Our hardworking team brainstormed on how we can deliver the knowledge in these books to the people who are less fortunate in life. Those who are looking for a 2nd chance and are looking for a change and desire to walk the straight path, but are unable to access the necessary information on the lives and teachings of our beloved Infallibles (peace be upon them all).
So, we decided to start the "2nd Chance Books for Prisoners Program"* that is operated by your kind and generous donations. We have been blessed to have had a great start and been successful through the support of the community members. This Initiative is dedicated to our dearly beloved 11th Imam Hassan Al-Askari (peace be upon him) 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 Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and father of our beloved 12th Imam al-Mahdi (May God hasten his return).
The incarceration rate in the USA is the highest in the world. While Americans only represent 5% of the worlds population nearly one-quarter of the entire worlds inmates have been incarcerated in the USA. The prison population in the USA is 2.3 million. 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.
This program will provide the proper tools for change; Free Islamic books on belief, ethics, morality and family structure in Islam. They can use these books as a tool for self-development and to reform themselves and also their friends, loved ones and communities upon their release. Some of the many benefits of this program are changing prisoners bad habits into good ones; achieving social reform by teaching the morals and ethics of the Holy Prophet and his Holy Household (peace be upon them), molding leaders; producing better citizens who will be active in helping their communities upon their release, promoting awareness of the true teachings of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad and his Holy Household (peace be upon them) and to remove misinformation and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims from the peoples minds.
We offer an interactive study course to those incarcerated by sending them books where upon the completion of each book they mail in a short summary of the knowledge they have gained and how they have benefitted from the text. They are able to ask questions to our team of scholars who can assist them with better understanding the text and or any other questions they may have. English books are our primary focus, but we do offer literature in Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and French.
This program is independently funded by donations to 2nd Chance Books by the general population of the community. We want to stress the importance of helping a fellow believer who is less fortunate than ourselves and to remember that our beloved Imam Ali (peace be upon him) is reported to have said through a beautiful narration:
"Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame"
"To render relief to the distressed and to help the oppressed make amends for great sins."
Again, we are overwhelmingly thankful to God, the Holy Prophet and his Household (peace be upon them) for allowing us the opportunity to assist our English-speaking community. We also thank you for all of your continuous support and ask that you humbly to continue to grow with us by the permission of God. We salute you all and want you to know the we are at your service.
For prisoners who are reading this we want you to know that we are honored to be at your service. Please write us and let others who are interested in seeking knowledge about Islam to contact us at the address below.
2nd Chance Books
3735 Franklin Rd. SW
Roanoke, VA 24014
*2nd Chance Books is a non profit Organization based in the United States. Initially this program was founded by Sheikh Mateen Charbonneau (Virginia), Sayed Jaber Ahmadi (London, UK) and Ibrahim Jabbar (Washington D.C.).