You will become the most proficient in using the various
skills in dealing with others when you treat everyone in such a
way that he thinks of himself as the most beloved of all people to
yourself. For instance, you should treat your mother so grandly
that she begins to think you have never treated anyone in such
a fine manner.
You can say the same about the way you should deal with
your father, your wife, your children, and your colleagues. In fact,
you can say the same about someone you meet only once, such
as a shopkeeper, or a petrol station attendant. You could get all
these people to agree that you are the most beloved of all to
them, if only you can make them feel that they are the most beloved
of all to you!
The Prophet was an expert in this.
Whoever reads about the life of the Prophet will find that
he would deal with everyone in an excellent manner. Whoever
he met, he would be very welcoming and cheerful, such that the
person would think that he was the most beloved of all to him,
and therefore, the Prophet would also become the most beloved
of all to that person.
was deemed one of them due to his wisdom, sharpness and intelligence.
When ‘Amr embraced Islam, he was the leader amongst
his people, and whenever he met the Prophet , he would always
find him very warm and cheerful.Whenever he entered a
gathering where the Prophet was sitting, he would be warmly
welcomed. When the Prophet would call him, he would use
the names that were most beloved to him.
By experiencing such excellent treatment, he felt certain that
he was the most beloved of all to the Messenger of Allah . One
day, he decided to confirm his feelings, so he approached the
Prophet and sat next to him.
He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, who is the most beloved to
He said, “A’ishah.”
‘Amr said, “No. I mean, from the men, O Messenger of Allah.
I do not mean from amongst your family.”
He said, “Her father.”
‘Amr said, “And then?”
He said, “Umar bin al-Khattab.”
‘Amr said, “And then?”
The Prophet then began to mention a number of people
saying, “So-and-so and so-and-so...” in accordance with how early
they had embraced Islam and the sacrifices they had made.
‘Amr then said, “I then remained silent, fearing that he may
rank me last!”
Notice how the Prophet managed to capture ‘Amr’s heart
by exercising his outstanding skills. In fact, the Prophet would
rank people according to their worth. Sometimes, he would even
leave what he was doing to tend to other’s needs, just to make
them feel that they were loved and held in high regard.
When the Prophet’s influence extended after his conquests
and Islam had spread far and wide, the Prophet began sending
preachers to various tribes to call them to Islam. Sometimes he
even had to send armies. ‘Adi bin Hatim al-Ta’i was a king and
the son of a king. When the Prophet sent an army to the Tai’
tribe, ‘Adi ran away from the battle and took refuge in Syria.
When the Muslim army reached Tai’ they found it easy to defeat
them as they had neither a king nor an organised army. The Muslims
would always treat people kindly in wars and respect their
emotions, even during battle. The purpose of the battle was to
prevent the plots of ‘Adi’s people against the Muslims and to display
to them the Muslims’ strength. The Muslims captured some
people from ‘Adi’s tribe, amongst whom was ‘Adi’s sister. They
took the captives to the Prophet in Madinah and informed
him about ‘Adi’s escape to Syria. The Prophet was surprised,
thinking how could he have run away from the ture religion?
How could he have left his people behind?
However, there was no way for the Muslims to contact ‘Adi.
‘Adi himself did not enjoy his stay in Syria and was compelled to
come back to the Arab lands. He then could not but help go to
Madinah to meet with the Prophet and make peace with him,
or to create some sort of understanding. (It is also claimed that
his sister went to Syria to bring him back to the Arabs).
‘Adi said whilst relating his story, “None from the Arabs disliked
the Messenger of Allah as much as I did. I was a Christian
and a king amongst my people. When I heard about the Messenger
of Allah , I despised him and left my people to go to Caesar
of Rome. But I disliked staying there, too. So I thought that if I
went to this man and he turned out to be a liar, then he wouldn’t
be able to harm me, and if he was truthful, then I would know. So
I decided to go to him…”
“When I arrived in Madinah, the people began to say, ‘This is
‘Adi bin Hatim! This is ‘Adi bin Hatim!’ I continued to walk until
I reached the Messenger of Allah who said to me: ‘‘Adi bin
I said: ‘Adi bin Hatim’.” The Prophet became overjoyed by
his arrival and welcomed him, even though ‘Adi had previously
fought against the Muslims, ran away from the battle, despised
Islam and sought refuge amongst the Christians. Despite all of
that the Prophet met him with a smile and took him by his
hand to his house. As ‘Adi walked alongside the Prophet , he
considered him to be completely equal to himself, since Muhammad
was the ruler of Madinah and its outskirts while ‘Adi was
the ruler over the Ta’i mountains and its outskirts. Muhammad
was a follower of a heavenly religion – Islam, just as ‘Adi was
a follower of a heavenly religion – Christianity. Muhammad
had a revealed scripture – the Qur’an, just as ‘Adi had a revealed
scripture - the Gospel. ‘Adi thought that there was no difference
between the two except in terms of power and military might.
While they were on their way, three things happened. As
they were walking, a woman came and began to shout in the
middle of their path, “O Messenger of Allah! I need your help!”
The Prophet left ‘Adi’s hand and went to the woman to listen
to what she had to say. ‘Adi bin Hatim −who had witnessed many
kings and leaders - as he watched this happen, began to compare
this with what he knew of the actions of kings and ministers. He
thought for a while, until it occurred to him that these mannerisms
were not that of kings, but rather of the Prophets!
When the woman’s need was fulfilled, the Prophet came
back to ‘Adi and they both continued to walk, and as they did,
a man came to the Prophet . What did he say? Did he say, “O
Messenger of Allah! I have surplus wealth and am looking to give
some to a poor person?” Did he say, “I harvested my crops and I
have some extra fruit. What shall I do with it?” If only he were to
have asked such questions so that ‘Adi would have felt that the
Muslims had wealth.
