Posts Tagged ‘skills’

A hundred ways to win peoples heart

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Anyone involved in a particular activity wishes to excel in order to achieve his objectives. The one who loves wealth specialises in accumulating it and further aspires to learn the tricks of his trade. Satellite television channels specialise in attracting viewers by airing a variety of shows using the latest technology.

Hey also train their presenters in attracting viewers for current as well as forthcoming programs. The same can be said of newspaper, radio and television. The same applies to those who market various products, whether halaal or haram. All these people endeavour to specialise in techniques that are needed in order for them to excel in their respective fields

Winning hearts is also an art with its own ways and means.

Suppose you enter a gathering of forty men and as you pass by each of them, shaking everyone’s hands the first shakes your hand indifferently and says very coldly, “welcome”, the second is busy speaking to the next person, and as you greet him by surprise, he responds to you very impersonally and without even looking at you, then continues with his conversation with the next person; the third person is speaking on the phone, so he simply stretches out his hand without saying a word or showing any respect. However, when you get to the forth person, he sees you and immediately stands up to greet you. When your eyes meet his, he smiles and demonstrates that he is glad to meet you. He shakes your hand warmly and welcomes you, even though you don’t know each other at all! You then greet the rest of the people and takes a seat. Do you doubt that your heart will have the most respect for the fourth person? No doubt  it will, even though you do not know his name, nor his status or profession. Despite that, he successfully captures your heart, not with wealth, status or lineage, but merely by his interpersonal skills.

Hence hearts are not won by force, wealth, beauty or status. They are won by much less of a sacrifice, yet few are able to win them.

I recall one of my students at university, who had become physiologically ill due to severe depression. His father held a high position in the police force and had come to visit me at the university quite a few times, asking me for my help with his son. I would visit his house every now and then, which was a towering mansion. I would notice that his house would always be full of guest I was amazed a how much this family was loved and respected.

Years went by and the man retired. I went to his house for a visit. I entered his mansion and went into the guest room to notice more than fifty chairs, but only one person watching television and a butler offering him coffee or tea. I sat with him for a while. When I left I began to compare his situation while the man was working with now that he had retired. What was it about him that had attracted the people then? I realised that the man did not win people over by manners, kindness and good treatment of others. Rather he had only attracted them by mean of his status, position and the fact that he was well connected. When he lost his position, he also lost the love people had for him.

Therefore, learn a lesson from this man. deal with the people so skilfully that they love you for who you are and what you say, and for your smile, gentleness and generosity. They will love the fact that you overlook their faults an stand by them at times of hardship. Do not allow their hearts to be attached merely to your status and your purse!

The one who provides his children and wife with the wealth, food, drink only does not win their heart by doing so, but only their stomachs! The one who showers his family with wealth while he mistreats them does not win their hearts; rather, he only wins their pockets.

For this reason, do not be surprised if you see a young man who faces a problem and therefore complains to his friend, teacher or the imam of a mosque, but not to his own father. This would be because the father has failed to win over his heart and break down barriers. On the other hand, it is the teacher or the friend, who has managed to win his heart.

Another important point: have you ever noticed that when certain people visit a gathering packed with people and look left and right for somewhere to sit, there always seems to be no shortage of people calling them over to sit next to them. Why?

Or a buffer, where everyone serves themselves food and then looks somewhere to sit, have you noted that such people, as soon as they have filed their plates, are subject to large numbers of people calling them in order to at with them? Whereas, other may fill their plates and have nobody taking any interest whatsoever, so they have a very lonely meal?

Why are people so eager to sit with one type but not the other? Is it not that certain people have the ability to attracted hearts wherever they may be, as if they are magnets? How extraordinary!

How did they manage to win people? by using clever techniques, to capture people’s hearts.

Resolution….

Our ability to capture people’s heart and win heir love brings us great happiness in life.

