What are the characteristics that make Muslims the best people?
Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى) says,
“Kuntum khaira ummatin ukhrijat lin-naas...”
"You are the best people whom Allah has taken out for the people …" 
Though in the world nowadays, we are the worst, in our eyes we are the worst though Allah describes us as the best. So the question is how can we become the best again?
There was a time when in the golden age we were the best and people used to come to study from us, but times changed and we have ended up as the worst or in the sight of the world, worst.
Allah explains the characteristic that made us the best, because it is not simply a matter of birth. The Western nations look at themselves as being the best as their birth right, if you are born Canadian, American etc, you are the best they think.
Allah refers to us why he called Muslims the best. He said that because Muslims command the good, prohibit the evil and believe in Allah.
Al ma'roof- the term used by Allah means that which is known as good throughout the world, not just good in the eyes of Muslims but the entire world. And you prohibit what is evil and what is not good, and you believe in Allah.
The first two addresses morality, what is good and evil has to do with morality.
The Prophet (ﷺ) summed up all the teachings of Islam by saying,
“I (Prophet Muhammad) was sent to you to perfect for you the highest of moral character.” 
He summed up Islam as morality, everything we do in Islam has a moral object, a moral goal that it seeks, whether it is prayer or any other pillar of Islam. Allah says about prayer, Salaah prohibits evil speech and evil deeds. That is the essential goal of salaah and hajj, zakaah, saum and all of the other pillars of Islam, including emaan, belief in angels, etc. They are connected to morality, to create a morally sound human being. And if we were to look at the time of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and then we compare the Muslims of Arabia with the rest of the world, we see people living in Persia, Rome, etc., had greater technology there but the morality of Muslims made them great. And as long as Muslims hold on to that, they will remain great even if they are not great technologically.
And belief in Allah, that is the essence of Islam. If we look at the west today, they have rejected belief in Allah, that is secularism, it is rejection in belief in Allah. And leading countries of the world openly declare themselves to be secular, secular more than democratic, removing god from the equation of human life, saying god is only a figment of human’s mind and is not real any way. In one way or the other, once you take god out of the equation, then the society becomes lost in immorality because they don`t have a moral compass to determine what is evil and good. The means to determine this is democracy, as long as the majority think it is good, it is good, and if they start thinking it is bad, then bad, and there is no moral foundation as their opinion keeps changing.
In the 70`s when I was in Canada in high school there is a book which became compulsory to read, it was called “The catcher in the ride”, this was done in 1970. In 1950, when the book was first published, it was banned as pornography, it was considered so corrupt that it was banned, but after 20 years, it was made compulsory, the way of thinking of people changed. Similarly, vulgar pictures were also called pornography, but in 1974, page 3 of sun newspaper, they posted a vulgar picture calling it artistic expression, it is nothing less then corruption.
In 1960, you ask the average American about homosexuality, he will say it is filthy, evil and bad and an abomination on to the world, a great evil. Back in 1960`s psychiatrists had it listed as a problem and there were treatments for it to try to correct this. By the 70`s, homosexuality was removed from their list and it was called an alternative life style and they replaced the sickness of homosexuality with what they called homophobia, it is a dislike for homosexuals so those who disliked and disposed homosexuals now needed to go to the psychiatrist to get reprogrammed. Where is the morality in this?
In Canada, just last year, they passed a bill allowing the teaching of homosexuality from kindergarten, what is going to be the product of that society? Of course, the way they do it would be subtle, with books like “My two dads”, etc. So the book talks about Johnny who has a mom and dad; and Tommy who has two dads and how they have taken them to various places like, parks, beach, football game and wonderful time he has with his dads. So what are they doing? They have put it in the mind of the child that it is okay to have two dads. So it is corruption which has reached the children and pouring it into their minds, without using the word homosexuality.
This is a crumbling society, I know most young people think that as soon as I get my degree I will be gone, it will be grave mistake because if you are going for education it is okay, but if going for better life then big mistake, given this state where Islam still retains its moral principles, what was wrong 1400 years ago, remains wrong today and will remain till the end of world, that is the base of morality.
If God commanded us, telling us this thing is wrong, it is wrong forever. That is what makes society great. But the problem is that much of the Muslims today doesn't know it, Muslims are confused about what really is Islam. In Toronto, they set up a mosque for homosexual people, they are confused Muslims and don’t really know what Islam is, and their belief in Allah is confusion, some of us call on Muhammad, on Imams; Hassan, Hussein, it is confusion there. For many Muslims we have lost sight as to who Allah is, and so we get informed of all kinds of deviations, believing they will protect us.
We are talking about a situation of ignorance where customs and traditions have superceded Islam, how do we correct this, the only way is by education.
 [Qur’an 3:110]
 [Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (273) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (45).]< Back to Questions