(80) The magician
“It is free to talk, so please, say some sweet words!” This is how the poor lady began chastising her husband. Yes, he never fell short in terms of nourishing and clothing her, but he would never try to enchant her with sweet talk. All sensible people agree that the most important quality a salesman should have is to be charming in his speech, such that he repeatedly says, “Please! Welcome! Leave your worries to us!’ The salesman would continue to increase the price as he adds his own charm.
If he is able to express himself well, describe his product in a positive way and convince the customers to buy it, there is no doubt he would be successful.
All experienced people concur that from the most important qualities in a receptionist is that he should be well-spoken and eloquent. Each time he says, “Yes, sure, OK, “We are at your sevice.” It should be pleasing to the ears.
A woman may become captivated by the love of her husband, even if he may be stingy and not so handsome, by being enchanted by his speech.
I remember that an adolescent man loved to be adventurous with girls. He had an amazing ability to enchant them with his singing.
How many girls were captivated by his love and clung to him like the shoes on his feet! What is more amazing is that he neither had a beautiful car to lure them with, nor did he have money to shower them with gifts. He wasn’t even gifted with a charming and beautiful face. Rather, I ask Allah that none is ever tested by looking at his face! But his jaws possessed a tongue with which he would mesmerise anyone and anything he spoke to. With his tongue he would captivate girls and put them under a spell.
Whoever looks at the life of the Messenger of Allah Peace be upon himand history would discover astounding incidents. One day there came to the Messenger of Allah Peace be upon himthree men who were considered leaders among their people: Qays bin ‘Asim, al-Zabarqan bin Badr and ‘Amr bin al-Ahtam. They were all from the tribe of Tamim. They began to praise each other, so al-Zabarqan said, “O Messenger of Allah, I am the leader of Tamim. I am the one who is obeyed and responded to amongst them. I forbid them from oppression and guarantee their rights.” He then pointed to the other leader, ‘Amr bin al-Ahtam and said, “He knows what I am talking about.”
‘Amr then praised him saying, “By Allah, O Messenger of Allah!
He is fierce in opposition, defends his flank and is obeyed by his people.” ‘Amr then fell silent and did not praise him more.
Al-Zarbaqan was expecting to hear more in praise, but ‘Amr was rather brief. Al-Zarbaqan became angry since he had wished that he would have been praised slightly more. He thought that he was envious over his leadership, so he said, “By Allah, O Messenger of Allah, he knows what he said, and nothing prevented him from saying more except that he envies me for my leadership!”
Thereupon, ‘Amr became angry and said, “Would I envy you for your leadership? By Allah you are an ignoble uncle who has just acquired some wealth from a stupid father and are the most wasteful in your family! By Allah, O Messenger of Allah, I was truthful in what I said initially, and I have not lied in what I have said to you now. When I was happy, I said the best I could about him, and when I became angry, I said the worst I could. By Allah, I was correct both times!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himwas so surprised at the speed at which he argued so convincingly and so skilfully that he said, “Some rhetoric is magic! Some rhetoric is magic!” (al-Hakim with a disputed chain, although the origin of the hadeeth is in al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Thus, be skilful with your tongue. If someone asks you for a pen, say, “Sure, here you are...” If someone says, “I have a request...”, say, “At your service!” If he says, “I would like you to do a favour for me”, you should say, “By all means!”
Use the various modes of speech that would move people’s emotions. Speak to your mother in a soft tone and by using beautiful words, and the same goes for your father, wife, children and colleagues. Speaking in this manner would not cost you anything, but would only enchant those you speak to and get rid of any ill feelings they may have for you.
Just look at the Ansar –may Allah be pleased with them all– after the battle of Hunayn.
The Ansar, who fought alongside the Prophet Peace be upon himat Badr, who were killed at Badr, who were sur-rounded at Khandaq and continued to stay with him, fighting and being killed until they eventually conquered Makkah, after which they headed for the battle of Hunayn.
It is reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim that the early part of the battle was intense. People left and dispersed, leaving the Prophet Peace be upon himexposed. The army of Ta’if was very strong. The Muslims were seemingly facing a defeat. The Prophet Peace be upon himturned to his companions only to see them running away from him. He then called out to the Ansar, “O Ansar!” They replied, “At your service, O Messenger of Allah!” and they returned to him and formed a line to protect him against the enemies’ swords. They continued to sacrifice themselves for Allah’s Messenger until the enemy fled and the Muslims were victorious. When the battle was over and the booty was amassed in front of the Prophet Peace be upon him, the Ansar began to look at it. Each of them was thinking about his hungry children and poor family, wishing that he may take a portion of the booty to comfort them with.
However, they noticed that the Prophet Peace be upon himcalled al-Aqra’ bin Habis, who was a new Muslim that only just had embraced Islam in Makkah, and gave him a hundred camels. He then called Abu Sufyan and gave him a hundred camels, and continued to divide up the booty amongst the people of Makkah who had not sacrificed nearly as much as the Ansar had, nor fought like them.
When the Ansar saw this, some of them said to each other, “May Allah forgive His Messenger. He is giving the booty to Quraysh and neglecting us, while our swords are still dripping with their blood!”
When the leader of the Ansar, Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah saw this, he visited the Messenger of Allah Peace be upon himand said, “O Messenger of Allah, your companions from the Ansar seem to have ill feelings towards you.”
The Prophet Peace be upon himwas surprised and said, “Why is that”
Sa’d replied, “Due to the way you distributed the booty. You gave it to your people quite generously but didn’t give the Ansar anything.”
