Society is defined as an enduring and co-operating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another. Our world is vast and made up of many societies, each having their own special pattern of relationships connected through language, customs or common interests. These societies tend to close themselves to others who do not share these common factors. This is true for all societies, except one.
Muslims come from many countries. Indeed, we cannot find any country on earth today that does not boast a Muslim community of some size. They speak different languages, have different customs, and generally, because of their specific environment, have different interests and goals. What makes this society of more than 1 billion people so special is that they all share a common belief in a superior religion; a religion based on brotherhood and peace. Therefore, a Muslim from Nigeria has no fear or apprehension when meeting a Muslim from Chicago or Venezuela.
The bond between all Muslims is the single phrase:
“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.”
So, we have one billion brothers and sisters across the world believing, without deviation, in one single thought. This belief makes the Muslim society, or ummah, one of the most unique and the largest in all history.
A society, as we defined it, is enduring. What makes it so? Propagation of its message and guidelines not only familiarises those who are estranged to its ideas, but also helps the society itself to better understand its own responsibilities.
Islam is not a closed society. It is open to all of God's creation and invites all to partake of its refreshing and cleansing waters. What are the responsibilities of this great society and what is the responsibility of a Muslim in this society? This booklet answers these questions and gives the reader, Muslim and non-Muslim, a clear understanding of Islamic duties and responsibilities in our world today. We pray to Almighty Allah that its message will guide those who are part of this society and those who may enter it, God willing.