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Enjoy the skills

Friday, June 10th, 2011

These skills give us physical pleasure, and I do not mean by this the pleasure of the hereafter only. Rather, it is that pleasure one actually feels in this world. So enjoy these skills and practise them with the old, young, rich, poor, near or far. Use these skills with them in order to guard yourself from their harm, to earn their love, or to rectify them.

‘AIi bin al-jahm was a very eloquent poet, but he was a Bedouin.The only life he knew was the desert life.The Caliph, al-Mutawakkil, was very powerful. People would go to visit him and return with whatever they wished. One day, ‘Ali bin al-jahm entered Baghdad and it was said to him,”whoever praises the Caliph, is bestowed with honour and gifts.”

‘Ali became excited and went to the Caliph’s palace.There he saw the poets reciting their poems in praise of the Caliph and returning with gifts. Al-Mutawakkil was known for his authority, awe and power. ‘Ali began to praise the Caliph with a poem in which he likened him to a dog, a goat and a bucket, whilst other poets likened him to the sun,the moon and the mountains!

The Caliph became angry, and his guards unsheathed their swords and prepared to strike off his neck. But then, the Caliph realised that ‘Ali bin al-jahm was from the desert and that his
personality and poetic taste was shaped accordingly. He decided to change his personality, so he ordered his men to house him in a section of the palace, be treated with kindness and be given all the available pleasures.

Al-jahm tasted some of these bounties and sat on couches side by side with eloquent poets and authors for seven months. One day, as the Caliph was sitting in his nightly gathering, he
remembered ‘A|i bin al-jahm, so he sent for him.When al-jahm finally came to him, he said,”Sing some verses to me, O ‘Ali bin al—jahm!” Al-jahm began to move emotions using soft and kind words, and likened the king to the sun, the stars and the sword.

Notice how the Caliph was able to change Ibn al-]ahm’s personality. How often have we been upset by the bad behaviour of our children and friends? Did we ever try to change their nature successfully? Even more,you should be able to change your own personality by replacing a frowning face with a smiling one, replacing anger with forbearance, and miserliness with generosity. None of this is difficult, but it does require determination and persistence, so be brave!

Whoever reads the life of the Prophet peace be upon him  realises that he would deal with people with these skills and capture their hearts. The Prophet  peace be upon him would not simply pretend to have these skills in front of people and replace his forbearance with anger when being alone with his family. He was never one to be cheerful with some but sulky with his own family. He was never one to be generous with everyone except his own children and wives. Rather;  he always acted naturally. He would worship Allah by his fine manners just as he would worship Him by offering the Duha or night prayers. He would consider his smile to be a virtue, his gentleness an act of worship, and his forgiveness and leniency a good deed.The one who considers good manners to be acts of worship will always remain well-mannered, in war and peace, when he is hungry and when he is full, when healthy or ill, and even when happy or sad.

How many women only hear about the refined manners of their husbands, such as their patience, cheerfulness and generosity, but never witness any of these qualities at home? Such husbands, often when at home, are ill-mannered, impatient, sulky and constantly cursing.

As for the Prophet peace be upon him he said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my fami|y.” (al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maiah, Sahih)

Now read how he would deal with his family: Al-Aswad bin Yazid said, “l asked ‘A’ishah — may Allah be pleased with her  how Allah’s Messenger   would behave in his house. She said: ‘He would be serving his family, and when the time for prayer would come he would perform ablution and leave to pray.”

The same can be said about parents. How often is it that we hear of the good manners that some display, such as generosity, cheerfulness and kind behaviour towards others, and yet with the closest people to them who have the greatest rights over them, such as their parents, wives and children, they are distant and cold.

Yes, the best of you is the best to his family, to his parents, to his wife, and to his children. One night, as Abu Layla —- may Allah be pleased with him — sat next to the Prophet  peace be upon him there came to him, either al-Hasan or al-Husayn, so the Prophet peace be upon him  lifted him up and placed him on his stomach. The toddler then urinated on the Prophet’s stomach. Abu Layla said, “l saw the urine trickling down from the Prophet’s stomach.  So we leapt up to the Prophet peace be upon him but he said:‘Leave my son alone. Do not scare him.”’

