Salam and Hi people.
So I became a volunteer again for MercyMission - This time, it was for Twins Of Faith (TOF) event. It was held at PICC, Putrajaya on 29-30 December 2012 (Yesterday).
I was assigned under the Marriage Corner - a workshop that offered talks regarding marriage, relationship between men and women in Islam and private consultations!! I believe that our section - The Marriage Corner section - had the second most overflowing crowds, defeated by the Main Hall section where main speakers delivered their talks.
What did we have at the Marriage Corner exactly?
Oh well. Let me explain so that if you plan to attend this event again next year, you will have a clearer idea of activities that will be offered to you.
1. A Marriage Consultation (Private Sharing Sessions)
A few speakers (To name a few : Dr. Halima, Sheikh Daood Butt, Sheikh Rahman Chao, Sheikh Rahman and Sis Raya) would attend to individuals seeking for help personally and offer them a piece of advice about relationships. It was open to anyone seeking profound knowledge about relationships. It doesn't matter if one was single; one could always ask about how to search for a future spouse while they were firmly against a relationship before marriage. Even if one was happily married, one may also ask on how to improve and strengthen the bond between them and The Other Half, how to educate children etc etc. In short, one could ask ANYTHING!
There were six slots available for each day but as more people came and pleaded to meet the speakers, we tried to 'squeeze' them in the same slot by giving everyone a good 15-minute sharing session (Originally, it was 30 minutes per slot). Moreover, a woman may request for a male speaker - it's totally fine because a sharing session requires you to open up your stories thus you need someone you are comfortable with.
However, please remember that we are Muslims thus we have certain limits and hukum (rules) we have to oblige to, so please make sure you have a trusted female friend accompanying you during the sharing session. We need to avoid Fitnah as much as we can. Same thing applies to a man meeting a female speaker.
P/S: You need to BOOK the slot for the sharing session as it would be on a first come first serve basis. Registration/ booking can be done earliest by 8 am on the first day of this event at the Marriage Corner counter.
2. Marriage Workshops (Talks)
There were three talks offered on the first day (29 Dec) and one talk on the second day.
P/S: Registration needs to be done on the day of the talk itself starting at 8 am at the Marriage Corner counter.
Truthfully, I have no slightest idea - maybe a little - why was it compulsory for people to register before they entered the hall. Firstly, we didn't even go through the name lists once again before the talks began. Secondly, people that had registered were not guaranteed a seat. If you came late, you had to stand throughout the talk or sit on the floor, that's it. Basically, we just allowed everyone heading off to the hall to just come in. Therefore, I don't see the point of queuing up to register, and also the point of registering one's name for the talks.
- 1st talk : Single, Free and Available
This interesting talk was supposedly delivered by Brother Yusha Evans (Look him up on Youtube, people! His talks are worth listening to). Unfortunately, when he was on the way to the airport for Malaysia, he received a shocking news that his father-in-law was attacked by stroke (Shafakallah). Thus he had to decline the invitation. But, no worries people. Alhamdulillah, Sheikh Daood Butt volunteered himself to deliver the talk in replacing Brother Yusha Evans. Thank you Sheikh Daood! That was a very fascinating talk - lots of brothers and sisters barged in to listen to the talk where they didn't even mind standing for an hour!
He discussed about how should Muslims that are still 'Single, Free and Available' lead a life protected and less vulnerable to committing Maksiah (Sins). But, that was not the main point of the talk. It was primarily about finding a compatible spouse for ourselves. I was busy editing something on my laptop and decided to go and listen to Sheikh Daood for a few minutes. Thankfully, I was just in time to listen to the part where he gave tips on how to find a spouse, hihihi *wink
My friend, Haifa has the tips written down on her blog. She writes about other inputs she gained from other speakers too. Read her blog here.
By the way, don't fret people as for the next Twins Of Faith, insyaAllah, you will be seeing Yusha Evans :")
- 2nd talk : Four Weddings and Mothers-in-Law
Okay. Many people came to me and asked, what was this talk going to be about? I don't know, I think you could have guessed from the first word of the title, couldn't you? Well, it was about Polygamy - or in other words - A situation where a man marries more than a wife. It can be two, three or four. PERIOD.
It was given by Dr. Halima, a very soft-spoken woman. I like her. Though not many people came to hear this talk, but I still think that it was worth it. In my humble opinion, listening to talks about POLYGAMY does not necessarily mean that you are into it, y'know. It is for the sake of gaining knowledge - knowing when is it allowed to practice polygamy and how to practice polygamy. I don't know, but women stunned and stopped from registering their names on the paper when I explained, "It's about polygamy' and half of the seats were empty.
Okay, polygamy is allowed in Islam so there's no reason to hate it. Remember that the rules come from Allah. Doubting Allah's rules shows that you disobey him. To be frank, I will not want myself to be in this polygamy relationship either. But that doesn't stop me from learning about it. As I said, it's a part of KNOWLEDGE. It is sad to see a hall half-empty, okay?
Plus, it also discussed the issues of Mothers-in-law, how to deal with them and how to treat them respectfully.
