In my view, this is the most important rule in dealing with others. The first encounter shall not disappear from a person's memory but remains in his memory for some time as long as there are nice things. So, you want to gain the attention of others and seize their hearts, be sure that the first encounter is very important. You have to make it on the top of your priorities in every encounter, occasion, or a dialogue session.
So, ponder over this unique touch which the memory of Ka`b ibn Malik recorded: When he and Al Bara' ibn Ma`rur came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Al `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) while he was sitting by his side: O Abu of Al Fadl, do you know those two men? He said: Yes. This is Al Bara' ibn Ma`rur, the master of his people and this is K`ab ibn Malik. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "the poet"? Ka`b (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I cannot forget the Prophet's saying: "the poet"?
Look at the great effect of that word which affected him and was kept in his memory. He did not forget this situation but remained deep in his memory.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the example to follow where he was an expert in dealing with souls where he gave everyone his due rights and dealt with each one according to his status. The delegation of `Abdu-Qays came to him and he said to them: "Who are the people (i.e., you)? (Or) who are the delegates? They replied: We are from the tribe of Rabi`ah. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to them: Welcome, O people (or said: "O delegation (of `Abdul-Qays).") Neither will you have disgrace nor will you regret." The Prophet (peace be upon him) was keen from the first moment to meet them with these nice words and effective phrases which souls love and hearings yearn to.
* American studies in Harvard university confirmed that the first impression is depicted in the first 30 seconds, and love remains according to the heat of the encounter.
Of the important matters which we should pay attention to in the first encounter are:
1- Show your love to the other party and declare that to him in the first encounter.
2- Shake hands with him with a smile.
3- Welcome him warmly because it was scientifically proven that a current comes out from the shaking hand to the shaken hand that goes directly to the heart causing relief or detest. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Souls are like recruited soldiers, they get mixed up with those similar with them in qualities and oppose and drift away from those who do not share their qualities."
4- During conversation, call him with his most beloved names.
5- Repeat his name in your dialogue and give him a title if he has such as an engineer, doctor, or a rank.
6- Remember the name of your companion and repeat it within yourself so as not to ask him about his name from time to time.
7- Use body language such as: Shaking hands and smile because the Prophet (peace be upon him) hold the shoulders of `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) when he spoke to him.
8- Focus on the subject about which the other party speaks, do not despise him or censure his speech even if you heard it before. `Ata' ibn Abu Rabah (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "People use to speak to me about something which I heard before, but I keen listening to them as if I never heard their speech before although I have heard it before they are born."
This is an example to the conditions of the Predecessors; none of them used to despise someone speaks or interrupts someone because he knows the issue in which he speaks, but they left him continue as if he did not hear it, but he would exhort him to continue as if he hears it for the first time.
* I remember that I visited a sick friend of mine and when I came to him, I found unbearded doctor with him, and when he saw me, his face changed as if I hit or insulted him without even shaking his hand. Before I shake hands with him, I knew that he had a bad idea on bearded men or he thought that I shall bother him because he is unbearded. The point is, I bore in my mind this rule: "Pay attention to the first encounter," so I welcomed him warmly and smiled at his face. My friend presented him to me: Doctor so and so, the counselor, and the member of such and such university, so I welcomed him and said: I am honored to know you and began to ask him as a student asks his teacher. I kept on repeating the word "Doctor" and the phrases of appreciation to him. His mother was calling him to leave but he did not wish to leave, and he sat over two hours with me. At the end of the meeting, he brought out a card on which his name, title, and mobile No. were written and said to me: If you need anything, just call me. I thanked him and showed my happiness to sit with him. When he got out, my sick friend said to me: What have you done to him? You have charmed him.
* One of our neighbors used to hurry to Salah when he sees me so as not to walk with me. One day I was keen to apply these rules which I wrote about the art of dealing with others and to see what will happen. When he was about to leave, I hurried to him, welcomed him warmly, shook his hand, and smiled at him. He smiled back to me, then I called him with his dearest names which was "`Abdul-`Aziz" then spoke to him in a friendly way about his job in electricity Company, and the conversation was interesting until we reached the door of the masjid. We prayed together and he got out before me, but he waited for me at the door and we continued our conversation until he reached home; and this intimacy continued. Whenever he got out of his home to Salah, he looked right and left to see me, and when he sees me, he waits for me so as to walk to the masjid together.
 Musnad Ahmad 15371, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah of Ibn Hisham 2/288, and Ar-Rawd Al Anif 2/261.
 Sahih Al Bukhari 53, 87, and Sahih Muslim 17.
 Sahih Muslim 2638.
 Sahih Al Bukhari 6416.
 Siyar A`lam An-Nubala' of Adh-Dhahaby 5/86.
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