When the toddler had finished urinating, he called for some water and poured it over his stomach.’ (Ahmad and al-Tabarani, with trustworthy narrators)

How amazing was the Messenger of Allah  peace be upon him to train and adorn himself with such manners! No wonder he was able to win the hearts of the young and old.

Opinion…
Instead of cursing the darkness, try to fix the lamp.

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Do not cry over spilt milk

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Some people believe that the traits they have been nurtured on, which they are recognised by and which have left a certain impression about them on the minds of others can never be changed. They surrender to this thought, just as a person would surrender to the fact that he cannot change his height or skin colour.

On the other hand, an intelligent person thinks that to change one’s nature can perhaps be easier than changing his clothes. Our nature is not like spilt milk that cannot be scooped up again, rather we are always in control of it and there are certain ways in which we can alter it, and even the way we think!

Ibn Hazm mentions in his work Tawq al-Hamamah a tale of a famous Spanish businessman: There was competition between him and four other businessmen and as a result, they disliked him. They were therefore determined to aggravate him. One morning, he left his house to go to his workplace, wearing a white shirt and turban. One of the four businessmen met him on the way, he  greeted the Spanish businesman, looked at his turban and said, “How beautiful this yellow turban is!” The businessman said,”Are you blind? This turban is white!” He replied,”No, it is yellow! It is yellow, but it looks good.”

The businessman left him and moved on until he met the second of them, He greeted him, then looked at his turban and said, “You look handsome today! Your clothes look fine! Especially this green turban!”

The businessman said, “Actually, the turban is white.”

“No, it is green,” he insisted.

He replied, “lt is white! Go away from me!”

The businessman walked on, talking to himself, and every now and then looking at the flank of his turban to make sure that it was indeed white. He reached his shop and opened up the lock. Meanwhile, there came to him the third of the four businessmen and said,”How beautiful this morning is! And especially your clothes, they look fine! And your beautiful blue turban only adds to your good looks!”

The businessman looked at his turban to ascertain its colour, then rubbed his eyes and said, “Dear brother! My turban is white!”

“No, it is blue. But the important thing is that it looks good, so don’t worry!” the man said, and left, as the businessman began to yell after him saying,”The turban is white!” as he looked at his turban to ascertain its colour once again.

He sat in his shop for a while and couldn’t take his eyes off his turban. Meanwhile, the fourth person came and said, “Greetings! mashaAllah! From where did you buy this red turban?”

The businessman shouted, “My turban is blue!”

He replied, “No, it is red.”

The businessman said, “No, it is green! Actually, no, it is white! No, it is blue, or black!” He then laughed out loud, then screamed, then began to cry and then started to jump up and down!

Ibn Hazm said, ‘Thereafter, I would see him in the streets of Spain. He had gone mad and children would pelt stones at him.’

lf these four people, by using their skills, were able to change not only the nature of the person but also his mind, then how about the tried and tested skills that are supported by revelation which a person can put into practice in order to become closer to Allah?

Put into practice whatever good skills you come across and you will be happy.

lf you say to me, “i cannot.”

I would say to you, “At least try!”

If you say to me, “i don’t know how.”

I would say, “Yes, you do!”

The Prophet  pbuh said, “knowledge is only gained through learning, and clemency is only gained through perseverance.”

A point of view…

The hero is the one who goes beyond his ability to improve his skills, until he becomes able to improve, and perhaps even alter the skills of others.

