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Dear Circle:

On believing in either hope or God.

R = Responding instinct. To me they are one and the same because I believe that hope comes from Allah. This hope can be found in my favorite Surah (94): Bismallah Arakman Araheem.
1. Have we not expanded thee thy breast?
2. And removed from thee thy burden
3. That which did gall thy back?
4. And I reeaised hight the esteem in which thou art held?
5. So verily, with every difficulty there is relief.
5. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.
7. Therefore, when thou aart free from thine immediate task, still labor hard,
8. And to thy Lord turn all thy attention.

I must admit to being shocked when I first realized the importance of hope and religion in philosophy. I thought that it was something that I brought to th3e equation, rather than a vital part. I feel a vast sense of relief that it goes hand in hand because I can’t not separate myself from my faith. As I have grown as a man my views and beliefs have simplified, which has allowed me to stop putting so much time and energy into things that I cannot control or sometimes even influence. Epicureanism preaches the deliberate, continually renewed choice of relaxation and serenity, combined with a profound gratitude toward nature and life, which constantly offers us joy and pleasure, if only we know how to find them.
As I am,
Prince

danny.graduationPrince and his date, Samantha, at the Gardiner High Senior Prom

I am my own worst enemy.

For most of my life I have denied this and have been okay with not examining the reasons for my troubles.  Today I have decided that enough is enough, starting today I will be my best friend, I will love myself, an I will believe in myself.  I know, I know I am not saying anything new or unknown.  To quote the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” but this has not always been the case.  However, recent events in my life have made it abundantly clear that now is the time for change.

I have always looked down on people who have wanted to “recreate” or “reinvent” themselves.  In my mind if you didn’t like a part of who you are then you should have never let it become habit.  It is extremely ironic that I now find myself in situations where I must do the same.  For years I have allowed negative, damaging thoughts, emotions and actions in my life because I believed it was necessary to survive in the situations I found myself in.  Dr. Joe Dispenza has shown me how wrong I was.

“Your personality creates your personal reality.”

Dr. Dispenza says in his movie, Aligning your thoughts and feelings for a New Destiny.  The realization that my thoughts and feelings created my reality was something that I knew but have never explored.  Exploring this has forced me to remove the last of my blinders.  Now, more than ever, I can look around and see my present circumstances for what they are.

My present circumstances are the biggest and best opportunity I have even had to change.  I will no longer be who I think I have to be or who others want me to be.  I will become the man who I want to be.  Recognizing the truth in what Dr. Dispenza says has shown me that I have had and will always have the power to do better.  Dr. Dispenza also speaks about how in every case (that he studied) in which people made a miraculous recovery from a disease or illness, they surrendered themselves to a higher power.  This resonates with me because the idea of surrender has been the best and yet most difficult issue of my faith.

As a Muslim the idea of Allah being in control, wanting what is best for me, and not giving me more problems/pain than I can handle is a balm to my soul. Yet, I struggle with the concept that in order for Allah to be in control, I cannot be. The reality that he knows what is best for me and what is right for me stares me in the face every day.  I can no longer continue to fight it.  I have not demonstrated a love for myself or that I want what is best for myself, because who in their right mind would make the choices I have or want to be where I am?  Yet all of my thoughts have led me to this place.

I am now ready to embody the change that is  necessary for me to be who I should be.  Allah has blessed me with many talents and abilities that I have run from or misused for the majority of my life.  I am done with being somebody who has wasted potential; instead I will be somebody who has realized their potential.  I will not continue to be anything other than the best possible version of myself.  One of my favorite sayings is, “Our biggest fear is not the darkness, it is our light… for who are we to be beautiful?  Who are we to be powerful beyond all belief?”  I am paraphrasing a Nelson Mandela quote.  The events, conversations and lessons of this last year have led me to a point where I understand that without some serious painful introspection I will never stop makin the same mistakes.  It is not enough to not want to make them.  I have to understand why I am making them in the first place.

Starting this process has been eye-opening.  I will probably be doing it for the rest of my life, because once I started I do not wish to stop.. It has brought a clarity into my life that is much need.  I could wax poetically about all of the insights I have gained, but I won’t.  I will instead let them speak for themselves.  I am not the same person that I was last year, last month, last week or even yesterday.  It is my firm belief that these changes I have made and will continue to make will be apparent to all in my life.  It has been a long time coming but I am finally okay with being me.  As l as I am continually striving to be the best version of myself.  Some days I will make mistakes, fall or revert to old habits, but I will never stop picking myself up and trying for better.

As I am,

Prince

prince

So,

I know that it’s been a couple of letters since I got back to you all.  My bad.  WE just finished psychology 101 and we had to write a long paper for that so my desire to write has been minimal.

I have been staying up at night and sleeping more during the day.  This year I have already completed more days of fasting then I eve have before.  I believe the difference is my attitude about it.  Like the cutting of my hari signifies, I looked at last summer’s Ramadan as an opportunity to really be serious about my faith and religion.  In the past I have ignored my hunger and thirst and treated it as something I had ti do, like a mind over body thing.

Last summer I embraced my hunger and thirst.  We have had an outside Imam (think priest/pastor) for about a year and he said something that really stuck with me.  A lot of people will make themselves hungry and thirsty this year but that doesn’t mean they’re fasting.  Fasting is a spiritual thing.  Embracing my hung er and thirst thinking about it (dare I say “pondering upon it” hah hah!) and the reasons why I’ doing it has made a world of difference.  It is extremely humbling to think that right now all around the world every Muslim that is able to be hungry and thirsty  But they are going to deny they’re cravings because Allah says that we should.  I’ve also been making my prayers.  I know, I know, it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I was having trouble making all five prayers.  I always had some kind of excuse for why I couldn’t do it right now or why I couldn’t make them up.  Because you have from the time one prayer starts till the time of the next prayer to complete it.  Also you can do maku up prayers if you completely miss the whole time frame.  My man said something deep to me a couple months ago  He said, “You make sure that you make time every day to call your girl or play dominoes, why can you not make 5-20 minutes for God?” Food for thought.

As I am,

Prince

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Political Prisoners

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