Every Muslim is an ambassador for Islam
By shadowcaster (20th January 2012)
Fellow Muslim brother or sister - You might think yourself a regular person, an individual, a citizen of your country who just happens to be following the Muslim faith but you may not realize that you bear a large responsibility. You�re more than just a Muslim or a regular citizen, you're an ambassador, a representative for the Muslim religion and all the Muslims of the world. You may not have chosen this position but the raiment of responsibility is placed on your back whether you are religious or not and the only sensible thing you can do is make good of it.
You know that when a Muslim does a bad thing it affects not only themselves but also those around them. As a Muslim person you know this because people, sometimes fellow Muslims, have hurt you as well and you have seen how it affects the community. We can understand that sometimes people can be bad and it's not their faith (or even race or skin colour) that has made them hurt us. We know people can be good or bad. We know that if they had acted upon the teachings of Islam they would not have harmed us as Prophet Muhammed (SAW) taught:
"The true Muslim is he who does not hurt other Muslims either with his hands or his tongue."
We are taught to be forgiving. But when a Muslim hurts a non-Muslim who has had little exposure to Islam and the Muslims they don't see a single bad person has hurt them; No, they see that a Muslim, a follower of the religion of Islam has harmed them and they take this singular bad experience in collusion with the negative assumptions and propaganda against Islam and the Muslims to be evidence that all or most Muslims are bad people and that Islam instigates such behaviour. Muslims should know that the Prophet Muhammed said:
"Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim [including a] minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I will complain against that person on the Day of Judgment"
When you, as a Muslim person, do a bad thing you are not harming yourself and your victim, but you are harming the whole of the Muslim Ummah and especially your fellow brothers and sisters wherever you are. But when you do a good thing, not only do you benefit yourself and others but your righteous deeds improve the image of Islam and the view of the Muslims is raised. A goodly action may swing false and negative perceptions to a more positive attitude, from distrust to trust, from unfriendliness to friendship and from hate to acceptance. It benefits society as a whole when a Muslim does good things. As Muslims, ambassadors of the faith of Islam, we must take the responsibility of being good citizens and doing good deeds.
But the responsibility of being an ambassador is more than just to do good. They must also educate people. He or she must know what they are talking about. They must know their religion and they must also know their guest and their values because not knowing either or both of these can be disastrous to forming a good
relationship. If a person asks you a question about Islam then you are expected to be able to answer it correctly. Saying they don't know the teachings of their own religion, or responding with a personal opinion, or speaking without knowledge, or taking a stand against what your religion teaches is a terrible fault. A Muslim should be expected to know their faith and they also need to be able to make a valid point and stand their ground because not doing so is a personal as well as a public failure in front of others. What comes out of your mouth may misinform or harm more than the person you talked to so you have a responsibility to educate yourself. The Prophet Muhammed taught:
"The acquisition of knowledge is a duty incumbent on every Muslim, male and female"
Even more than this, a Muslim is responsible for the actions of his fellow brother. If a person sees his Muslim brother or sister about to wrong another person then they must act to stop them and guide them towards doing the right thing. This is a proactive responsibility of the Muslim ambassador and is known as "Al-Amr bil Ma'roof wal Nahi 'an al-Munkar" - Enjoining good and forbidding evil. Also, if a Muslim sees that his brother needs help his must act to help him. Muslims need to protect, guide and help themselves, their brothers, their community and other people to make the world a better place. The Prophet Muhammed said:
"Assist your brother whether he be an oppressor or an oppressed?", "But how shall we do it when he is an oppressor?" enquired a man; Muhammad replied: "Assisting an oppressor consist in forbidding and withholding him from oppression"
The job of an ambassador is to build bridges between communities and thus must have a good relationship with his own people and with others. An ambassador spreads the ideals of friendship, community, correct understanding, righteousness and promotes integration. An ambassador follows the law and enforces it making sure that no person comes to harm. And an ambassador helps people before they get into trouble and he helps those he sees with a problem. This is the job of a good ambassador and of a good Muslim.