It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter. Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. [3:159]
You have to understand that there are many, many people who have been so distanced from Islam that you cannot expect them [to react as you would like to your da’wah].
If you were to meet a woman in the UK, she may be an Afghani, Pakistani, Palestinian or an Egyptian woman. Say she’s been brought up in a very secular house – but she knows that she’s Muslim- you can’t treat her as if “Why aren’t you wearing a hijab?” “Why don’t you cover your hair?” “Don’t you know that’s haram?!”
There was a man, a Muslim, who came to the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, and bought him a bottle of wine as a gift. That was his present the Prophet. The Prophet said “Don’t you know that Allah has prohibited wine?”
“I didn’t know that” the man responded.
The man then whispered something into his servant’s ear to which the Prophet enquired about. The man said “I just told him [the servant] to sell it”. The Prophet replied “The One who prohibited its consumption also prohibited its sale.”
The man then ordered his servant to dump the wine out.
Now, the Prophet didn’t say “What’s wrong with you? How dare you give me a bottle of wine as a gift!”
You might invite a very secularised Muslim to your home as a guest and they might bring you a bottle of wine as a gift! And there are Muslims out there that would say “A’udhubillah! Go to hell!” and would slam the door on his/her face.
That’s not what the Prophet, upon him be peace, did. He was looking at the level of that person’s knowledge and consciousness.
The people of tasawwuf were traditionally very successful in calling people to Islam as they were very tolerant and not judgmental. For example, Habib ‘Umar said to one of his students:
“If you want to call people in [USA, UK, Bristol] to Islam, it’s based upon a condition: that whoever you talk to, you see them as being better than you”. The reason for this is because Allah says:
“We do not punish a people until we send them a messenger”.
Those people who have not heard the message of Islam have an excuse with their Lord for what they’re doing. For you however, that isn’t the case [because you profess Islam].