How are Muslims seen by others and how do they see themselves?
The Muslims are those who submit themselves to Allaah, establish His laws, act according to the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah (teachings)of their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), do what Allaah and His Messenger have commanded them and abstain from that which is forbidden. When that is the case, their opponents look at them with awe, admiration and respect, because they know that their adherence to Islam and the true religion raises their status before Allaah and enables them to take control over lands and people. So their opponents look at them with awe and respect, and fear them. But when their commitment to Islam becomes weak and they introduce innovations in their religion, then their opponents look down on them with contempt and loathing and all feelings of fear disappear. With regard to how the Muslims view themselves, they have to check on one another and look at the faults and weakness that have befallen them, and deal with them as much as possible so that their glory and power will be restored, and so that their enemies will fear them. If they check on one another and pay attention to that and put right the things that have gone wrong among them, then Allaah will strengthen them and support them.