I am highlighting usual steps that need to be followed ......... this comes from my personal experience and may not be suitable to you to the same extent as it proved to be for me. So, you could easily find a better mechanism, and if you do, please share it with us. But before the steps, note down some basic ideas:
1. Decision Making: The chapters are 100% free to take any decisions, and work with any organizational structure convenient to them, as long as they don't conflict directly with the vision of BA.
We recommend to follow the Concept
of Shoora (consultation) as commanded by Allah in the holy in Quran,
so that the efforts please Allah and make things easy and rewarding for us.
2. Pooling Resources: The whole idea is to bring people together for strengthening the mission of biharanjuman. Please do remember we wish to do things from individual contributions rather than by begging from charity institutions or the govt.
3. Building a Network: The network must expand so as to reach everyone. One very highly placed person asked why this is necessary for a non-political organization. The answer lies in the above point. We know that probability of finding genuine hands is very low, so in order to find a few such hands we need to approach a large number of people. Every individual deserves to be invited and given a chance to contribute in whatever ways he/ she can. Why should we be selective? We must not jump to a conclusion about any person unless we are very sure. The best way to make sure is to give him/ her a chance.
4. Chain of hands, not chained hands: A network expands through
chain. So, we encourage everyone to build a chain and prevent it from
breaking. By leaving talented individuals and groups of individuals to take
their own decisions, we prevent talents from getting chained or locked
inside air-tight treasure-chests. We encourage the talents to bloom which
needs a lot of fresh air coming through open doors and windows of
5. Interests of participants are paramount: Activities in the local chapter can be taken up as per interests and initiatives of the local talent pool.
6. Utilization of Funds by chapters: Funds collected locally can be utilized towards (a) local activities, viz. arrange coaching classes, arrange special sessions on career guidance (to convince people that moving up the ladder is not so difficult as we usually think) communication skills, etc., and/ or (b) global initiatives
7. Etiquette of commencing a meeting: We emphasise that every meeting MUST start with Islamic teaching (Dars + tafseer + hadees) that affects human life. 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning.
8. Numbers to initiate a chapter: Numbers don't matter in the first few meetings, but continuity matters. Try your best to see that the numbers do increase in every meeting, to depict confidence. Increasing numbers is a sign that those in-charge are actually trying to reach as many people as possible. REACH is also important, because everyone must get an opportunity to benefit from your dawa.
9. Focus on Educational Projects: We are focusing more on educational empowerment schemes. In stage-1, we have been sponsoring students (www.banee.org ) - we have supported
65 students so far (http://www.banee.org/BANEE_Beneficiaries.htm). In stage-2, we started
sponsoring teachers. Sponsoring a student is equivalent to helping one student, whereas, sponsoring a good teacher (minimum salary of Rs. 6,000 per month, selecting a quality teacher) is equivalent to helping more than 100 students. Sponsoring a good school teacher also means reaching the level where there is maximum drop-out rate. It means building confidence among the parents of potential drop-outs that there is a bright future ahead for their children (and their family). More details are available at
to kahin behtar tha;
Apne hissey ki koi shamm'a jalaate jaatey. [Ahmad
Better light a candle than curse the darkness
Acquaint yourself with Bihar Anjuman properly. Go through the websites www.biharanjuman.org and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biharanjuman - go through all the pages of these websites. Clear any doubts, after that, by discussing with me. I'm available for chat almost every evening after maghrib until 12.45 past midnight (IST). Go through http://www.biharanjuman.org/FAQ.htm and http://www.biharanjuman.org/Projects.htm definitely.
Unless you are convinced with the concept and the
methodology of the group, it may not be possible for you to convince others,
so it's very important that you convince yourself first.
Discussing with me freely and frankly may be of help.
Remember you have resolved to build a network (Bihar Anjuman is a network of individuals and organizations which would provide fair opportunity to any individual or organization willing to some constructive work). So, start with meeting those you know and discuss with them your intention. Show them the websites, give them a copy of Bihar Anjuman's profile (http://www.biharanjuman.org/Profile-Anjuman.pdf). Our process is to ask anyone you meet to fill in his/ her details in the
Registration Form, (modify it as per your
local requirements, and remember this registration is free) transfer the information, thus collected, into an Excel sheet or MS Access database. Continue to pass the info back to me at regular intervals. Form a chain through your acquaintances and acquaintances of each one of them .......... You may use (after any modifications required) a PowerPoint presentation (http://www.biharanjuman.org/Bihar_Anjuman.pps) to convince the intellectuals.
