"Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; ….
My interest in this topic has taken many years. I have been looking in books of psychology and psychoanalysis for the effective ways to influence others positively. Who is not of us who does not deal with others and wish to leave a good effect on them? And who of us who does not wish to gain the trust of those around him and give a positive impression of his character? But what is the way to achieve that?
My brothers in Allah! I have found several techniques that man can use in his daily life and during his dealings with community. He will influence others positively and gain not only their confidence but their love. These techniques were introduced by Dale Carnegie, the most famous American writer and who was considered to be the best writer of the past century. He introduced these techniques as a result of tests conducted for more than thirty years.
What drew my attention was that what the writer introduced was exactly what the Quran had introduced!! He says in his book "How to Win Friends and Influence People":
The First Way: Avoid Arguments
The best way to win others and influence them is to avoid arguments! Try to shorten talk to the minimal possible, because arguments weaken trust and thus the power of your influence on others wanes.
This way was introduced by the Quran since fourteen centuries in Almighty's saying, "Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance."[An-Nahl: The Bee:125].
Here, the Quran has not forbidden us from debating, but he ordered us good argument since avoiding arguing is not practically possible. There are individuals who you cannot gain their confidence unless you debate with them.
Herein, I wonder of those skeptics of the Apostle's message. If their views of The Prophet of Mercy were true, why would he command us to argue in a good manner? Why we were ordered good preachment. The only explanation for the existence of these teachings in the Quran was because it is the Book of Allah Almighty.
The Second Way: Avoid the Anger and Emotion
The American writers said that your way to handle problems should be based on kindness, softness and wisdom. Try to detach from emotions, anger and tension, because emotion leaves negative effect on others and sends them a wrong idea about your character.
Here, we remember again the advice of the Great Prophet (pbuh) to the Arab individual and which he repeated so many times: (Do not get angry… Do not get angry… Do not get angry…) and we remember Almighty's saying, "who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good" [Al 'Imran: The Family of 'Imran: 134]. Subhaan Allah! Consider with me the Quranic way in shaping the believer's character, forgiving people, managing anger, not rushing or being emotion, all those give positive effect and leave good impression in the hearts and minds of those around you.
The Third Way: A Good Word is More Effective
A good word is the most important way that psychologists advise in influencing others. It is unnecessary to tell someone he is wrong if he makes a mistake in front of you. Call attention to his mistakes indirectly by choosing good words to express yourself, and this way will leave a wonderful effect among those who are around you.
Here, we come back to Almighty's Book when He says, "speak fair to the people" [Al-Baqara: The Cow: 83]. Almighty says, "Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? - A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens,- of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition." [Ibrahim: Abraham: 24-25]
Dear reader, try to choose the best words to address others, and be a good listener. Do not talk much, but try to listen because this will lessen your mistakes and present you in good shape in front of others, nevertheless, man likes to be listened to.
Almighty says, "O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right: . That He may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: He that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest achievement." [Al-Ahzab: the Clan: 70-71]. These verses bear out that a believer has to put words in the right situation. By doing so, Allah will fix his deeds and this way will be the reason for success in this World and the Hereafter.
The Fourth Way: Do not Stick to your Mistake
Psychologists and Carnegie among them confirmed that admitting being wrong is a merit that raises you in the eyes of people. Do not try to prove the correctness of your view and you know you are mistaken, but try to be soft in your discussion and admit mistakes. This way will give others an impression that you are genuine and thus increases their confidence in you and your influence on them.
The Prophet (pbuh) stated this technique in his saying, (All Adam's sons are erroneous, but the best of those erroneous are the repentants) That is to say that the best work to do is to admit mistakes in front of Allah Almighty, repent to Him, and apologize about what you have done wrong to those you had hurt.
The Fifth Way: Honesty is the Shortest Way to Win Others' Confidence
We see the Western World provides genuine treatment, not only because their religion commands them to do so, in addition to that most of them do not have a religion, but because they found that honesty is the base of success in life. Therefore, psychologists vindicated that the shortest way to win others and influence them is honesty in what you say and what you do.
Here, we remember The Right Almighty says, "O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not? Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not. "[As-Saff: The Ranks: 2-3]. And He says, "O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed)." [Al-Tawba: Repentance: 119] There is a great verse that I found a strange power in it to cure the lying phenomenon which spread these days with light speed. This verse addresses us and says, "it were best for them if they were true to Allah." [Mohammed: Muhammad: 21] If everyone kept these divine words and recalled them at the time he encounters a situation where he may tell a lie, these words would be the best remedy for lying, and a reason for keeping us away from lying and this is what will help us to win others' respect, their confidence and our influence on them.
The Sixth Way: Refrain from Using the Word "No"
Try as possible as you can to keep away from it because it is a negative word! Instead of saying to someone why he did that or do not do so, change this statement with a positive expression e.g. what about doing so!! Or do not you think this is better to do?
This way was discovered by Neuro Linguistic Programming experts in people who are successful, wealthy and famous. They found that their way in dealing with others is based on advice and not faulting others, defaming and reprimanding them.
Here, I do not find a better example than the one the Greatest Prophet offered when he was served by Anis Bin Malik for ten years. He did not hear from the Apostle (pbuh) the statement (why you did so) and did not hear a reprimanding expression or any negative expression, but the Prophet of Mercy (pbuh) used positive statements in dealing with others, and this is what we should do.
The Seventh Way: Arrogance is the Worst Attribute Man can Have
Psychologists consider arrogance as a thick barrier that detaches you from the love and respect of others, and thus you influence them negatively. There are several studies that confirm the importance of modesty in winning others' confidence, and keeping away from greed, envy and other reprehensible characteristics.
The Prophet (pbuh) preceded psychologists in giving us the most wonderful formula for winning love of others when he said: (Renounce what people have, they will like you). Consider these words of The Prophet and which if we use; we will solve most of the age problems.
Allah forbid arrogance strongly, Almighty says, "verily He loveth not the arrogant." [An-Nahl: The Bee: 23] Who humbles himself to Allah, Allah Almighty will raise him. This technique in dealing with others leads to gain their confidence, because Allah has created man on a natural inclination for philanthropy, modesty and honesty. Therefore, following these techniques in dealing with others as if you are addressing their depths, and their nature and thus you positively influence them and this what we all aspire to.
I conclude this article with an idea I arrived at after years. This idea is that all the true and certain facts which psychologists has discovered, the Quran has told about before fourteen centuries!! Our role as believers who claim to love the Quran is to originate this science to its Quranic origins, and we aspire to be in the best grade in front of Allah. The way to that, we follow The Prophet of Mercy in his practices and his way of handling problems and his way of dealing with the community. We ask Allah Almighty to let us be part of those He said about, "They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance." [Al-Baqara: The Cow: 157].
By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel