First and foremost – the most important number in Islam is ONE. One God, One last prophet and One lasting message (i.e Quran).
We don’t believe in numbers but some numbers do appear more than others for many different religions.
There are three main Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
– Noah’s three sons:Shem, Ham and Japheth (Sons of Noah)
– Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times.
– The Wise Men who visited Jesus after His birth left Him three gifts.
– In Muslim devotional rites, certain formulas are repeated three times, and others thirty-three times
– A devout Muslim tries to make a pilgrimage to all three holy cities in Islam: Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem
What’s so magical about the number three?
You will see number three everywhere from stores to fairy tails, from public speaking to writing. Why is this? The simple answer is, it makes the receiving and understanding of information easier.
Way before micro blogs and micro thoughts such as tweets came into effect, delivering your message even when it was long, was broken down by table of contents, by headings and by highlighting important bits.
It allows us to quickly recognize patterns, and the smaller the pattern the quicker and easier it can be processed. Guess what, number three is the smallest number in the world to form a pattern.
Main thing for any message, visual, spoken or written – is that it is remembered once transmitted. When someone reads what you wrote, he/she should easily be able to remember it.
Rule number one is: Storytelling
Long before the invention of internet and even before the TV, radio and newspaper, information was broadcasted to people. It moved from one person to the next and this movement was through something people could remember. What happened in Islam at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) passed to me through my mother. Guess what? She doesn’t use the social networks.
Want your information to be remembered, the first rule is to do what your mother did. My mother told me beautiful stories.
Amazing thing is; the stories she told me when I was a kid, are not only remembered today but when someone else tells the same story, memory of how she delivered comes back to me very strongly.
Want your audience to read and remembered your message? Wrap it in storytelling and watch it spread.
Have you ever wondered:
There are all kinds of three’s: the Three Blind Mice, the Three Musketeers, but what do they all have in common?
Why the basis of screenwriting in Hollywood is based on a three-act structure?
Why do I only have three bullet points here?
The Rule of Three works in stories due to the presence of the concise, memorable patterns that I mentioned above.
But even if that wasn’t the case, the number three has been used so widely throughout some of the most memorable works from our childhoods, it’s likely that we are preconditioned to respond favorably to elements grouped in threes.
Rule number 2: The Story must have something Sticky
You see the Rule of Three being used everywhere, from social networks (Like, Comment, Share) to opening a store (“Location, location, location”). The stories my mother told me always had something that was sticky. Even the great post on Musliminc.com about the Richest Sahaba Abdur Rahman Ibn Awf, when you read it, you will profoundly find stickiness everywhere.
During the summer in 622 CE, about seventy Muslims set off with their families to Madinah, where they were lodged in the houses of the Ansar, the Muslims of Madinah, until they could set up their own homes.
Abdur-Rahman (ra) was paired up with Sa’ad Ibn Ar-Rabi’ah (ra) who was one of the wealthiest men of Madinah. On that occasion, Sa’ad (ra), out of generosity and kindness to his new brother, told Abdur-Rahman (ra),
“My brother, among the people of Madinah I have the most wealth. I have two orchards and I have two wives. See which of the two orchards you like and I shall vacate it for you, and which of my two wives is pleasing to you and I shall divorce her for you.”
Abdur-Rahman (ra) responded to Sa’ad Ibn Ar-Rabi’ah (ra) showing great appreciation,
“May Allah bless you in your family and wealth. But show me where the market-place is.”
I read that entire story but “Show me where the market is” was the stickiest line for me.
So to summarize it:
If you want something stuck in someone’s head, put it in a sequence of three and make sure to make it sticky and Create a buzz word or sentence.
“I’ll be back” is a catchphrase associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which he first used in his role as the title character from the 1984 science fiction film The Terminator. On July 21, 2005, it was chosen as #37 on the American Film Institute list. Schwarzenegger uses the same line, or some variant of it, in many of his later films.
The power of Emotions
The stories I really enjoyed and remembered were the ones, which increased my blood pressure by releasing a high dose of emotions. It applies to all walks of life.
It is a simple process: structure of set-up, anticipation, and ending.
It even applies in sports, think about the time your favorite team was playing, how did you feel before the event, if it was a very close game (what did you feel during it) and when the game ended (how did you feel with the results)? Your emotion most likely took a roller-coaster ride without you leaving your sofa.
All emotions, humor, a touching story, act of kindness, make you go ‘aww’. That AWW, makes people like, comment and share content. On the flip side a natural or man-made disaster or negative breaking news, triggers negative emotions in high dosage, which also make people spread and share like wildfire.
Most information you pass to others; gets passed through stories, the sticky points are the ones that people remember and emotions speed up the passing of the information from one person to the next.
You want your message to get the full value, follow three simple steps above and results will amaze you.