Volunteerism and Activism is extremely important for any Muslim, layperson, student of knowledge, da’i, or Imam. When we reflect upon the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam, he personally was involved in building the Muslim community (i.e. when the Sahabah were digging the trench and and when a Masjid was being built). Activism is important because it allows one to put the theory into practice. It allows their personality to develop. It allows their community to see that a person isn’t just a talker. It allows the volunteer/activist to understand issue first hand. And lastly, it’s an opportunity to gain reward in the sight of Allah SWT.
If you’re organizing a Muslim conference or Islamic event, here’s a few things to remember prior to the event. One of the things you can do is use the “work backwards” strategy. That is, imagine the outcome you want from the event (i.e. to get people to do Islamic work, seek Islamic knowledge, to soften their hearts and act upon Islam, to repair families, strengthen the community, etc.), and from your end-goal, work backwards as to how you plan the event. Any event SHOULD have a follow up session. This could be done by accumulating people’s contact info (brothers’ and sisters’ contact info should be kept separate), and then contacting them about future events and opportunities to increase their imaan. There will always be hiccups (things won’t go as planned), and this is where our sincerity is tested. All success should be attributed to Allah SWT and not to any individual or organization.
Is there a space to pray? Is the space to pray clean?
Do you give people enough time for people do make wudu and pray Sunnah?
Are people clear that the event is to promote the Quran & Sunnah and not personalities?
Is there akhlaaq with each other and akhlaq with Allah SWT?
Do we remember to follow the way of the Prophet, salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam?
Remind each other, before, during, and after to purify our intentions…
Aim for the sky, Allah aza wa jal will help you insh’Allah, stay positive and optimistic!
Video camera to record
Is the speaker’s microphone hooked up to the video camera
Test session to see if the video camera records properly
Posters and Signs
Flip chart or white board?
Dry-erase markers and eraser?
Pens and paper
Healthy food (do not bring unhealthy food, it will make attendees tired), only fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. – also make sure that everything is recycled, do not waste
Water for speakers
Do you need a podium?
Is there a wireless speakers available or clip-on speaker?
Is there a registration sheet for attendees (important for follow-up)
Ushers to greet and welcome attendees
Registration sheet and booth
Are the volunteers trained?
Do they know they need to arrive early?
Do you have a Telegram or WhatsApp group to communicate with volunteers?
Will there be a meeting immediately after the event to discuss how things can be improved, what went right, etc.
Have you communicated to management as to what the venue requires…
Does the venue have A/C or require heating, windows…
Chair or ground seating?
Do you have back-up chairs in case more people come?
Will people need tables to write?
How will you segregate brothers and sisters?
Is it more beneficial to have brothers & sisters in separate rooms (concentration & focus)
Should we remove the stage so that the speaker can walk and talk?
Is it more beneficial to have a smaller student to teacher ratio?
*Should you have a 30 minute preview session in the beginning (knowing that people will likely arrive late)?
Do you need the venue more than once?
Did you remind the management a few days before the event and ensure everything is ready to go?
Are there partner organization there to empower community efforts?
Is there a charity there to give sadaqah?
Marketing (at least 50% of the work for your event)
Partnering with different organizations
Constantly motivating ticket-sellers
*Is there more baraqah in our event if we make it free (no conflict of interest)
How will people get to the event (car poor, bus, train, etc.)
Are the speakers clear about their topic, the goal, theme, and allotted time?
Are the speakers clear that they should be interactive and engage the audience (i.e. ask questions, ask people to work in pairs to think or discuss an issue, open feedback)?
Are the speakers clear that after the event they should stay to answer questions?
Are the speakers clear on what time they need to arrive (do this over the phone)?
Or you clear on what you want to achieve?
Are your intentions pure?
Have you made du’a to Allah?
Have you read the Qur’an and taken care of your ibadat?
Will there be breaks every 45 minutes?
Will there be a open mic Q&A session?
Will there be a panel discussion?
Will there be a workshop or group activities?
Will there be a chance to attendees to reflect on what they learned (i.e. activity/exercise)?
Will there be an action item (i.e. get people together in small groups to accomplish an activity)?
Is there a cleanup crew?
Is the audience clear on the manners of the Islamic event, and how they should not over-praise speakers or disrespect speakers?
Is the moderator interactive? Smiles and reminds people to turn off their cell phones
Is there an ice-breaker? (i.e. turn to the person beside you, ask them their name, why they came, what they do, which masjid they live near, what they plan after the event)…