Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum.
Is it the duty of all Muslims to convert the world?
Jazakum Allahu khayran.
Answer (Sheikh Ahmad Kutty):
Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear brother in Islam, thank you for your question, which is a sign of your keenness to spread Islam and its message to all peoples.
It is the duty of Muslims to show the true image and message of Islam to other people. After showing Islam in word and in deed, Muslims are not required to convert the world. Rather, it is up to people to choose either to believe or disbelieve.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,
Muslims' duty is not to convert the world to Islam; rather it is limited to witnessing the truth of Islam. This is best done by living Islam in word, deed, and behavior. Once Muslims have thus witnessed the truth of Islam, they have fulfilled their mandate. Allah says, [And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger [Muhammad] may be a bearer of witness to you] (Al-Baqarah 2:143).
Muslims are not allowed to go beyond the above to coerce people to embrace Islam. To do so is clearly contrary to the Qur'anic imperative that states, [There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in satan and believes in Allah, he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing] (Al-Baqarah 2:256).
Furthermore, we are also told time and again that people are free to choose to believe or disbelieve, and that each one is ultimately responsible for the choice he or she has made. It further adds that it is up to Allah to guide people. The Qur'an goes on to state clearly, [Yet no faith will the greater part of mankind have, however ardently You [Muhammad] does desire it] (Yusuf 12:103).
Muslims are, therefore, to confine themselves to serve as witnesses of truth by observing the methodology as enunciated by the Qur'an,
[Call (all mankind) unto your Lord's way with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the most kindly manner: for, behold, your Lord knows best as to who stray from His path, and best knows He as to who are the right-guided] (An-Nahl 16:125).
Source : Islamonline.net