Corner meetings are great way to reach more people wherein you reach them rather than asking them to reach you. When you have a companion going with you for these corner meetings (more is better), you are more likely to continue and get encouragement rather than when you attempt to go alone. But, of course, whether somebody is with you or not, you must continue on this mission to pass the message to as many of the community members as possible.
Please do announce a meeting once you have received positive response from 5 or 6 people, record a MOM, circulate the decisions taken through the minutes of meeting in the group, and continue to meet regularly.
Usually, the 1st meeting gets drowned in questions about legality, registration, fear of possible prosecution by the various agencies spying on us and things like these. Normally, people also bring out talk on previous such organization formations that resulted in disastrous end with the organizers "devouring" all the funds, etc. Don't be discouraged by these talks. Registration process has started, and we will soon be registered, insha-Allah. We will be spied upon wherever we are - this must not stop us from doing what Allah has commanded us to do. Remember, we MUST NOT indulge in any political activity so there should be no fear to any govt, from our side. Our methodology is so transparent that there is no chance of anyone "devouring" funds - let the members' contribution be accounted for, in every monthly meeting, and send the collections to be utilized for a project (e.g., as sponsorship amount for a teacher), immediately after every
meeting. Announce the accounts in the group, sending an Excel sheet as attachment - who has contributed how much, what was the total amt collected, where the amount was sent. The receiving party needs to acknowledge the receipt through email - this will be kept by the person in-charge-of-finance in your chapter.
In the first meeting, if attendees agree to support the objectives, deciding on monthly contribution (say, minimum Rs. 50/-, with no max limit) will be perfect. [An important point to note is that you have 3 choices here – (a) decide on what you feel right, announce in the very first meeting, or even before that while you meet people, (b) continue to seek people’s opinion until the first meeting, and in the 1st meeting, announce the feedback and let the attendees decide, or (c) meeting after meeting, continue to postpone this decision until you feel you have sufficient feedback to bank upon.
But remember, people would not like delays (except for those who have some
evil intentions), so don’t postpone things for long. You can start with just 2 or 3 people - there is no shame in numbers being less. What Chennai can do,
your city can do far better! Well, they are sponsoring two scholarships, masha-Allah and have promised to consider sponsorship of a teacher as well.
Next step is to announce the chapter and its representatives along with the minutes of this first meeting. Please circulate the MOM with list of attendees to the group, and pass on the profiles of chapter representatives. More representatives can be added later, as you recommend, and as per the desire of other benevolent members. No formal structure should be established until the message (invitation/ dawat) has reached every nook and corner of
the city, so that active members are identified and get a fair chance to be incorporated in an organizational structure. A minimum 6 months period should be given to this task for consolidation and expansion. The best way to reach everyone is to arrange small "corner meetings" at least once a week, and a monthly meeting to take stock of previous month's achievements including accounts-taking (and scrutiny), setting new targets, inviting people's suggestions, announcing new active members, assigning "zones" etc. Tell the people in all the meetings about this plan of formulating a formal structure.
Once you announce a meeting, I may guide you further, if the need be. Please do keep in constant touch so that we may learn from each other and improve the whole process that we are in the habit of doing less efficiently.
Allah's manages such a huge world, not awaiting me or you to follow his
orders. He gets it done somehow. If we don't do the work commanded by Allah, somebody else will do and take the place which Allah had reserved for us. Look at the history of decline of Muslims. Social reforms and social service was commanded by Allah to Muslims, but was largely undertaken by Christians after the Muslims got busy conquering
the empires and thrones and rejoicing over the resulting power. This is Allah's mechanism, I believe, if one group doesn't do so some work, it's not that Allah would wait for this group to wake up from its slumber.
Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they
grieve. [Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #62]
Fortunately, we have firmly resolved and pledged before Allah that we would be ready to face all kinds of challenges but never go back on our commitment to work towards achieving the vision of winning back the race from other communities. And, it's inspiring to note your commitment and determination.
Togetherness makes sure that if one of us starts losing strength of our resolve, some one else will come forward, lend a hand, and help in gaining back the lost ground; thus bouncing back with stronger resolve would be much easier.