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Improve yourself

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

You sit with someone who is twenty years old and notice that he has particular etiquettes, logic and thought.You then sit with him when he is thirty to discover that he is exactly the way he was ten years ago and has not improved at all.Yet, you sit with others and you feel that they are actually taking benefit from their lives.You discover that they improve themselves on a daily basis. ln fact, not an hour passes except that they improve either religiously or otherwise. lf you wish to ponder upon the different types of people with respect to self-improvement, then think about the following:

There are those who like to watch those satellite television channels that help their general knowledge and intelligence grow.They beneht from other people’s experiences by watching
constructive discussions, from which they learn the characteristics of debating and improve their language, understanding, and expertise in debate and persuasion.

Then there are those who cannot miss out on a series about a failed love story, or an emotional play, or a horror film, or films about useless fantasies with no link to reality at all. Notice the difference between the two after five or ten years.

Which of the two would have improved the most in his skills and ability to fathom information, gain general knowledge, have the power to convince others, or successfully be able to cope with diverse situations? No doubt the first person! You will find the mannerisms of the first person to be completely different.

When he argues, he does so on the basis of legal references, facts and figures, while the second can only quote the words of actors and singers, so much so that one such person once said during a discussion, “Allah says: ‘Strive, my servant, and l shall strive with you!”

We informed him that this is not a verse from the Qur’an. His complexion changed and he fell silent. l then thought about the phrase and it occurred to me that it is an Egyptian idiom which was imprinted on his mind after watching a drama series!

Let’s look at it from another angle that of reading newspapers and magazines. How many people take an interest in reading beneficial news and information that helps them in developing their personality, improves their skills and increases their general knowledge? Yet, how many are those who cannot read except,  sports and entertainment news? This is true to such an extent that many newspapers compete with each other by increasing the sports and entertainment pages at the cost of other sections.The same can be said about our gatherings and the things in which we spend our time.

Hence, if you would like to be a head instead of a tail, then eagerly try to practice all skills, regardless of what they may be.  ‘Abdullah was an energetic person but lacking in certain skills. One day, he left his home to pray Dhuhr in the mosque.  lt was his zeal for the prayer and respect for his religion which brought him out to pray. He was walking fast in order to reach the mosque before the lqamah was given. On his way, he passed by a date-palm tree on top of which there was a man in uniform, working on the tree. ‘Abdullah became surprised and thought, “Who is this man that does not care about the prayer! It is as if he didn’t even hear the Adhan, or doesn’t care about the lqamah, which is about to go!”

He shouted in anger,”Get down and pray!” The man responded coldly,”OK, OK…” He said, again,”Hurry up and pray, you donkey!”

The man screamed,”You called me a donkey?!” He then took a branch of the tree and descended in order to hit him over the head with it! ‘Abdullah hid his face with his headscarf so the man wouldn’t recognise him and went on to the mosque.The man descended from the tree in anger, went to his house, prayed and rested for a while. He then returned to the tree to finish his job. Then ‘Asr time came and ‘Abdullah went to the mosque again. On his way he passed by the same tree and noticed the same man working. He decided to change his method altogether and said,‘As-salamu ‘alaykum! How are you?”

The man replied, “Al-hamdulillah, I am fine!”

He said,”Give me some good news. How are the dates this year?’

The man said,”Al-Hamdulillah.”

‘Abdullah said, “May Allah give you success and provision,
make your life easy for you, and not deprive you of the reward for your work!”

The man was overjoyed at hearing this supplication and said ameen to the prayer.

‘Abdullah then said,”it seems that you are so preoccupied with work that perhaps you didn’t notice the Adhan for ‘Asr prayer.The Adhan has been called and the Iqamah is about to be
given. Perhaps you should get down, relax a little and get ready for prayer. After the prayer you can get on with your work again. May Allah keep you healthy.”

The man said, “inshaAllah… inshaAllah…” and began to descend gently.

He then turned to ‘Abdullah, shook his hand warmly and said, “i would like to thank you for your excellent manners.As for the one who passed by me at Dhuhr time, I wish I could see him and show him who the real donkey is!”

The resuIt…

Your skills of dealing with others determine how they deal with you.

