Question: Given that God may cause us to act as a means for guidance of people to truth, will we be held responsible because of failure to convey the truth? What will be their responsibility in this regard?
There are two main points to this question – this matter has aspects that relate both to the people of guidance who are attached to God, and to those who are not.
It is the duty of the people of guidance to communicate to other people the truth as they believe, the truth they have found and had a taste of; the truth they are satisfied with or a view with which they mature with, and to guide them to peace. First and foremost, this is a debt of conscience we owe to humankind. A person who knows these truths, the content of which has been bestowed to our consciences as a divine favor, should communicate them to those who do not know and open for them the doors leading to God.
Now, let’s have look at how God has commanded about this matter: “The believers, both men and women, they are guardians, confidants and helpers of one another. They enjoin and promote what is right and good and forbid and try to prevent the evil” (Qur’an 9:71). Another verse reads: “O you who believe! There must be among you a community calling to good, and enjoining and promoting what is right and good and forbidding and trying to prevent evil (in appropriate ways). They are those who are the prosperous.” (3:104). God has always referred to those who promote what is right and good as an honorable community: “You are the best community ever brought forth for (the good of) humankind, enjoining and promoting what is right and good forbidding and trying to prevent the evil, and (this you do because) you believe in God” (Qur’an 3:110).
These divine lights considerably clarify this obligation towards humanity. This matter is clarified by many other verses and hadiths and it is so open and clear that it does not require any further interpretation or explanation. Therefore, we can gather from these verses that we are responsible for communicating the divine truths. This is such a compelling responsibility that if there was no one left on earth one day in future, then we will entertain the possibility that there might be people living in a colony near Sirius or some distant planet around some unknown star in the Hercules constellation and somewhere in the Milky Galaxy, and with an urge that is unique to human species to reach out to them, we will build colonies and cities as interim stations on our route toward them, and we will communicate our heart-felt inspirations to the people there (if any). We will intermingle and sympathize with them and we will show them the roads that will lead to God. We will say, “Say, ‘There is no god but God,’ and be saved and be prosperous,” as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, put, and this will always be our main motto. This is our duty. On the other hand, their duty is to lend an ear to this call of ours that invites them to peace and to search for the straight path wherever they are and everywhere they go.
If we do not fulfill our duty, we will fail to comply with our obligation towards God. Then, Almighty God will ask questioningly: “You knew the truth, but you failed to communicate to other people? You knew God, but you did not introduce Him to other people? You could see the straight path, but why didn't you show it to other people? You were aware of the light, but why didn't you turn other people to look toward that direction?”
In the light of divine revelations, I can say that on that day, Almighty God will say to them: “Although you satisfied all of your animal drives to the full, why didn't you search for the way which would provide you with full gratification? Even during your most troubled and distressed times, you did not think for an instant to experiment this way? In other words, you have resorted to all sorts of recipes for your worldly welfare, but why didn't you consider making the truth which you somewhat heard about even for once?”
In the final analysis, Almighty God will hold every individual against his or her own sins. Since we are responsible only for communicating the truth to them, we will be questioned only for our faults in fulfilling this duty of ours. On the other hand, they will be questioned for failing to search for truth or lend an ear in a sincere manner to the truth, if they have already heard about it. May God save us from falling tumbling down by failing to enjoin and promote what is right and good, and forbid and try to prevent the evil while having capability to do so!