A letter from Seifullah Chapman in prison to the MuslimLink Newspaper:
October 1, 2006
Dear Muslim Link,
As-salamu alaikum. Thank you for sending me your newspaper. I really enjoyed reading it. Alhumdulillah, finally a true account of the events surrounding Ali Chandia and others. Watching CNN and reading the Washington Post you do not get the same honesty which I found in your newspaper.
Anyone that read your story about Ali Chandia, even without ever actually meeting him, got a glimpse of his real character. Reading what others had to say about him and his sincere and honest remarks to the judge should make any logical thinking intelligent person realize that he is no criminal.
He is a bright individual, a pillar of his community, a good son and brother and a loving father and husband. He is certainly not a terrorist. Anyone willing to be honest with himself or herself should realize that his single fault is that he is a Muslim now living in a post 9-11 world. So, for this he was doled out a 15 year sentence only because he prays five times daily to the Lord of All the Worlds, subhan Allah.
In an article at the end of the newspaper, a companion of Ali’s said that after Ali’s sentencing he returned home to his family and sat wondering how Ali was dealing with being away from his family, locked in a jail cell. While he ate his appetizing dinner he wondered what Ali was eating, and this caused him to cry for Ali. Allah says: “And We task not any person except according to his capacity…” [Al-Mu’minum/62].
There are no doubt negative aspects about being incarcerated, yet we also understand that this is Allah’s qadar, and because of Allah’s promise you can be sure that Ali will be fine. Right now Ali Chandia is being oppressed and for every hardship he is made to endure, he can expect a reward.
It is something new and unpleasant to be handcuffed and shackled and taken to a police booking room in a jail, but it only remains strange, or difficult, for a moment. Then in the case of a believer, such as Ali, Allah sends for him His ease and makes every situation bearable. In prison you have cold water to drink, warm food to eat, and a place for prayer and sleep – really what is there to be sad about? Allah says: “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient.” [Al Baqarah/155]. If this is the test that Allah has prepared for people like Ali, and passing this test causes him to enter Paradise – then truly what an excellent test!
I hope that what your readers really got from this story was that unfortunately in the world that we now live in, this can literally happen to anyone. Anyone of us can be subjected to something similar.
Allah has promised the believer two cases for each hardship. So, being away from family is difficult, but how comforting does it feel to, although being separated from loved ones, call home from prison and your wife answers the phone and you can instantly feel the smile come over her face and you can hear the love in the tone of her voice. Subhan Allah, what a mercy from Allah.
I do not believe that any of the brothers (Ali Chandia, Hammad Abdur-Raheem, Masood Khan, Ali Al-Tamimi, Ahmad Abu Ali and others) who have been falsely arrested, unfairly tried, and wrongly convited and imprisoned; I do not believe that they will remain incarcerated for long. Allah says: …”And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out from every difficulty. And He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him…” [At-Talaaq: 2-3]. Allah’s Faraj is close and by His immense Grace and Favor expect all of the brothers to be home soon.
Narrated ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him): Once I was behind the Prophet sal Allahu ‘alyhi wa sallam and he said: “ O boy, I will teach you a few words…Know that if all the people get together in order to benefit you with something, they will not be able to benefit you in anything except what Allah has decreed for you. And if they all get together in order to harm you with something, they will not be able to harm you in anything except what Allah has decreed for you…” (At-Tirmidhi). May Allah help Ali Chandia and all of the brothers!
So again, thank you for the newspaper, but more than that thank you for your honest reporting. It is really nice to read the truth, especially when it concerns you, when most other news media are reporting the non-truth. May Allah bless you in your work and increase you in Imann, as-salaamu alaikum.
Big Sandy Federal Prison, KY