Salam alayk warahmatullah,
This post is actually a continuation, or a rewritten part of a post of mine, 3 years ago. Refer:
Let's start with a verse shall we?
وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ (١٠٤)
104. Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting (doing da'wa) to all that is good (expanding Islam), enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.
Allah has set that there will be people doing da'wa or as the translation puts it; "inviting to all that is good , enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong." and this is one of the hidden obligations of every Muslim.
I believe that when the word "da'wa" is brought up, most of us would have a vivid image of a person giving a sermon, talk, preach or any kind of public speaking in that matter. This is completely utterly true, because that is what we see and believe it to be, but, there is a problem when this is held to the public eye and set in front of their eyes like filters to the eyes. This creates a perception to the public, to the ummah that da'wa can only be done by those who are pious and knowledgeable in religious matters. This is in turn, completely, utterly incorrect.
Da'wa is an obligation to every Muslim because every each of us needs to do it. Today's society, view and status quo has pushed Muslims to be an example of our faith. The double standard and discrimination the world has set on Muslims abolished any further excuses for any Muslim not to do da'wa, that is if we care for the ummah's image.
Before we start off, let's get one thing straight. Da'wa does not, is never, completely about verbal invitation to what is better. It consists of everything. From thoughts to actions that attracts others to do good. It does not need to be intentional. Even the simplest act of kindness that can win over a heart is da'wa. However, the principle of da'wa is;
"I'm not saying I am better than you, I'm just showing what is better."
There is no thy-is-holier-than-thou. There is just equal authority, freedom and choice. What we choose makes the difference.
So now, what if there is no one doing da'wa in a particular area?
Would those people in that particular area have Islam as an option of their search for religion and faith?
Course not, they don't even know what Islam is and we ourselves as people who hold on the words wasn't conveying anything. Telling them what Islam; a religion that submits oneself to the One and Only Ilah, Allah and believing that Muhammad SAW is His Messenger, just doesn't cut it. That is not da'wa, that is the most brief summary of what Islam is.
Da'wa is showing, telling, informing what Islam is, inside and out. From the hijab of the women to the philosophy of the Salaah we do everyday. From how is Islamic jurisdiction upheld to the simplest show of akhlaq that is encouraged in Islam.
And you know what? You don't even have to say a word to tell all those things.
This is called da'watu-bil-hal or da'wa with actions. A proverb says that actions speak louder than words and it's so, so, so true. Many opt for words to do da'wa but that is just a minor part of da'wa. Words can only explain the theory of what Islam can do. Actions proves them. Throughout the ages of the Islamic empire back then, this form of da'wa has been proven to be the best. With this spirit, empires were built, scholars were born, history was written. The Islamic empire flourished and developed rapidly in terms of material and spiritual. More and more converted to Islam when they saw the truth that clicked in with the human nature. Even the once plagued by the Dark Ages adopted the Muslim style of clothing.
But that is all long gone.
There is no worth in reminiscing the past, crying, regretting of what has happened. There is only a way forward or backward. It's a choice each individual of the ummah must make. However, there is no harm learning from mistakes of the past. What caused the downfall of the Turk Ottomans? The Abassiyah? The Umayyah?
It was because the ruler of the empire lost his image of a Muslim. Each of the empires; be it the Umayyah, the Abassiyah or the Turk Ottomans, exhibited their downfall only when the jurisdiction of Islam was thrown aside and corruption took hold. Their actions no longer portray that they are rulers of an Islamic nation. With that, the people who realised that took action and overthrown their current rulers and reset the clock. That happened to the Umayyah which was replaced by the Abasiyyah then by the Turk Ottomans. The last empire wasn't so lucky. The Caliphate was abolished. The damage was so severe that even the last Khalifah, Sultan Mehmet VI, who had Islam at heart and was as brave as a lion to say no to the Jews couldn't keep the empire together. His predecessors made a mistake too many, those who weren't really Muslims at heart to expand and uphold Islam, but for their own agendas.
Today, many wished to see the Caliphate back but how many have actually done anything for it? We should stop seeing the big things and focus on the little things that lead us to it. Focus on ourselves. Islamophobia is a psychological barrier that exists today that prevents the world from seeing the beauty of Islam. The West isn't at fault. They believe what they see. We, the Muslims, are at fault.
What we should do now is to exhibit every essence of Islam in our every being. That doesn't mean to be an extremely pious person who sits in the masjid all day long.
No. Not that at all
It means to show that Islam is complementary to the human nature and guide humans to become the pinnacle of creation. Islam is not oppressive but freedom with safety nets. Islam isn't terrorism but peace.
Be a doctor with faith, who prays not because he is afraid but because he knows he is just a tool to heal.
Be a lawyer with faith, who upholds justice not because he feels it's right but because that is the truth.
Be an architect with faith, who sees the world not through the eyes of construction, but through the eyes of potential.
The Qur'an is our guide. The Qur'an is who we are.
Individually we can do wonders, InshaAllah, but imagine the whole ummah doing the same thing of being a da'ie of the faith. When the world can recognise us as Muslims just by our very actions. When the world can bath in the light of truth regardless to whether they accept it or not. When every nook and cranny is spick and span of any bad manners and evil. This is not impossible, it has been done. It's just the time for history to repeat itself to build the Da'ie Nation.