Starting in the early 2000’s, Hackathons are the equivalent of software enterprising marathons, events in which computer programmers and software engineers collaborate into teams dedicating time and working intensely in aim of producing revolutionary software. Derived from this concept, ‘Haqqathon’ was created by the "Forum for promoting peace in Muslim Societies" and the US-based Affinis Labs; a start-up organisation. The event takes its name from portmanteau of the Arabic word حق [translating to truth] and marathon, which outlines what they’re all about; dedication to delivering the truths of Islam, facilitating access and helping tackle modern day issues realistically - all for promoting peace.
The event, which took place in Abu Dhabi, brought professionals of all kinds into five teams with a lead focus of creating a connection between the scholarship of Islam and today’s youth. Experts of technology, religious discourse and media spent three days to generate new social media solutions to rising concerns within Muslim Youth. Shaykh ʽAbd Allāh bin Bayyah, who founded the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, graced their works, with contribution of many, such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson.
Some ideas thought up included an app that provides short video answers to youth in regards to questions about Islam and a website for sexual queries. The hope is to address issues such as extremism and pornography in the Muslim community online. The teams competed against the clock, creating a pitch about their software solution in front of judges, live audience and live global streaming - talk about pressure!
After the planning and pitching, each team’s software was judged against 4 criteria: feasibility, scalability, innovation and likely impact. Winning praise from both audiences online and offline, the Haqqathon was recognised as a great success. The winning enterprise was 'Champions of Islam' which gained support to make their initiative a reality.
The winner of the People’s Choice award was the group behind the 'Marhubba' app, and included team member EMKWAN a popular You-Tube Vlogger. Check out his vlog below..
With future teams and events planned, the organisers will feature upcoming ideas and explain specifics. By getting in on the buzz, you can get your favourites ahead. Haqqathon holds potential for great things and we at Bahath hope to see it flourish in its entirety. Its positive impact on underlying problems is an effort undervalued. And we only wish to see Haqqathon events worldwide to help rebuild the interconnection with our Scholars once again.