The cause for defeat has been very clearly manifested through numerous situations in our history; it is a deficiency in the tarbiyah (education and cultivation). A clear manifestation of this is what happened in the battle of Hunayn when Muslims were defeated at the beginning of the battle, about which Allah said: "And on the day of Hunayn, when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught, and the earth - vast as it is - was straightened for you, then you turned back in flight." (9: 25)
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said: "From the wisdom of Allah, He first gave them a taste of the bitterness of defeat and of being overcome, despite their large number, preparation and strength, in order that heads which had been raised up due to the conquest of Makkah, should be lowered out of humility before their Lord, humbling before His Greatness and submitting to His Might.
All of this occurred so that He should make clear to those who said: "We will not be defeated today because of our numbers!" Explaining to them that the victory comes only from Him and that whomsoever He aids, then none can overcome him; and whomsoever He forsakes, then there is none to grant victory to him, besides Allah.
And that He took it upon Himself to aid and grant victory to His Messenger and His deen (religion) - not due to their large number which they (falsely) delighted in, since that was of no avail to them. Rather, they fled, turning their backs. So when their hearts had become downcast, Allah sent them the removal of their distress and a prior taste of victory, by sending down His tranquility upon His Messenger and upon the believers and by sending down the unseen forces (i.e. the Angles). So from His wisdom was that He only granted victory and its gifts to them when their hearts had become downcast and saddened:
"And We desired to do a favour to those who were weak in the land, and to make them leaders and make them the inheritors. And to establish them in the land, and We let Fir'awn (Pharaoh) and Haaman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared." (28: 5-6)
Impatience: an Obstacle against Tarbiyah
From that which negates tarbiyah and prevents its completion is: being hasty and having lack of sabr (patient perseverance). This produces a negative result, the least of which is a delay in victory. Our Lord said: "And what made you hasten from your people, O Musa (Moses)? He replied: They are close on my footsteps, and I hastened to You O my Lord, that You might be pleased."( 20: 83-84)
A clear goal and a clear intention: "I hastened to You, O my Lord, to please You." So Allah said: "Indeed We have tried your people in your absence, and As-Saamiree has led them astray." (20: 85)
So this is Musa, and he was one of the Ulul- 'Azm (foremost in resolve) from the Messengers, yet he sought to hasten the affairs. So when he sought to hasten the affairs, fitnah (trial and discord) occurred amongst his people - which was that they began worshipping others besides Allah.
Ib al-Qayyim said: "Whosoever considers the trials and discords that have come upon Islam, the small and the great of them, will realize that they were due to abandoning this principle of not being hasty, and of having Sabr (patience) upon that which is harmful, and seeking to remove the harm in a hasty manner. This in turn produces that which is greater and worse than the initial harm."
Tarbiya and Sabr (Education and patience): the Key to Victory
Muhammad Qutb said in his book: Waaqi'unal Mu'aasir, while he was speaking about the Islamic Movements in Egypt, internally and externally. "So with regard to within the country, then there occurred from them hastiness in showing the strength of the jamaa'ah (i.e. the Muslims) - whether in making themselves manifest, or in demonstrations, protest marches, entering into political affairs of the time - such as fighting the communists; and supporting the affairs of the country in the security council, and other than that.
It is as if the jamaa'ah, each and every time, wanted to say: we are here, and we are able to do such and such… leaving aside the matters of the day. Was this something which was permissible for the Muslim jamaa'ah to enter into? Or was its obligation to call to the correction of the fundamental manhaj (methodology) of living, to the establishment of the firm pillars and to the perfection of the desired tarbiyah. However, seeking to hasten the movement before its time, then produced an effect upon the overall direction."
What will very clearly demonstrate the matter of hastiness and its many negative effects is the saying of Allah when He said:
"Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform salaat (prayer) and give the Zakaat (obligatory charity), but when fighting was ordained for them, behold! A section of them fear men as they fear Allah, or even more. They say: Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? Would that You had granted us respite for a short period." (4: 77)
"So those who were resolved upon jihad and loved it, when they were tested with it, they were averse to it and fled from it." And they were from the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) those who received tarbiyah (cultivation and education) beneath the shade of Revelation and whom were guided by the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law). So how about those after them - the greatest of whom cannot even reach a handful, or even half a handful, of their caliber?
So finally: due to all that has preceded, it has been said by the Callers to Islam and the people of culture, and the people of Movements - after previously denying it: "Indeed I certainly believe in the strength of knowledge, and I believe in the strength of culture and learning, but I have a greater belief in the strength of tarbiyah."