The Prophet Peace be upon himasked, “How do you feel about this, O Sa’d?”
He replied, “O Messenger of Allah, who am I except a person from my people?”
The Prophet Peace be upon himrealised that the situation needed a solution by fixing people’s hearts rather than their pockets. He said, “Gather your people together.”
When they gathered, the Prophet Peace be upon himcame to them. He began with Allaah’s praise, then said, “O Ansar, what is this news that has reached me?”
They said, “As for our leaders, then they have not said anything, but some of the younger ones amongst us have said that may Allah forgive the Messenger of Allah who has given the booty to Quraysh and neglected us, while our swords are still drippling with their blood!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himreplied, “O Ansar, were you not misguided and Allah guided you through me?”
They said, “Indeed, all thanks and praise belong to Allah and His Messenger.”
He said, “Were you not poor and Allah made you self-sufficient?
Were you not enemies of one another and Allah placed love between your hearts?”
They said, “Indeed, all thanks and praise belong to Allah and His Messenger.”
The Prophet Peace be upon himthen fell silent as did the people. They both waited in silence until the Prophet Peace be upon himsaid, “Will you not respond to me, O Ansaar?”
They said, “What can we say in response, O Messenger of Allah, for all thanks and praise belong to Allah and His Messenger.”
The Prophet Peace be upon himsaid, “But by Allah, you might have answered and answered truthfully, for I myself would have testified to its truth myself you might have said, You came to us belied and rejected and we accepted you. You came to us as helpless and we helped you. You came to us a fugitive, and we took you in. You came to us poor and we comforted you.”
The Prophet Peace be upon himthen began to moving their hearts and emotions, saying, “O Ansar, do you feel concern for the things of this world, whereas I have sought to incline these people unto the faith in which you are already established?
Are you not satisfied, O Ansar, that the people will leave with ewes and camels while you will leave with the Messenger of Allah to your dwellings. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, had there been no migration, I would have been one of the Ansaar. If people were to go through a valley and passage while the Ansaar were to go through another valley and passage, I would go through the valley and passage of the Ansaar. O Allah! Have mercy on the Ansaar, their children and their children’s children.”
The people, upon hearing this, began to cry until their beards were soaked and said, “Yes! We are satisfied, O Prophet of Allâh with our lot and share.” Then the Prophet Peace be upon himleft and the people dispersed.
How amazing was our Prophet Peace be upon him!
In fact, by using beautiful words, you can even intoxicate people.
It is said that once upon a time in Egypt there was a rich man known as Pasha who owned acres of farmland. He was also a very arrogant man who would often humiliate humble farmers.
However, a time came when his farms were afflicted by something and so rendered useless. He thus became poor after having being rich and his children began to go hungry as he no longer had any source of income and had no skills other than farming.
He, therefore went out to look for any work he could find.
He went to a farm which belonged to a weak person that he had once humiliated. He visited him and said in all humility, “Do you have any work I can do? Perhaps collect fruits, clean seeds, or prune trees?”
The farmer shouted, “You want to work for me, you arrogant man? Al-Hamdulillah, Allah responded to our prayers against you and humiliated you!” He then threw him off his land.
He went off, dragging his feet to another farm to see another farmer with whom he also had painful memories. This farmer also threw him out like the first one.
Pasha continued, determined not to go back home to his children empty handed. He went to the third farmer to try his luck. When the farmer saw him, he became dazzled since he too had experienced humiliation at his hands.
The Pasha said, “I am looking for work since my children are hungry.”
The farmer decided to humiliate him and to take revenge in a clever way. He said to him, “Welcome, dear Pasha! You have brightened up my farm! Who could be luckier than me today?
The great Pasha enters my farm! The great Pasha! The honourable Pasha! “He began to intoxicate him with such expressions until Pasha was hypnotised.
The farmer then said, “Welcome! I have some work for you, although I do not know if it would be appropriate for you.”
Pasha said, “What is it?”
He said, “Today I need to cultivate the land. I have a plough which is pulled by two bulls, one white and the other black. The black bull is ill today and therefore unable to work, while the white bull cannot pull the plough alone. I would like you to do the job for the black bull today, since you are very strong, dear Pasha! You are a leader! You are the one! You are always at the forefront!”
Pasha walked towards the plough with arrogance and pride and stood next to the white bull. The farmer came to him and began with the white bull by tying it with ropes to the plough.
He then turned to Pasha and said, “You are the best Pasha in the world! You are strong! You are a hero!” He then tied Pasha up with a rope around his shoulders and climbed on top of the plough with a whip and began to shout, “Go!” He whipped the bull making it and Pasha move forward.
The farmer kept repeating, “Well done, dear Pasha! Excellent!” as he continued to whip the bull. Pasha had never done this before, but he continued to pull the plough with all his might from the morning until sunset, as if his mind was completely switched off.
When he finished, the farmer untied the rope around him and said, “By Allah! Your work was excellent today, dear Pasha!
Today was the best day of my life!” He then gave him a few pounds and Pasha went home. He met his children whilst his shoulders had become worn out, blood was pouring out of his feet and his clothes were soaked with his sweat, but he was still intoxicated by the words.
His children asked him, “So, did you find any work?”
He said quite proudly, “Of course I did! I am Pasha, how can I not find work?”
They said, “So, what did you do then?”
He said, “What did I do? I...” It then dawned upon him what really had happened that day. He said, “…I worked as a bull today!”

Pick the best words to speak just as you would pick the best fruits to eat...