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‘Made to Stick’

I’m currently reading a book by the Heath brothers called ‘Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard’. Seems to me a modernized and over-simplified version of Ibn al Qayyim (R)’s works minus the spirituality. They talk about the ‘elephant’ (emotional side) and the ‘rider’ (rational side) which we Muslims can understand as the lowly Nafs and the pure heart which controls  the lowly Nafs, respectively. I thought I’d look for an audiobook for their other book, ‘Made to Stick’.

It’s always useful to know how to get your ideas across effectively whether as a professional/entrepreneur, writer,family member or even as a person doing Dawah work (Khateeb,Da’ee,mentor,Imam,counsellor).

Authors are always promoting their work. A brief talk on effective ideas:

Made to Stick

Very basic but makes you think and I like what he said in the end about Aesop’s fables when somebody asked him about rumors.

I’m paraphrasing but I suppose this is what he said:

Aesop’s fables have been told over centuries which means there are certain universal principles in humanity which allow the right idea to more likely succeed over time.

Made me think about all the propaganda there’s out there about Islam.

Why is Islam a message that sticks regardless of whatever culture you belong to?

Why can anyone and everyone from any time-frame be a Muslim without finding it difficult?

Why will Islam prevail no matter how much the hate-mongering escalates?

The first reason is because Allah SWT wills it to be that way.

But if you’re talking to a non-Muslim especially an atheist, that won’t convince them obviously because they take God out of the equation. However, if you say the reason why Islam is so ‘sticky’ is because it’s universal, it might make more sense to them. Islam has principles which appeal to human’s needs and ensure their progress in all aspects of their lives. That’s why it has survived for so long and will continue to do so regardless of the social, educational and/or ethnic background of the people.

Some Muslims know a lot about Islam but they can’t seem to articulate it in a manner that defines the core message of Islam. I think it is partly due to them being under the pressure of trying to clear ‘the fog’. They waste time by being apologetic.

But why are they being apologetic for things they’re not responsible for?

Sure, every group’s actions are a testament of their beliefs but why paint the majority with the minority’s shortcomings?

The first thing most Muslims say when they’re doing Dawah is that Islam is not as you see on TV.

Interestingly, since I’m a Tawheed enthusiast, I first talk about our beliefs. As the conversation flows to an end,most non-Muslims exclaim that themselves.

That Islam is really not like what the non-Muslim world sees it as.

Muslims should not feel that it’s their responsibility to clear things which will never be cleared.

We must do our part by patiently letting them know the whole truth without hiding or bending anything. Let their brains have an ‘aha’ moment and let them make a discovery that Islam is actually very practical so that they get motivated to study about it when they leave.

In fact, I’ve had people with no belief in Allah SWT tell me by the end of the conversation that all the Islamic principles I’ve told them about really resonates with their own principles of life. That Islam really makes sense. SubhanAllah!

So please make those few moments of conversation productive and not waste on things which have no basis. Take charge and don’t be the one who’s taken charge of in a conversation.

When certain principles are hard for them to understand, I tell them very honestly that they won’t understand those difficult concepts unless they study it themselves with an open mind and become a Muslim. Can anyone ever understand university level stats without knowing addition or subtraction? How can someone have belief in the Unseen when they don’t even seem to recognize the ‘Seen’ as the Signs of Allah SWT?

You have to know basics first to progress to higher level of understanding about Islam.

Learning how to communicate in a manner that helps the ideas stick coherently is very important. The more I see people fail in it, the more I strive to learn from all sources possible to better my communication whether it’s written or verbal. It’s sad how people don’t give it the attention it needs. Sometimes the most scariest of problems can be solved by using the right chain of words with appropriate non-verbal cues.

Even if we change our focus and analyze at the level of our personal lives, we’ll notice its’ importance. We can easily have so many examples from various households and see how they’re crumbling due to the rise of communication problems. That’s why we must value every learning opportunity and not waste time on TV and other useless activities.

SubhanAllah, just one talk led to so many avenues for constructive thinking. It is essential to adopt a learner’s attitude.

You may have a Resume filled with tons of jobs in your employment history.

But if you’re not a life-long learner, that’s a major tragedy because you’ll not only destroy your progress but also of those around you.

A person may be sitting in halaqaat but may have arrogance in their heart when corrected.

A person may be known as the walking definition of  piety but may have a blaming-attitude.

Such people can never be true learners.

To be honest, I wouldn’t even think twice before distancing myself from such individuals.

Bad for the heart, bad for my Akhirah.

And Allah SWT knows best.

(free resources from their website: http://www.heathbrothers.com/resources/download/)

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