- 3rd talk : My Big Fat Sunnah Wedding
The title says it all. How to arrange and plan a wedding that follows Sunnah - know your limit and have budget in your expenses so that you don't get involved in debts, make sure that you and your bride wear proper clothes that fully cover your Aurah and at the same time, ensure that the environment of the wedding ceremony does not lead to Syirik etc etc. The speaker was Sheikh Daood Butt again, but yeah, people didn't get tired of him. They were excited as ever, as he always told jokes in Malay (He was quite fluent actually).
- 4th talk : Happily Married and Blissfully Divorced
This talk was the only talk provided on the second day, in the morning. It explained about how to protect a marriage that fulls of ups and downs, fluctuation. And for those who were divorced, golden advice on how to buck up and move on was offered. Sheikh Omar Suleiman was the speaker in-charge, he was funny too, at times. His talk was reallyyyyy good, I must say.
Do check Youtube often to see if someone uploads his talk. You may benefit from it :)
3. Marriage Consultation Ceremony
Ahhh, the program I most looked forward to :P
To those who have no idea about this program - to briefly explain it - it was a 'matchmaking' program but was conducted in a proper way following rules of Islam.
(I will update on this later). Not much to talk about though, only a bit on how was the program conducted.
It was a 'private' ceremony where non-participants were not allowed to watch because of one logic and understandable reason: We wanted to protect the identities of those who were involved. Hope you guys understood it when we ushered you out of the hall the second you entered.
P/S: Registration preferably done ONLINE. Don't be lazy, go and check each and every part of the Twinds Of Faith website. (Here's the link, in case you don't know: Twins Of Faith 2012 Malaysia).
This is on first come first serve basis.
Edited: Since someone had asked me about it, I might as well just post it here :)
Firstly, i would like to apologize for not replying your question any earlier. I totally forgot about it once I had published the comment on the blog. :(
Hmm, I haven't written a post regarding the ceremony yet, but I can tell you that there are no dos and donts throughout the entire program.
Basically, the volunteers will get back to you through email/ phone call or text asking you to write a paragpraph or two about yourself, your background and what you are looking for in your future spouse. (Believe me, there were candidates from last year's tof that wrote a one-page essay which brought difficulties to us as we had to shorten and summarize the entire thing, which changed the way they wrote the essay too). So, make it short but concise.
How is the program conducted? Okay, so on the day itself, all the candidates are divided into several groups. It is done randomly and each group will have almost equal ratio of men to women. Candidates are given a number to represent their identity. There will be a main coordinator that conduct the entire program and volunteers that will conduct each group (one for each group). Program will start with a proper introduction between all the candidates in the group. Then, it's the time for some questions. The main coordinator will pick up questions to be answered by the members of the groups.
Questions being asked were as such:
1. Your favourite colour and why
2. Do you love cats? (Common questions from the girlsss)
P/s: I love cats too! :)
3. Are you open to polygamy?
4. Will you share a cup of tea with your wife?
Each candidate in each group has to come up with an answer for all questions. And mind you, you might have to speak in English because some of the candidates might not come from a Malay-speaking background (ie Arab students studying in local uni or such). But don't have to freak out if you can't, because the volunteer can help you translate it so that everyone in the group can understand it. Last year, there was a Palestine guy who couldn't speak English so the volunteer (which is an Arab) had to be a translator from Arabic to English and vice versa each time. But it will be fun insyaAllah, just enjoy it :)
Then, the floor is open for any other questions in case any candidate has it. Just a note here, you can't ask question to only ONE candidate that you're interested in. If you feel like asking question to a guy/girl in your group, you will have to let all guys in your group to answer it (assuming you're a woman).
Next, you're given a few minutes to make a decision of who you're interested with from your group. The TOF community will give you a piece of paper to write your name and your number (representing yourself in the system) and the number representing the person from the other gender that you feel like knowing more about. Then, the guys from a group will move to a different group, whereas the girls will stay. And a new introduction session will begin. This will continue till the guys have gone to all groups.
Before it ends, the volunteers will collect the papers from you and you will know the result within a week or two. If your decision matches the man you're interested with, then the phone number of your wali (dad or brother) will be given to the man so that he can directly contact your dad for further action.
But if it doesnt match, as in you choose to know that guy more but he didn't choose you, email will be sent first to the guy asking whether he wants to know you or not.
I hope this helps :) Sorry if I sound too serious or anything. I actually wrote this like an hour ago to reply your question, but something happened and i lost everything that I have typed so I am kinda upset. (I am not upset with you, so please don't be offended)
Oh yes, I met some new rad friends too - Huda & Aminah (from Tunisia), Ilaf & Sumayah (from Sudan), Ali (Yemen), Kassim (Pakistan), Taquina, and Husni - the only Malay guy volunteered for the Marriage Corner.
And I met so many friends there - Haifa and Amirah, Nadiya (volunteered with me for Being-ME Conference 2012), Asiah, Zahidah (my junior back in SBPI Sabak Bernam) and lastly, Ahda (She volunteered with me for Konvensyen Bidadari Dunia 2012).
Did I miss anyone's name? Oh, will update it once I am able to recall it!
Edited: Oh, and fellow volunteers of MercyMission for the previous event, Being-ME 2012 - Yasmin, Anis, Mubina(Wow, Mubina became the leader of all volunteers for TOF!) and other volunteers that volunteered together with me for the Being-ME event.
So, that was briefly about it. For those who attended Twins Of Faith, how was it, seriously?
I would like to know your opinions! Voice 'em out! :)