"Enjoin prayer on your people, and be patient therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for righteousness." The Quran [20:132]
Although, conveying the message of Islam to the humanity is an inherent part of daily life but the priority should always be to focus and give special care to immediate family. Taking care of neighbors while neglecting the needs of the family is incompatible with the essence of Islamic teachings.
This issue is not to be taken lightly when considering Allah's order: "O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a (hell) fire whose fuel is men and stones ... [66:6]" or when abiding by the Prophetic advise: "All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible for your flock," and "the best amongst you is the one who is best to his family, and I (i.e., the prophet) am the best amongst you to my family".
To achieve these goals, the Islamic guidelines are clearly defined in a realistic and practical fashion. They are divided into two complementing, non-competing categories:
a-The outward outlook whereby the Muslim actively caters to the needs of the family members by educating them, providing them with the basic necessities of life, giving them affection and forbidding wrongful deeds. Examples would be to make the children pray at the age of seven, to teach them swimming and self-defense, and to provide them proper Islamic education.
b-The inner conduct whereby the Muslim behaves righteously, setting up a role model to the household to be followed and being, as the prophet (pbuh) says: "a beauty spot among people." Examples would include being patient, observing the proper Islamic dress code, treating people respectfully, and conducting business transactions honestly.
By following these two guidelines, the nuclear family is shielded from external negative influence and is able to synergistically interact with other units positively, creating a cohesive and harmonious society. Such a family is able to withstand the pressures, temptations, and challenges of life, regardless if it existed in a predominantly Islamic or non-Islamic environment. It is also capable of reinforcing virtuous behavior and setting the genuine Islamic identity apart from other societal units.
May Allah show us the right path and give us the will and strength to follow it. May He make us the Best Ummah for humankind, enjoining what is right, forbiddinga what is wrong, and believing in Allah.