Guests with Student Minister Abdullah Muhammad. Photo: LaVette Muhammad

by Student Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad

Student National Prison Reform Minister Abdullah Muhammad has been given a monumental assignment by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. In Texas alone, there are 252 county jails, 17 state jails, 80 state and private prison facilities, 18 stand-alone federal prisons, and nine federal prison camps according to various government websites. claims 1.9 million persons are confined nationwide. The enormity of the task is why the National Prison Reform Ministry needs our attention and deserves our support.

After Student Minister Abdullah’s Texas visit to the Estelle Unit, he addressed an early evening gathering of believers, law enforcement, and supporters of criminal justice reform at Muhammad Mosque No. 45.  The Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend activities may have prevented a larger group of invited individuals and organizations from attending in person but not from requesting notes or a recording to learn more about the Nation of Islam Prison Reform Minister and his approach to prison prevention, rehabilitation, and reentry.


I was blessed to open the meeting by discussing how the community is being frightened into voting for public officials promising to solve the crime problem in Houston. The truth is Texas is number one in incarceration, the Harris County Jail is filled, and the Houston Chronicle wrote an article claiming 70 percent of persons hurt by the Houston Police Department are Black. “So don’t tell me Texas, Harris County, and HPD aren’t tough on crime! People are getting knocked in the head, arrested, locked up, and imprisoned in Texas.” 

Guests with Student Minister Abdullah Muhammad. Photo: LaVette Muhammad

Student Minister Abdullah told the audience in no uncertain terms that even though Minister Farrakhan assigned him to the post, the Prison Reform Ministry is not his alone. The inside back page of The Final Call newspaper does not say “This is Abdullah’s Program,” referring to the Muslim Program, he stated emphatically, it is “Our Program.”

He said he needs people with skills, talents, and abilities to help him as he focuses on preaching and teaching in jails and prisons. The N.O.I. Prison Reform Minister spoke of his vision for “whole-way” houses for males and females and transitional facilities for juveniles with an urban garden.

The comment was sparked by a meeting attendee who mentioned having 50 acres of land. Brother Abdullah recounted how Minister Farrakhan gave him onions and garlic from his farm to plant in an urban garden. He stated the Minister taught how cultivating life was spiritually significant in the rehabilitation process.

Minister Abdullah was forthright in his presentation to the audience. He spoke of the seriousness of the work of prison reform. “If you’re really going to be a part of this ministry, you got to build a coalition with other organizations.” Before the meeting was concluded, the attendees signed up to support the Prison Reform Ministry.

Brother Abdullah Muhammad’s Texas visit culminated with a keynote lecture entitled, “By The Time, Surely Man is In Loss,” at Muhammad Mosque No. 45. After quoting the Holy Qur’an Surah 103, he said, “We have been made so blind, we’re not aware of the time. We lack the knowledge so we don’t know what we should be doing … .”

“The Minister said, ‘Watch the weather.’ Now, I’m from Chicago. We don’t have this type of heat in Chicago. But, when I walked out into the atmosphere of Houston, it felt like I walked into a molecular force field of heat!”

He stated how happy he was to make his word bond by eating one meal a day over the past months. “Saviours’ Day, the Minister said some of us won’t make it to the Hereafter. We need to learn how to practice ‘How to Eat to Live.’ … We hear him (the Minister) every day but does it register?” he asked. “It (How to Eat to Live) may not appear to be life-saving but it is,” he said.

After laying out Minister Farrakhan’s place in scripture as an extension of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s commission from Allah in Person, Brother Abdullah concluded by saying, “Our God is present to bring us out of bondage into land and territory of our own. But we have to take on the mindset and character of Muhammad. The Muhammad I am talking about is the present-day Muhammad—Farrakhan.”

Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad is Southwest Regional Student Minister of the Nation of Islam and Student Minister of Mosque No. 45 in Houston.