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  Event Info
Date: 16th & 17th Dec-2017
Time: From 9am Each Day
Venue: The National Theatre,
Iganmu, Lagos
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 Dos and Donts for Convention Goers

The MPAC welcomes you to an event that promises to inspire and change lives. Observing the Dos and Don'ts of convention etiquette listed below can make the experience more positive for everyone attending.
 
Dos to Practice at the MPAC Convention:
1) Get there early 11) Say Salam
2) Know and follow conference rules 12) Be considerate
3) Be patient 13) Observe general rules of modesty
4) Come early to prayer 14) Dress comfortably
5) Be on time for sessions 15) Thank speakers and organizers
6) Take notes during sessions 16) Make Dawah
7) Assist those who need help 17) Recognize and treat local Muslims well
8) Offering assistance can mean different things 18) Welcome non-Muslims
9) Observe Islamic male-female etiquette AT ALL TIMES 19) Be an Ambassador for Muslim unity
10) In emergency situations, it could also mean contacting first aid on site 20) Visit the Stalls
 
Some Donts for the MPAC Convention:
1) Don't talk during sessions 6) Don't leave any place a mess
2) Don't eat during sessions 7) Don't think this is not my mess!
3) Don't be late to sessions and lectures 8) Don't wear headphones while you're in a session
4) Don't turn the convention into a re-union event 9) Don't push others
5) Don't bring very small children to sessions and workshops    
 
Dos to practice at the MPAC Convention:

1) Get there early.
The early bird gets the worm is not just a cliche. It’s the truth. Getting to the convention early means you can register immediately and avoid the last minute rush of attendees. In addition, by coming early, you can find out what arrangements are available on site for first aid, babysitting, etc.

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2) Know and follow conference rules.
These are made to make everyone’s visit pleasant and comfortable, as well as to make the job of conference organizers easier. Obeying the rules could mean keeping your children’s name tags on them at all times during the conference or following a certain procedure to register on site. Whatever the case may be, remember the rules were made for your benefit.

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3) Be patient.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
"Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by any hardship, whether it be chronic sickness, anxiety, grief, harm, a disaster, or even a thorn-prick, Allah wipes out some of his minor sins" (Bukhari, Muslim).

Patience must be practiced because you will most probably be with hundreds, if not thousands of people from different places and different backgrounds. You will need this patience in the dining halls, getting to and fro in hallways, and with people who talk and disturb others during sessions, for example. Use this as an opportunity to train for the patience you'll need at Hajj.

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4) Come early to prayer.
During solat time, coming early will ensure you have a place to pray. Put your shoes where designated by organizers, or if there is no such arrangement, bring a plastic bag for them and keep them with you during prayers.

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5) Be on time for sessions.
You will benefit by catching the full lecture, getting the handouts, if any, so you can follow along with the speaker, and you also get the best choice of seats. Not to mention that punctuality is part of good Muslim manners.

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6) Take notes during sessions.
Save questions for the Q&A session at the end of each day’s activities. If you need to leave for any reason, leave as quietly as possible during lectures so as not to disrupt the speaker or the audience. Avoid pushing back chairs, shuffling papers and slamming doors loudly so that others are not distracted or disturbed.

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7) Assist those who need help.
The Prophet said: "A Muslim is a Muslim's brother: he should not wrong him, nor hand him over to his enemy. He who relieves the need of a Muslim will find that Allah relieves his own needs. And he who eases the trouble of a Muslim will find that Allah relieves his own needs. And he who eases the trouble of a Muslim will have one of his troubles eased by Allah on the Day of Arising" (Bukhari, Muslim).

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8) Offering assistance can mean different things.
For example, help a brother or sister who is disabled get around if they are having difficulty; assist a mom bring her stroller-bound child down the stairs; offer seats to the elderly. And don’t forget to give them priority in elevators and/or escalators.

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9) Observe Islamic male-female etiquette AT ALL TIMES.
That means, for example, men should stick to one side of the hallway, while women move to the other, and using only gender specific and designated common areas, so neither sex feels uncomfortable.

One rule to follow is outlined in this Hadith in Masnad: "Graceful is that man who walks with dignity, keeps his eyes down, keeps his voice low, does not look here and there (as bad manner) all these are parts of gracefulness and respectability".

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10) In emergency situations, it could also mean contacting first aid on site.
Or it could simply mean holding doors for others or offering a seat to someone who needs it more than you.

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11) Say Salam.
This applies to all Muslims, as the Prophet has said, "You should provide food, and greet both those you know and those you do not" (Bukhari, Muslim).

There are also specific manners for this, as the Prophet described in a Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, "a young person should greet someone who is older, a pedestrian should greet someone who is sitting down, and a small group should greet a large one" (Bukhari, Muslim).

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12) Be considerate.
Try to make things easier for others. For example, if you are living next door to the event venue, consider making wudhu or using the convenience in your house Mobile toilets shall be provided. Also, turn cell phones and pagers OFF during lectures.

