Goiung back to a lecture that was put in a blog a while ago: Allah (swt) is with those Who submit, there was one bit that I think warrants further discussion.
A point that the Shaykh made was placed in the summary:
whenever people are defeated or begin to lose..they always blame other people...very unusual of the Ottomans reaction when they began to lose land...the Ottoman's didn't blame anybody..they asked 'what are we doing wrong?'
They weren't blaming others
Can I say that this may have been a bad thing instead of a good thing as it was portrayed in the lecture?
Chopping off your arm because your handwriting is not perfect can be overkill. Stabbing yourself because of perceived failure leads to more failure.
IMO a major factor in the demise of the Ottoman empire was "new money" - the western world had discovered and was plundering the americas. The new wealth obtained from there (potentially using nefarious methods) helped change the status quo. Now if the Muslim empires has found the americas and decided to plunder it of its wealth etc, it may have become even stronger.
It may have nothing to do with being extra extra good and religious. The latter actually could hinder greatly, as getting the most wealth would be through means that were foul.
And then there is Spain. When things started going wrong, the people there asked the rest of the Muslim eworld for help and it was provided. However, the help blamed the failures on things such as not being practising enough and enforced greater "purity" of religion, causing more strife. Look at how many Muslims survived that.
Its the same thing as the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan/Pakistan and the Shabab are doing in Somalia.
Ofcourse blaming others for your own failures is not a good thing, but maiming your own body only hurts you further.
Some times it may be better to just accept that things happen. Or I might be wrong.