Instead, the man said, “O Messenger of Allah! I complain to
you about hunger and poverty.” The man was unable to find anything
with which to abate his and his children’s hunger, whilst the
Muslims around him could barely get by, and hence, were unable
to help him.
‘Adi was listening as the man asked the Prophet his question.
The Prophet then responded to him, after which he left.
When they continued to walk, there came another man who
said, “O Messenger of Allah! I complain to you about highway
robbers!” Meaning, “O Messenger of Allah! We have numerous
enemies surrounding us and therefore cannot safely leave the
walls of our city due to the disbelievers and thieves.” The Prophet
responded to him with a few words and continued. ‘Adi began
to think about what he had seen. He himself was honoured by
his people, and he didn’t have any enemies waiting to attack him.
Why then were so many people accepting this religion whilst
they were weak and poor?
They both reached the Prophet’s house and entered. Inside
there was only one couch available so the Prophet gave it to
‘Adi in his honour, saying, “Take this to sit on.” ‘Adi gave it back to
him and said, “Rather, you should sit on it.” The Prophet said,
“Rather, you should sit on it.” ‘Adi then did as he was told.
Then the Prophet began to break down all the barriers
that existed between ‘Adi and Islam. He said, “O ‘Adi, accept Islam
and you will be safe.”
‘Adi said, “I already have a religion.”
The Prophet said, “I know more about your religion than
He said, “You know more about my religion than I do?”
The Prophet said, “Yes! Are you not from the Rukusiyya?”
Rukusiyya was a sub-sect within Christianity with elements
of Zoarastianism. It was become of his skills of persuasion that
the Prophet did not ask, “Are you a Christian?” Rather, he circumvented
this fact and mentioned something more particular,
i.e. the sub-sect of Christianity which he belonged to.
This is just as if you were to meet someone in a European
country who said to you, “Why don’t you become a Christian?”
And you were to say to him, “I already have a religion.”
And he didn’t reply with, “Are you a Muslim?” or even, “Are
you a Sunni?” But rather, with, “Are you a Shafi’i or a Hanbali?”
You would then realise that he knows much about your religion.
This is exactly what the Prophet did with ‘Adi by asking,
“Are you not from the Rakusiyya?”
“Indeed, I am,” replied ‘Adi.
The Prophet said, “When you go to war, do you not share
one quarter of your people’s gains?’
He said, ‘Yes, I do.”
The Prophet said, “This is not allowed in your religion.”
“Adi admitted in embarrassment, ‘Yes.”
The Prophet said, “I know what is preventing you from accepting
Islam. You think that the only people to follow this man
(i.e., himself) are the oppressed people who have no strength:
the Arabs have discarded them. O ‘Adi! Have you heard of al-
Hira (a city in ‘Iraq)?”
‘Adi said, “I haven’t seen it but I have heard of it.”
The Prophet said, “I swear by the One who has my soul
in His Hand, Allah will complete this affair, until a woman travels
from al-Hira to make Tawaf around the Ka’bah, without fearing
anyone.” Meaning: Islam will one day become so strong that a
woman would be able to travel from al-Hira to Makkah without
a male guardian and without any need for protection. She would
pass by hundreds of tribes and no one would dare to harm her
or take her wealth. This is because the Muslims will become so
strong that no one would dare to trouble a Muslim from fear of
other Muslims rushing to his or her help.
When ‘Adi heard this, he began to picture this in his mind – a
woman leaving ‘Iraq and reaching Makkah, i.e. approaching from
the north of the peninsula, and passing by the Ta’i mountains
where his people reside.
‘Adi became amazed and said to himself, “What will the bandits
do who terrorise us and the rest of our cities?!”
The Prophet said, “You will seize the treasures of Kisra
He said, “The treasures of Ibn Hurmuz?”
Yes, “Kisra bin Hurmuz, and you will spend it all in the path
of Allah. If you live long, you would see a man offering a handful
of gold or silver to others but none will accept it.” Meaning:
wealth will be so plentiful that a rich man will look for someone
to accept his charity but will not be able to find a poor person
to give it to.
The Prophet then admonished ‘Adi and reminded him of
the Hereafter. He said, “One of you shall meet Allah on the Last
Day without anyone to translate the dialogue between you and
Allah. He will look to his right and not see anything except Hell.
He will then look to his left and not see anything except Hell.”
‘Adi remained silent and began to think. The Prophet
abruptly said, “O ‘Adi! What is preventing you from saying: There
is none worthy of worship but Allah? Do you know of a god
greater than Him?”
‘Adi said, “In that case, I am a monotheist Muslim; I bear witness
that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I
bear witness that Muhammad is the Servant and the Messenger
The Prophet’s face became overjoyed.
‘Adi bin Hatim later said, “I have seen a woman riding a camel
travelling from Al-Hira till it made Tawaf around Ka‘bah fearing
none but Allâh, I have also been one of those who opened the
treasures of Kisra bin Hurmuz. I swear by the One who has my
soul in His Hand, the third prophecy will also be fulfilled, since
Allah’s Messenger has said so!” (Muslim and Ahmad)
Contemplate the way the Prophet dealt with ‘Adi, how he
welcomed him, something which ‘Adi no doubt felt. Think how
all of his fine manners contributed to ‘Adi accepting Islam. If we
were to practise these skills with people, we would also successfully
capture their hearts. A thought...
With gentleness and interpersonal skills, we can achieve our