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Why do we search for skills?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I once visited a deprived town to deliver a lecture, after which there came to me a teacher from outside the town. He said,”I hope you can help us finance some students.”

I said,”Strange! ’ arent the schools government funded, and therefore free?”

He said, “indeed they are, but we would like to fund their university education.”

I said, “Well, the universities are also government funded. They even offer student grants.”

He said,”Allow me to explain to you…”

“Go ahead”, I said.

He said,”Our students graduate from their secondary school with no less than 99%.They are so clever that if their intelligence was divided amongst the ummah, it would suffice! But when a student becomes determined to travel outside his town to study Medicine, Engineering, Islamic Law, Computer Science or any- thing else, his father prevents him from going, saying, what you know is sufficient! Now, remain with me and be a shepherd!”’

I screamed impulsively,”Be a shepherd?!”

He said,”Yes, a shepherd!”

And indeed, the poor boy stays with his father and becomes a shepherd, whilst all his abilities are wasted.Years go by and he remains a shepherd. He may even get married and have children whom  he may treat exactly as he was treated by his father Hence, all his children also become shepherds!

I asked,”So what’s the solution?”

He said, “The solution is to convince the father to employ someone as a shepherd for a few hundred riyals, which we will pay, and allow his son to take full advantage of his skills and
abilities. Of course, we will also continue to fund his son until he graduates.” The teacher then lowered his head and said,”it is inexcusable that such skills and talents in people are wasted when they long to utilise them.”

I contemplated upon what he had said and realised that we cannot reach the pinnacle except by taking advantage of the abilities we have and acquiring those that we do not.

Yes, I would challenge anyone to find a successful person, be they successful in academia, preaching, lecturing, business, medicine, engineering, or influencing others; or be they successful in family life, such as a successful father with his children, or a successful wife with her husband; or be they successful in their social life, such as a person who is successful with his neighbours and colleagues, and I mean a truly successful person, not one who simply climbs upon others’ shoulders! I would challenge anyone to find me any such highly successful person who does not practise certain interpersonal skills through which he has been able to achieve such success, whether they realise it or not.

Some people may exercise such interpersonal skills instinctively, while others may have to learn them in order to be successful, and these latter people are the types of successful personalities whose lives we would like to study and whose methods we would closely seek to follow in order to discover how they were successful, and to find out whether or not we can take their route to success.

A while ago, l listened to an interview with one of the most affluent people in the world,Shaykh Sulayman alRajihi, and found him to be a mountain in terms of his manners and thoughts.This man owns billions, possesses immense real estate, has built hundreds of mosques, and has sponsored thousands of orphans. He is hugely successful. He spoke of his humble beginnings around fifty years ago, when he was a regular person who would only have enough money to feed himself for the day, and sometimes not even that. He mentioned that he would sometimes clean peop|e’s houses to feed himself and continue working at night at a shop or money exchange. He discussed how he was once at the bottom of the mountain, and how he continued to climb until he reached the summit.

l thought about the abilities and skills he possesses and realised that many of us are well capable of being like him, if Allah grants us the ability. lf one learns these skills, exercises them, perseveres and remains steadfast, then yes, he can surely be like him.

Another reason for us to search for these skills is that some of us may have certain abilities, which we remain unaware of, or which nobody has assisted us in discovering, such as the skills of delivering a lecture, business acumen, or possessing general knowledge.

One may discover these skills on his own, through a teacher’s  or a work colleague’s help, or even through a sincere brother  however few they may be! However: these skills may remain buried inside the person until his personality becomes as stale as anyone else’s, and this is when we all lose out on another leader, lecturer or scholar; or perhaps a successful husband, or a caring father.

Here we will mention certain skills which we would like to remind you of if you already possess them, or which we would like to train you in if you don’t. So come along!

A thought…
When you climb a mountain, look to the top and not to the rocks that surround you. Make sure of where you step as you climb, and do not leap in case you loose your footing.

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