The call towards the Truth has never gone unhindered and unopposed. Messengers were killed and tortured, the Believers were persecuted, and the Religion made a mockery of, to such an extent that even the Messengers themselves beckoned for the victory to come.
But we can look back now and we know that Allah's victory did come, after the Believers had proven their faith in deeds and actions and intentions, and when they sacrificed all they had. We know of the victory of Talut over Jalut, even though their numbers were few, and many deserted their ranks even before the war had started. We know of the success and triumphant legacy of Ibrahim (a.s), although as a youth he was about to be burned at the stakes, and at his old age, he was about to sacrifice the only progeny he had.
Yet today, in the midst of confusion and differences and oppression, although we have the records of our predecessors who broke free from the tyranny of Kufr, many of us today sink into our seats and declare "there is too much Fitnah, too much division, I will just stay at home and practice Islam and that's enough." And this is exactly what Shaytaan and the disbelievers want.
The Life of Islam
Nothing makes the enemies of Allah more happy than a dormant Muslim, who has given up hope from forbidding the evil and enjoining good. For Shaytaan, when a Muslim does this, it allows him to spread evil unhindered, to instill wrong notions into people and destroy families. For the disbelievers, they go about demolishing Islam without fear. The Religion is distorted, its followers usurped of their rights, and the ideology of Kufr propagated.
But Islam came to put a halt to the progression of such evil, whatever the circumstances, and it is incumbent upon a Muslim to help another Muslim who is in need and oppressed. And the checking of Fitnah comes about through Jihad and Da'wah.
The Prophets waged war as a means to remove the tyranny present in their societies, and has never been considto be a demeaning or unjust act. Jihad as a means to establish the Word of Allah is effective since it offers the ultimate sacrifice: one's life.
And we should never be discouraged from achieving our objective, no matter how the Kuffar besmear this honourable path. A defender of Faith can be called a terrorist, the pages of history can be distorted to show a criminal rather than glorious past, but as Muslims we know the honour of our path and the everlasting reward it brings. We know the valour of Khalid bin Walid, the Drawn Sword of Allah, and his example is worth imitating.
The weak-hearted men of today, those who try to defend their own cowardice or laziness, of the scholars or the lay men, defend their own actions by throwing dirt on the defenders of Faith, by labeling them with every obnoxious term. But the Muslim does not resign himself and desert Jihad because of the attacks made on him, whether by words or arms. The Sahaabah continued to fight even though the whole Arabian peninsula left Islam after the Prophet's death, and had they not stood firm through this critical and most hardest of trials, Islam would not have flourished as it did.
It is upon the Muslims to take heed from the lessons of history, and instead of denying the strength of Jihad, in making the enemy fear the wrath of Muslims and defending the honour and wealth of Muslims, we should be firm and proudly declare our stand. Instead of ridiculing in disgust the current Afghani situation, and pointing our fingers at the Algerian war, we should be learning from the mistakes of the past, and helping our brothers, instead of becoming blameworthy by-standers.
So the Muslim does not grieve over the past and dwell on the state of loss, but rather actively works to correct the state of affairs. Even though the people will ridicule him, his attributes of patience and desire to make Allah's Religion Supreme will urge him to continue the call for Islam, to his family and relatives and all Mankind.
And indeed, this is the way of our Prophets, although starvation and persecution was their lot. So Allah gave them His Bounties, elevated their position, and made them an example for us.