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13) Observe general rules of modesty.
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do" (Quran 24:30).

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms…" (Quran 24:31).

With regards to looking at the opposite sex, the Prophet advised: "Do not look for a second time, for while you are not to blame for the first glance you have no right to the second" (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).

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14) Dress comfortably.
Dress for the occasion: comfortably, and taking into account your environment and the purpose of your attendance at the convention- for the sake of Allah.

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15) Thank speakers and organizers.
The Prophet said: "Whoever fails to thank a person who does a favor to him, (actually) fails to thank Allah" (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).

Thanking speakers and organizers will provide them the encouragement and support, as well as assurance that their hard work was worth it. Too often, Muslims are busy cutting each other down instead of appreciating the good work being done by many brothers and sisters.

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16) Make Dawah.
Non-Muslims will be attending the convention, and this presents a unique chance for us to exemplify the unique Islamic values of dealing with others.

Use this opportunity to make Dawah. Bring some Dawah pamphlets from home. Or if that is not possible, on the first day (see, another advantage of coming early) check out the booths already set up. You can probably find Islamic literature to buy and pass others.

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17) Recognize and treat local Muslims well.
In bigger cities, don’t be surprised to see Muslim cab driver, bus boys, receptionists, etc. Greet these fellow Muslims appropriately, and spread the warmth.

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18) Welcome non-Muslims.
While most of the MPAC convention attendees will be Muslim, there will be some non-Muslims attending as well. Go out of your way to welcome them, treat them with the same courtesy and respect you’d treat fellow Muslims, and be available to answer questions if you are asked. If you do not have knowledge about what questions are being asked, direct them to other Muslims you feel are knowledgeable enough to help.

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19) Be an Ambassador for Muslim unity.
When you meet a Muslim leader at the convention, go out of your way to say Salam, thank them for their hard work, and ask them what they are doing for the cause of Muslim unity. Also, make Dua for unity during the daily prayers, which you should try to attend in congregation at the convention.

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20) Visit the Stalls.
Muslim businesses spend thousands of naira to display their wares and offer you a fantastic selection of books, videos, DVDs, CDs, gifts, clothes and much more. Visit the stalls to support these businesses and stock up on gifts for Eid, as well as new selections for your library.

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Some Donts for the MPAC Convention:

1) Don't talk during sessions.
While socializing with other Muslims is definitely a part of a Muslim convention, it is not proper Adab (etiquette) to be doing this during lectures and sessions. Remember, there are brothers and sisters who have traveled miles to not just meet others, but to learn about Islam. Don’t ruin this opportunity for them.

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2) Don't eat during sessions.
This is also a distraction and rude to speakers. Imagine sitting in a classroom and eating there. It would rarely be tolerated. Give the same respect to your Muslim brother or sister who may have traveled miles to give you this fantastic session/workshop.

A special note: food includes bubble gum. There are few things as annoying as someone popping bubbles or making loud chewing noises during a spiritually enlightening talk.

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3) Don't be late to sessions and lectures.
While there are always unforeseen circumstances where coming on time may not be possible, don’t let this become a habit. Coming late only disturbs the speakers, as well as others trying to pay attention.

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4) Don't bring very small children to sessions and workshops.
A crying child, no matter how cute, becomes annoying to those who are trying to concentrate and learn. There will be baby-sitting arrangements on site- make use of this. If you can, help out as well.

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5) Don't turn the convention into a re-union event.
This is a MAJOR problem. Two people who haven’t seen each other in years will suddenly meet each other and begin a long conversation. This is inconvenient and can be dangerous. Solution: greet the person and move to the side of the hallway to continue your conversation.

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6) Don't leave any place a mess.
That goes for the lecture halls, exhibition space, the stall area, washrooms, and the dining area. It also means not leaving candy bar wrappers on the floor or gum on the bottom of tables or chairs and soft drink cans everywhere. As Muslims, we must maintain cleanliness on our person and in our environment as the Prophet has said, "Cleanliness is half of the religion" (Muslim).

Leaving the place in a mess is not the way we want to leave a lasting impression on the venue management as other people that will be attending the event.

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7) Don't think this is not my mess!
If you’re confronted with a washroom strewn with toilet paper or a trail of soft drink cans in the exhibition area for example, there are two things you can do. You can ignore it, do what you’ve got to do and get out of there as soon as possible.

Or you could be a good citizen and do the charitable thing: pick it up. In part of a Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet said that removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.

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8) Don't wear headphones while you're in a session.
or while you are walking around. During the sessions, this is an insult to your speaker. Around the event area, this makes it virtually impossible to hear crowd traffic instructions that may be given to facilitate the movement of convention goers between sessions or to meals, for instance.

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9) Don't push others.
to get to a lecture or move around. Pushing is rude and dangerous, and it will not get you where you want to go more quickly.

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Adapted from Sound Vision Etiquette Guide
 
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