Six ways to win friends from the Sunnah
Many around the world have read the best-seller “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carneige, but how many are actually aware of the striking similarities one could draw between his book and the practices, or Sunnah, of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
As a Muslim, this comes as no surprise, considering the fact that we know very well that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had mastered the art of interacting and dealing with people, far beyond the capacity of any other human.
As Allah explicitly mentions in the Quran:
“And you (Oh Muhammad) are of excellent moral character”.
We’ve compiled a list of a short selection of Dale’s recommendations along with the practices of our Messenger that correspond accordingly.
Mention their name.
The Prophet always placed great value on the names of those who surrounded him.
On many occasions, he would even change the names of those with disreputable names to names of nobility.
The Prophet was always seen smiling in the face of his companions.
Ibn Jaz is narrated to have said:
“I have not seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.”
“Allah’s Messenger ﷺ never refused me permission to see him since I embraced Islam and never looked at me but with a smile.”
Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Every good is charity. Indeed, among the good is to meet your brother with a smiling face and to pour what is left in your bucket into the vessel of your brother.”
Have a genuine interest in them.
The Prophet also showed interest in all those around him, including young children.
On one occasion he asked a young boy about his sparrow, nicknamed Nughayr, after it had passed away.
Anas ibn Malik said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to mix with us to the extent of asking a younger brother of mine, ‘Abu ‘Umayr! What has happened to the little sparrow?'”
Another narration tells of an instance whereby the Prophet was led around the city of Madinah by a young girl. Although he was incredibly busy at the time, he stayed with the girl until she had completed her tour.
Anas ibn Malik reported: Any of the young servant girls among the people of Medina would take the hand of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and lead him wherever she wished.
Abu Hurayrah also reported that a black man or a black woman used to take care of the mosque, then he or she died. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked after him (or her) and was told that he had died.
He said: “Why did you not inform me? Show me his grave (or her grave).” Then he went to the grave and offered the funeral prayer over it.”
Appeal to their wants.
Although the Prophet would never compromise his duty to uphold the religion of Allah, he would at times encourage people to do good deeds by informing them of the great rewards they would receive in return, whether they were rewards of this life or the next.
For example, the Prophet encouraged one of his companions to renounce worldly desires by informing him that he would gain the love of God and people.
Avoid unnecessary criticism.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was known for never getting angry over worldly matters and had always advised others towards patience.
Anas Bin Malik who lived in service to the Prophet for over 10 years mentions that the Prophet had never said a word of disapproval to him.
“I served the Prophet ﷺ at Medina for ten years. I was a boy. Every work that I did was not according to the desire of my master, but he never said to me: Fie, nor did he say to me: Why did you do this? or Why did you not do this?”
The Prophet’s wife Aisha also narrated that the Prophet would never express displeasure over food that was brought to him.
The Prophet ﷺ never criticized any food (he was invited to) but he used to eat if he liked the food, and leave it if he disliked it.
This is not to mention that the Prophet lived a life of extreme hardship and poverty, enduring many months at a time without basic food.
Always acknowledge them
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would always express his thanks and gratitude to the good done to him and others.
He would even continue to acknowledge them for years on end. For instance, he would send gifts to the family of his late wife Khadija as a sign of gratitude.
In one narration, the Prophet ﷺ said:
“He who does not thank the people has not thanked Allah”.
He ﷺ also emphasised this in another narration:
“Whoever receives a favour should respond to it right away if he can find him. If he cannot, he should praise him. Actually, by praising him, he thanks him. Whoever does not respond to a favour is ungrateful.” 
 Narrated by Ibn Umar, “the Prophet ﷺ changed the name of ‘Asiyah, he said: “You are Jamilah.” (Tirmidhi) Sahih
 Tirmidhi (3641, Hassan)
 Sahih Muslim (2475)
 Tirmidhi (1970)
 Bukhari Adab Al Mufrad (Sahih) 269
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 “Renounce the world and Allah will love you, and renounce what the people possess and the people will love you.” Ibn Majah (Hassan).
 Sunan Abi Dawud (Sahih).
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (5409).
 Narrated Aisha “The family of Muhammad did not eat to their satisfaction white bread with meat soup for three successive days till he met Allah.” (Bukhari)
 Tirmidhi (1954 Sahih)
 Abu Dawud (1672 Sahih)