Many of us wonder today: What is our role as Muslims in this non-Islamic society? Asking this question is a good thing in itself because it indicates the beginning of the awareness in the mind of the Muslims, after a long absence.
This is an important and a dangerous question because it searches for an answer for a fundamental and a vital issue in our lives; if the correct answer is not found, then we will end up with the wrong one which may threaten our future and the future of Islam in America.
There is a good chance that the wrong answer will be found because of many factors:
The ignorance of many Muslims in the reality of Islam and its role in saving humanity.
The lack of awareness of the reality of this age, the status of the Muslim Ummah, the events that occur on the world level, the conspiracies of the enemies to put down and destroy Islam and end its role in the world or give it a marginal role by redefining Islam with a new fake definition.
The defeated mentality is dominant among many Muslims today. This came as a result of defeat and the absolute astonishment at what the non-Muslims have as civilization, technologies, and even culture.
The vain desires, the love of this worldly life and the hatred of death, by undervaluing the hereafter, influenced the minds and personality of many Muslims.
The many misguiding and forced solutions presented to Muslims by their enemies who work very hard in a deceiving manner to tell us what is our role today in this society. These enemies forced the wrong and false answers onto us deceivingly in many ways. They also removed the correct original answer and attacked it by describing it and the people who believe and carry this answer with the worst descriptions. This is so that the Muslim will get away from them and hate the correct answer instead of adopting it and working to establish it. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Anfal, (Verse 30), what can be translated as, "They were plotting and Allah too was planning, and Allah is the Best of the planners." What makes things more complicated and the vision more erroneous is that some loyal sincere Muslims fell into the trap that the enemies of Islam have set up and skillfully designed. These sincere Muslims with their followers and those whom they influence took the wrong way that was defined for them. These Muslims became the fuel and the workers in a conspiracy that they did not plan and will not benefit from either in the short term or the long term. Furthermore, if someone pointed out their mistakes, that they are adopting, they would find justification for the errors in the religious texts that justify their position. This is done without deep investigation and verification until we become like the prophet (S.A.W.) said in a trial that makes the intellectuals confused.What is our role in this age and in this society as Muslims?
To answer this question, first of all, we do not need to devise a new role. This is because our role had already been defined to us by Allah (S.W.T.) a long time ago. Many great messengers played that role, and achieved many reforms and saved the humanity throughout the course of history.
All we need today is to rediscover and explore this role and know its characteristics by removing the ruins and debris away from it until we can clear its beautiful picture, and then to adopt it and behave according to it. If we do that, then we will save ourselves and the entire humanity with the help of Allah (S.W.T.) like the messengers did.
All of us know and believe that Allah (S.W.T.) the One who created the creations did not leave people without guidance; on the contrary, he devised to all humanity a complete and comprehensive system of life. Which was carried by the messengers from one generation to the next. This role of the messengers had never changed or altered with the differences of age or place that they were sent in from Noah until the prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.); the seal of all prophets and messengers.
Today, Muslims are in fact the followers and true inheritors of those messengers and are the extension of truthfulness. Allah (S.W.T.) has sealed the messages and the messengers with the prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) and made their role to be played by the messengers' heirs who are the Muslims till the Day of Judgment.
This role has not changed with time nor has it changed with place; its phases, goals and ends have remained unchanged. What have changed are its means and tools that may differ according to time and place.
Now, I will present the role of the messengers and their tasks so that we know our role in this life.
Conveying the message in the clearest way:
The messengers are the ambassadors of Allah (S.W.T.) to his servants and the carriers of his revelations. Their first task is to deliver and convey this trust which they carried to the servants of Allah. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Ma’idah, (Verse 67), what can be translated as, "O’ Messenger (Mohammed)! Proclaim (the message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message."
Conveying the message needs courage and not to fear the people. This is needed because the person will deliver to them what is completely different and conflicts with their Aqeedah, their status, and desires that they have lived with for a long time. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Ahzab, (Verse 39), what can be translated as, "Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none except Allah…"
Conveying the message should be done by reciting the verses that Allah (S.W.T.) has revealed no more or less. Allah (S.W.T.) says, commanding the Prophet Mohammed, in Surat Al-Ankabut, (Verse 45), what can be translated as, "Recite (O Mohammed) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an)…" Allah also says in another verse, (151), Surat Al-Baqarah, what can be translated as, "Similarly We have sent among you a Messenger (Mohammed) of your own, reciting to you Our Verses the (Qur’an)…" So, if the revelation is not a divine text that is to be recited meaning the Prophet’s tradition (Sunnah), then conveying the message is by clarifying the commands and the prohibitions and the meanings and the knowledge that Allah (S.W.T.) had revealed no more no less.
From conveying the message the messenger should clarify and explain clearly the meaning and goals of the revelation that Allah had sent down to his servants. This is because he, the messenger, knows better than anyone else about what Allah (S.W.T.) means from his revelation.
In this context, Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat An-Nahil, (Verse 44), what can be translated as, "… And We have also sent down unto you (O’ Mohammed) the reminder and the advice (the Qur’an) that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them…" The prophet (S.A.W.) may clarify the meaning of the revelation by his saying, doing, or consent. From here came the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) to clarify many Qur'anic verses.
If it happens that the people turned away from the messengers' call, the messengers can not do anything except to convey the message. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-‘Imran, (Verse 20), what can be translated as, "…But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message…" Allah also says to the people in surat Al-ma’idah, (Verse 92), what can be translated as "...Then if you (people) turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger’s duty to convey (the message) in the clearest way.", and in another verse, He (S.W.T.) also says to his Prophet Mohammed in Surat As-shura, (Verse 48), what can be translated as, "But if they turn away (O Mohammed)…We have not sent you as a hafiz (protector) over them. Your duty is to convey the message…"
So the first task and role of the great messengers is conveying the message in the clearest way to the people. And this is our first task in our role today and it should not be changed or altered.