Assalāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi Wabarakath,
As Muslims we sometimes have the thought that we're the chosen Ummah - the one which will ultimately gain success and then we sit back and fall into pits of laziness. However, if we look at the Qur'an, in numerous places it talks about how there were many nations before us which were destroyed and put in trials and tribulations because they left the path of Allah.
It says in Surat Al-An'am:
Have they not seen how many a generation before them We have destroyed whom We had established on the earth such as We have not established you? And We poured out on them rain from the sky in abundance, and made the rivers flow under them. Yet We destroyed them for their sins, and created after them other generations
If we look at the first five chapters of the Qur'an it mainly mentions the People of the Book [Jews & Christains], their straying from the path, how they disobeyed Allah and how ultimately Allah placed his curse upon them for doing Kufr against him. But as how everything in the Qur'an has balance - their good qualities are mentioned too. However, the general idea is that we reflect on their situations, the mistakes they did and try and not do the same things.
There is a verse in the Qur'an in Surat Al-Ma'idah which has a severe warning for the Muslims.
O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is AllSufficient for His creatures' needs, AllKnower.
Allah SWT is not incapable of removing us and bringing another nation instead of us. He is not incapable of doing anything. Why is it then that we do not reflect & reform?
There was nations who in their times were the most developed and well to do, yet they were ultimately destroyed for not believing in Allah azza wa jal. The World is temporary and the benefit found in this world is temporary. Regardless of how educated and how wealthy you are, it does not mean anything if you are not following the path which Allah SWT has dictated.
So then, what are we to do?
If we look at the verse above, it mentions the Sifaat that we as Muslims should have and characteristics Allah wants in us.
- An Ummah he loved & those who love him back
If you love someone unconditionally, no doubt you obey them, you long to do all that they want just to make them happy and obtain their love in return. This means, that we need to adopt and have unconditional love for Allah subhanna wa ta'ala, to obey him in his commands and to strive to earn his pleasure and love.
- Humble towards the believers
In this there is a huge lesson to learn for us. If we look at the Muslim Ummah today, even though love exists amonts us, tribal, cultural and madhab[istic] divisions, [which don't actually promote love], are more.
- Stern towards the disbelievers
Ah... And what are we doing? Allying and helping the Kuffar against our own Brothers & Sisters in Islam.
- Fighting in the way of Allah
Now, the people who go out for Jihad, we ourselves, call them 'terrorists'. Our Ummah does not appreciate or encourage fighting for the sake of Allah anymore, and those who do are very few, although the station of those of fight for the sake of Allah is one of the most highest station.
- Never afraid of the blame of the blamers
This is something I too have to work on. How many of us don't do things because we are afraid of mockery and ridicule? How many Sisters don't wear Hijab & brothers don't keep beards because of what people say? This is just a small issue, the concept of 'not fearing the blame of the blamers' is a very large problem in our society. We are so afraid of people of what people will say and do, that we forget to fear Allah.
May Allah Subhanna wa ta'ala make us of those who he loves and those who love him! Ameen.