American Imam: From Pop Stardom to Prison Abolition

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Product Details
$26.99  $25.10
Broadleaf Books
Publish Date
6.17 X 8.62 X 0.84 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Taymullah Abdur-Rahman (Tyrone Sutton) is a Black Muslim thought leader, social entrepreneur, educator, and prison abolitionist. He holds a certification in Islamic studies from Al Baseerah International Institute and a master's in Global Interreligious Leadership from Andover Newton Theological School. He spent a decade as a prison chaplain and was the first paid Muslim chaplain at Harvard University. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate for Transformational Leadership at Boston University's School of Theology and a senior educator in Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Hebrew College. He is creator and host of the American Muslim Daily podcast and mobile app, and founder of Spentem, a prison abolition and direct sales company for youth. He lives in Massachusetts.


"American Imam details the author's incredible journey and spiritual transformation and offers a candid and unflinching view into Abdur-Rahman's rise, fall, and life-altering religious conversion. This spiritual memoir is not to be overlooked." --Booklist

"The faith journey of a leader in the American Muslim community....Thought-provoking." --Kirkus Reviews

"Captivating and poignant, American Imam traces the formative influences and wildly shifting fortunes of esteemed Black American convert Taymullah Abdur-Rahman. From his encounters mentoring men who are 'warehoused like cattle' in American prisons to his stories of Harvard students navigating their ideological differences in the midst of wider American culture wars, Abdur-Rahman offers readers honest and perceptive commentary on the social issues of our time. This lively memoir is a welcome addition to the growing shelf of literature on Muslims in the United States. The book will be a provocative addition to the reading lists of interfaith book clubs, will hold appeal for students of religion who are weary of dredging through more stodgy texts, and will be a valuable resource for American Muslim community leaders across generations." --Celene Ibrahim, PhD, author of Women and Gender in the Qur'an

"American Imam promises to tell one story, that of the metamorphosis of Tyrone Sutton to Taymullah Abdur-Rahman. But Taymullah does so much more than that! In the telling of his story he invites his readers to take a long, hard look at their own lives, to go naked to the mirror and spend time in honest conversation with the person they see there; to ask difficult questions and stay there for the answers. Taymullah does this and, in so doing, models for us what is possible. And why is this necessary? Because we were not placed on this planet to live solitary lives. We were made to be in healthy relationship with others, especially those others who are less able to fend for themselves. Yes, this is one man's story, but it is also a call to action! Read, enjoy, get involved!" --Dr. Terrence J. Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine and author of Lessons from Little Rock

"Imam Taymullah Abdur-Rahman has managed to bridge the gap between hip-hop and faith in such a unique way that it is easy to digest. His life and experience exemplify the power in hip-hop culture beyond just music, using its influence for social justice and religion. This is a must-read for anyone who wants a peek into the birth of '80s/'90s street culture and the personalities it produced." --Clinton Sparks, Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum music producer and songwriter

"This text by Imam Taymullah 'Tay' Abdur-Rahman should be read by leaders in all social, political, educational, and religious sectors. And I'm not leaving out corporate and foundation leaders either. Why? We all have a stake in the future of our country, as well as of humanity. This book provides guidance and inspiration on how we must work together to ensure that all of us are thriving in support of one another." --Irvin L. Scott, EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"A long-overdue call to action for Muslims living in the West. This memoir is an ode to the much-overlooked pioneering generation of Black Muslims who helped establish the Islamic norm in America. As a former prison chaplain myself, I thoroughly appreciate Abdur-Rahman's representation of system-affected Muslims and the social/emotional/economic struggles they face on a daily basis. Imam Taymullah's stories, descriptions, and references to sacred texts are some of the most profound missing pieces to the Islamic narrative in America." --Imam Abdul-Latif Sackor, Masjid Al Kareem