Book Review: Solving the Riddle by Dr. Kevin H. Abdur-Rahman

by | Nov 23, 2019 | Book Reviews, Featured Article | 2 comments

Book Review:

Solving the Riddle by Dr. Kevin H. Abdur-Rahman


People say you can’t see into a man’s soul

(Well Dr. Kevin H. Abdur-Rahman has just given the world

an up close and personal view into his…)

Dr. Abdur-Rahman’s life journey took on an unusual evolutionary process from delinquency to adult court, long-term incarceration, rehabilitation, and a progressive and productive life. From Pop Warner quarterback to one of the most recognized drug dealers in Philadelphia and one of the most influential people on the campus of one of America’s most historic universities.

To solve the riddle of life’s journey, there are questions that must be answered, mysteries that must be solved, and meaning applied to both.

In his book “Solving the Riddle” Dr. Abdur-Rahman has presented a case study of an at-risk youth and ex-felon that demonstrated the example that, if given healthy information, one can avoid and even transcend the environmental influences and dysfunction that create negative outcomes. In addition, he has given working professionals in the field of delinquency prevention ideas that can help them develop their own successful methodologies and has proven a vital need for “Clean Slate” legislation to create a second-chance forum, so other successfully transitioned ex-felons do not have to hide their past and employers can feel comfortable hiring ex-felons. You will hear him tell stories about situations and individual relationships, each giving hints to the riddle that he had to solve for himself.

In a review of the book Dr. Jerry Guyden writes ““I just finished reading Dr. Rahman’s new book “Solving the Riddle “. It is a double-edged sword reading the work of a friend but I read it anyway. Without a doubt this is one of the most powerful books I have ever read and I have read a few. It could have been a piece of crap, which would have been a disaster for our friendship because I would have told him so. I read it with no expectations and expected to read about the guy I have known for the past 25 years and discovered a hero. In his own voice, Kevin, takes you by the hand and leads you into the underworld of drug

dealing, prison and life after prison. Poetically he calls these phases of his life respectively the “caterpillar phase, the cocoon stage and finally the butterfly stage “.

During the cocoon stage Dr. Rahman gives voice to the voiceless young men who “every day relive the worse moments of their lives for the rest of their lives.

He says although there are people who need to be imprisoned, most are decent human beings that made a mistake. The book is really not about Dr. Abdur-Rahman but a guide for any young man living in challenging circumstances to avoid the subliminal pitfalls surrounding their every move. It uses the details of his life to provide examples of those pitfalls throughout early development and puberty. And because it is written in the colloquial vernacular of a young black man growing up in Philadelphia, the words are chilling. It is so intriguing that I read it in a few hours, not wanting to put it down. It is a good read for anyone but if you have a son or any young person in your life, buy one for him or her as well. This should be required reading for every young man”.

Dr. Abdur-Rahman speaks about the one riddle that transformed his whole being. This riddle is the concept of “Man Means Mind” as introduced by Imam W.D. Mohammad back in 1975. Human beings are in our biological nature animals (Mammals). However, we were given as a human quality our Intellect, which allows us not only to perceive our environment, but also to place our perceptions in a systematic order. We are allowed to reason and logically conclude specific ideas about our environment. This one idea that frees us from seeing ourselves as only what our most base nature defines us, as is what can free the criminal mind from criminal thinking.

Dr. Abdur-Rahman points out that rehabilitation can be almost immediate when one learns how to retrieve the one identity that connects us all, our humanity. It is his contention that individuals who maintain or retrieve their humanity cannot conduct acts of criminal behavior. Love, kindness, justice, peace, honesty, respect, openness, loyalty and equality are qualities that if the individual does not see from his or her environment they are unlikely to hold these qualities in high value. This Humanity Centered Philosophy, seeing us all as one humanity”, is not a new concept but it is one that has to be constantly renewed.

Critical reviews from the readers

“A Picasso, A blessing, a joy. What a gift. You took me back to my street days when I came to my fork in the road to realize bad decisions are not final there is still life”.

“Very well done. What a beautiful journey and a wonderful narrative of his experience. How he responded to different challenges and overcame them. As a man Thinketh”.

“Just finished reading. This book is a God sent guide for self-realization and transformation. Every Black man and woman in America should read it. Thank you Dr. Kevin H. Abdul-Rahman for going from street pharmacist to soul surgeon”.

“Brother Kevin, just this minute finished reading your book (I know it took me long enough). It reminded me of the first time I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Powerful story, powerful message. It truly exemplifies “It’s not where you are from its where you are at”. It also touched on my mantra for my life today” It’s not what I gain that makes me grow but what I’m willing to let go of”. I’m going to order more copies to give to some young brothers. In closing, the best part of the book for me was that in the end you offered a clear-cut program to “Solve the riddle”. Peace

“What up, Doc. The book was great man; I finished it in one sitting. It had a real flow to it. And the words on the page were authentic and real. Feels weird saying this to an elder, but for lack of a better phrase, I’m proud of you”.

“Great read.  For some reason the book didn’t seem foreign to me. You really climbed one hell of a hill.  Your story telling is a gift”.  Larry.


  1. Christian

    Life has a lot of confusing hurdles and this has comforted me a lot!

  2. Sheska

    This book provided me with enough courage to face one more day.


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