam know to contact us at this address: 2nd Chance Books, 4415 Fortran Court, San Jose CA 95134
2nd Chance Books
Meet Our Team
Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi
Nabi Raza Abidi was born in Alipur, in India. He was raised in a religious, Syed family. After completing his early education, he moved to Iran at the age of 14 to pursue Islamic studies. He spent the first two years in Najafabad learning Farsi, basic Arabic grammar, and aḥkām. He then spent 14 years in Qom, where he studied at Hujjatiyyah, Fayḍiyyah, and the Institute of Imām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq under Ayatollah Ja’far Subḥanī. Concurrently, he earned his PhD from the University of Tehran. After completing his lower level studies, he participated in Dars al-Khārij under reputable scholars, such as Ayatollah Ja’far Subḥanīi, Ayatollah Fāḍil Lankarānī, Ayatollah Makārim Shirāzī, and many others. Maulana Abidi spent 4 years answering questions in the office of Grand Ayatollah Fāḍil Lankarānī, and another 5 years conducting research in theology and philosophy under Ayatollah Ja’far Subḥanī, where he also helped write and publish books on various topics. For the next 5 years, he taught Usūl, Fiqh, Philosophy, and Tafsīr for 5 years in Hujjatiyyah, Fayḍiyyah and Jāmiʿatuz-Zahrā.
In 2002, Maulana Abidi moved to San Jose, CA to serve as the Resident ʿĀlim of SABA Islamic Center. Under his guidance, SABA has expanded tremendously and incorporated many successful undertakings, including a full-time school, RISE Academy. Additionally, he has helped to establish and overlook many masājid. He is also the founder of Al-Kisa Foundation and its subsidiaries, including Kisa Kids. Moulana Abidi serves on various school boards, provides guidance to several full-time and weekend Islamic schools around the world, as well as provides guidance to SABA Sunday School and RISE Education System.
He continues to further his studies in ʿIrfān, Philosophy, and Dars al-Khārij with renowned scholars.
Sheikh Mateen Charbonneau
Sheikh Mateen Charbonneau is an American Muslim. He was born in 1982 in Sumter, South Carolina. He is of French Canadian and American descent. He was born into a Christian family, and later chose to revert to Shi’a Islam at the age of 17, having studied both faiths. After reverting to Islam he chose the name Mateen which in Arabic means strong, firm and unshakable. His first language is English and he also learned Quranic Arabic. In 2008 at age 26 he moved to Washington, DC area and has been an active part of the Muslim community. In 2022 he moved to Turkey and is leading an English speaking community. Other activities include majalis, jumah services, weekly youth and adult classes in various communities throughout the United States and Turkey.
Converted to Shia Islam on July 2nd 1999 at the age of 17
Learned Quranic Arabic in the year 2000
Independently studied Islamic books full time from the year 1999-2007
Filmed a documentary for al-Anwar Hussain TV entitled The Journey of the Spirit in 2011
Started studying Islamic Seminary classes (Howza) in March 2013 at Imam Ali Center in Springfield, Virginia and also studied abroad in Najaf al-Ashraf and Karbala. He currently is continuing higher studies. His teachers include Sheikh Mustafa Akhound, Sheikh Mirza Abbas Shamsudin, Sheikh Saed Ali Kulayni , Sheikh Muhammad BagherNejad, Sayed Ibn Abbas Naqvi, Sheikh Mohammad Jafar Danesh, Sayed Baqir Imrani, Sayed Raad al-Alawi, Sayed Muhammad Baqir Shirazi, Sayed Muhammad Baqir Qazwini, Sayed Murtadha Modarresi, Sayed Mohsen Modarresi, Sayed Sajjad Modarresi, Sheikh Abul Hassan Yemaani, Sheikh Haani al-Hakim and Sayyid Anvar Sajadi.
Authored several books entitled; The Suffering of the Ahl ul Bayt and their Followers (Shia) throughout History, Christians who defended and died for Prophet Muhammad and his Family (English, Spanish, French), Mystery of the Shia, A Study Guide for Logic, an extensive book of narrations entitled Prophetic Gems, A Commentary to the Faith of Shia Islam (Aqaed Imamiyya) of Allama Muzaffar, Recalling the Sacrifices of Karbala, Esteemed Women of Islam and 450 Questions and Answers About Shia Islam Answered.
Founded a nonprofit organization to send free books to prisoners in March 2014 entitled; 2nd Chance Books
Filmed a documentary for Ahlulbayt TV entitled Faith Behind Bars
Achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies
Had articles about my life published in magazines in America, Iran, China and Azerbaijan
Was crowned with the turban from the hand of Sheikh Ahmad al-Haeri on the martyrdom of Muslim ibn Aqil (ra) / Day of Arafat in 2016
Filmed an Autism Awareness workshop for Muslim communities
2017 started teaching online classes for Imam Sadiq Howza
Was crowned with the turban from the respected and honorable marja’ Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Taqi Modaressi on the 3rdof Shabaan / the birth anniversary of Imam Sajjad (as) in the Holy city of Karbala, Iraq 2018
Was certified at the 17th annual conference of Shia scholars of N. America and Canada for Mediation training by the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS)
2019 Faculty Member of John the Martyr Seminary of Karbala
Shaykh Saed Ali. Kulayni was born and raised in New York City. He converted to Shia Islam from Sunni Islam during his teenage years. He studied at the Hawza I.M.A.M Institute for five years in which he completed the first level (muqadmat) in all he has studied for almost two decades. He also Studies in the Holy city of Karbala Iraq.
Shaykh Saed Ali. Kulayni has worked at multiple Islamic Centers in the Atlanta area . Teaching Belief, Morals and Islamic Law at the local Hawza . His duties there included leading the Friday prayer services, lecturing throughout places such as Louisiana, Florida ( Boca Raton and Tampa), Seattle, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, California, Chicago, Detroit, Indiana, Canada, Colorado,Portland and
Arizona.Shaykh Saed Ali. Kulayni was the resident Alim of Tampa Florida. Where he was the Islamic School Principal and he also held Thursday and Friday prayer services.
Today Shaykh Saed Ali Kulayni was the resident Alim of al Zahra Islamic Center in Charlotte, N.C where he performed all acts pertaining to the community.
Shaykh Saed Ali. Kulayni has written multiple articles on Islam. His articles are on Ijtehad, The Important day, Why do Shia pray on clay tablets, To enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and Why we combine prayers and others. He also has three published books called Islamic Inquiries: 100 Questions asked by Prisoners in the U.S and also this book with 500 questions. Shaykh Saed is also a member of 2nd chance books
Sr Zermina Awan was born and raised in England. Her passion to learn more about Islam motivated her to pursue formal Islamic education at Jamiat al Zahra, Qom. After 5 years in Qom she returned to the UK and went on to study a post-grad in Politics and Religion at the University of Birmingham. She is currently completing a MA in Islamic Theology at Jamiat al-Zahra. From 2014 to 2020 she was a lecturer and administrator at the Hawzah Ilmiyyah of England. Currently she is serving Risalat Institute UK and Al-Kisa Foundation.
Sr. Dagny Khazaieli serves as the Operations Director for 2nd Chance Books. You can reach her at email@example.com. She began studying Islam in college, graduated in June 2017, and then took her Shahadah in October. She has been working at Al-Kisa in various roles since 2020. She is also the author of the Immaculate 14 series from Kisa Kids.