top of page


Zacharia Abdurahman was born in Minneapolis in 1995. He is a history buff, political enthusiast, a loving son, older brother, and friend.

He was arrested in April 2015 in Minneapolis and charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Zacharia pled guilty in September 2015. On 14 November 2016, Zacharia was sentenced to 10 years in prison with 20 years of supervised release.

Zach spends most of his days in the prison chapel reading books ranging from subjects of religion to geography, to ethnic fiction. With the support of Solomon's Porch, a Minneapolis-based church group, Zach recently enrolled at Ohio University and looks forward to obtaining a Bachelor's degree in sociology.



To: Solomon's Porch

Sent Date: Monday, April 1, 2019 9:20 AM


Hello, my name is Zacharia Abdurahman.


I'm 23 years old and a first generation Somali American. I am currently a Inmate at a Federal Prison In Pekin, Illinois. To make it clear to you O' Reader life in prison is not like how its portrayed in the media and in movies at least in my experience. You can erase that picture from your head. The days come and go and not much changes in here. It is the same monotonous pattern- Wake up, Watch TV, Eat, Exercise, Eat again, Then watch some more TV, Finally ending the day by laying down to sleep. This is how the day looks for the majority of my fellow inmates not a lot of growing mentally and spiritually. Besides not having mentioned being counted three times a day by institutional guards like sheep.

As for me I strive to make good use of my time. I leave the housing unit as much as I can. I find solace in the Chapel where I work. Its a lot more quiet then my housing unit a perfect place to study hard. In here there is a wide array of personalities, behaviors, and beliefs. God willing I will further describe and give you complete insight in later writings.

As for my spiritual journey then, All praise belongs to Allah (God) who has brought me out of darkness to light. I have come to the realization of how ignorant I was of my religion. Having been born in a Muslim household I never asked myself the important questions, Why am I here and Where am i headed? These are fundamental questions which I am starting to understand more clearly. Each person will have his own method to witness the existence of A higher power. Each person will also gain answers in their journey through life. In here I have met a fair amount of good Christians[Just like you :)]. I also took a six month class called Threshold. It really gave me a deep understanding of different religions, viewpoints, and beliefs.

Before that I never had a unconfrontational/ nonjudgmental discussion with a Christian, or Jew, etc. The threshold class made me reflect time and time again to our own humble beginnings. To the first man and first woman. Whom Allah created from dust/clay. So rather than think our intellect is the greatest thing in the universe we should humble ourselves knowing that we are from dirt and, whoever knows this has succeeded. My point? Don't forget where you came from!

College life is non existent atm. But I am in a university right now. As many Islamic Scholars call it the Universityof Yusuf (Joseph peace be upon him). I can't wait to start the geography class I signed up for and pursue a degree towards sociology. I want to end with some food for thought. A quote from a sometimes controversial man nevertheless so profound. This quote was once said by Malcolm X who transformed himself in prison. He said something along the line of " I have no PHD, I have no diploma, my credentials is my sincerity"(Forgive me if i misquoted). Sincerity goes a long way and I ask God to make our hearts sincere. Thanks to my readers and members of Solomon Porch. Will write again soooon. Leave you all in the care of God.

Zacharia Abdurahman

Zach's Letter
bottom of page