Allah (swt) emphasised thinking well of the believers when He (swt) said: “Why then, did not the believers, men and women, then you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people.” [TMQ an-Noor: 12]
Furthermore Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “If a man says the people have perished then he has destroyed them.”
We must realise the importance of realising the goodness amongst the Muslims, for if we didn't see it would lead us to dismissing the Ummah resulting in the failure of the Da'wa and the negligence in the obligation. It would lead to us becoming disheartened souls with a minuscule vision. We would give up in achieving the victory even though the victory may be closer than we possibly imagined. The life of the Da'wa would be removed from us and we would become empty vessels revolving around ourselves.
Therefore it is incumbent upon us to realise the reality of the goodness within the Ummah and the reality of people in general. As we should know, people act on the basis of their concepts, therefore if their concepts are corrupt their actions would proceed in an incorrect manner, if their concepts were righteous then their actions follow in a manner leading to the gardens of bliss under which rivers flow as promised in the Qur'an.
If we apply this upon the people around us and to the millions in the Ummah we would see their incorrect actions resulting from the declined concepts. However we should realise that these millions possess the Islamic Aqeeda and the mind which Allah (swt) has blessed them with, this should be enough for us to realise their potential and not become detached from them. For if the Islamic Aqeeda existed in ones heart then this would be a starting point for us regardless of his behaviour. Even if this Aqeeda was held in an emotional manner we would make it rational. If it was rational yet the individual shaped his life from other than Islam then we would re-ignite his thought upon the implications of the rational Islamic doctrine and link this to all aspects of his life. If he is shallow in thinking, we would broaden his horizons thus turning him into a thinker rather than one who his led.
This potential definitely exists in the Ummah and we must look for the goodness in them rather than only focusing upon the negative points. So if one did not work for the resumption of Islam yet prayed the Salah and smiled to his brothers in order to achieve reward. We should see this and see that it is linked to Islam, we should attempt to understand the basis upon which he builds the rest of his life and rectify it.
If one was arrogant yet he dealt with his children in a kind way, we should realise his potential for the good actions and attempt to show him the errors of arrogance and pride, the dangers they would lead to and their non-conformance with Islam.
This mentality would make us productive thinkers, so if we were to face a society in which their was much lewdness and degradation in values, we would not get defeated. Rather we would look at the thoughts and sentiments that exist in that society and see the multitude of problems as something which would make it easier for the people to realise the error of the system and instil the desire to change it. The countries of the Indian sub-continent which many of us have visited may come to mind. We can see their potential for Islam, even the fact that the governments have to use the name of Islam should be a sign demonstrating the deep rootedness of the Aqeeda within the people. Even the armies in those lands possess a feeling for Islam.
Indeed even the ones who do not possess the Islamic Aqeeda have the potential for change. For if this wasn't the case then Islam would not have spread and it would have remained in the mind of the Prophet (saw). The fact that the Islamic message was embraced by millions demonstrates the reality of change. The Prophet (saw) did du'a to Allah (swt) asking him for one of the two Umar's to come to Islam, these two were Abu Jahl (whose real name was Umar) and Umar bin al Khattab. As we all are well aware of Umar bin al Khattab embraced Islam and was transformed from the one who used to bury his infant daughters alive to the one who became one with the most exalted behaviour, the one who became the Amir and Shield of the believers, the one who was praised by the Prophet and of whom it was said: "When Umar walks down one side of the street, the Shaytan walks down the other side"
Even though Abu Jahl never embraced Islam, the Prophet (saw) must have seen the potential for him to change otherwise he wouldn't have delivered the Da'wa to him or make the Du'a.
Many examples can be given that prove the power of the Islamic call and the influence it has in radically and comprehensively transform individuals and entire societies.
Inshallah understanding this should make us into people who urge to remove the darkness in the world with the light of Islam.