Change the way we relate

Fajr Reminders - Mahmood Habib Masjid and Islamic Center

19-11-2022 • 26 mins

As I mentioned in my last Khutba, ‘Living in the Revolution’, there are three things that we must change to survive and thrive in the AI Revolution. Change the way we connect with Allahﷻ and Rasoolullahﷺ, change the way we teach, and change the way we relate with one another.   I have taught and written about leadership now for 40 years. I have trained practically everything that walks on two legs or four. There is one critical lesson that I learnt in all these years, and that is, that your success doesn’t depend on the amount of knowledge you have, or your piety, or your personality, or your lineage, family, race, color, nationality of anything else. It depends only on one thing; your ability to influence people. And that in turn depends on your ability to get along with people. That is because the cardinal principle in sales is, ‘You can only sell to friends.’ The key to influencing anyone is that the other person must like you first. This is the key to success in marriage, employment, business, politics, or anything else. This applies even more to the biggest of all challenges, to get people to change their belief. Just try getting someone to change the soccer or basketball team they support or to vote for another party and you know what I mean. Rasoolullahﷺ’s challenge was to change who people worshipped. One of Rasoolullahﷺ’s greatest strengths was the ability to get along which enabled him to continue to remain engaged in the most difficult and antagonistic of situations and that in turn was instrumental in changing people like Khalid bin Waleed and Abu Sufyan (RA) to becoming his friends. The key to getting along is to get along with those we may disagree with. Especially when such people may have strengths and talents that are critical to our own success. I want to remind you that nobody can succeed on his own. Everyone needs someone else to succeed. The key is to help the other person see how they can succeed in their own life goals by supporting you. It is not about deception or smooth talking. It is about helping the other person see what is in it for them. Smooth talking is suicidal to influencing. It destroys credibility and trust. Once people wake up to the fact that they had been deceived, and they always do without exception, then they will distrust everything that comes from you and anyone like you. Permanent and powerful influencing is about desiring the best for others and helping them to achieve it. In that process you achieve your own goals. Allahﷻ said: وَلَا تَسْتَوِى ٱلْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا ٱلسَّيِّئَةُ ٱدْفَعْ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُۥ عَدَٰوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ Fussilat 41: 34   The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (evil) with one which is better (Allah ordered believers to be patient when angry and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. This can only happen if we are willing to forgive each other and keep the primacy of the goal in mind i.e., building the relationship. Rasoolullahﷺ set the best example with the people he forgave and what happened thereafter. The focus on winning friends is even more critical when we are talking about Da’awa of Islam which is get people to look at a belief that goes against whatever they hold to be true. The only way that will happen is when they don’t feel threatened because they see you as a well-wisher and friend. ٱدْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِٱلْحِكْمَةِ وَٱلْمَوْعِظَةِ ٱلْحَسَنَةِ وَجَـٰدِلْهُم بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِٱلْمُهْتَدِينَ Nahl 16: 125   Invite (mankind, O Muhammadﷺ) to the Way of your Rabb (Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Rabb knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Most Aware of those who are guided.