Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,
(Transcribed from: 33 Ways of Developing Al-Kushoo’ Humility and Devotion in Prayer by Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid)
Concealing your khushoo’
Making a show of khushoo’ is condemned. Hudhayfah (Radi Allahu Anhu) used to say, “Beware of hypocritical humility and devotion.” He was asked, “What is hypocritical humility and devotion?” He said, “When the body shows khushoo’ but there is no khushoo’ in the heart.” Fudayl ibn Ayad (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: “It was disliked for a person to show more khushoo’ than he had in his heart.” One of them saw a man showing khushoo’ in his shoulders and body, and told him, “Khushoo’ is here,” and he pointed to his chest, “not here, – and he pointed to his shoulders.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said, explaining the difference between the khushoo’ of true faith and hypocritical khushoo’:
The khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of Allah’s blessings and of its own sins. So, no doubt, khushoo’ of the heart is followed by kushoo’ of the body.
As for the hypocritical khushoo’, it is something that is put on with a great show, but there is no kushoo’ of the body. One of the Companions used to say: I seek refuge with Allah from hypocritical khushoo’. It was asked of him: What is hypocritical khushoo’? He replied: When the body appears to have khushoo’ but there is no khushoo’ in the heart.
The person who truly feels khushoo’ before Allah is a person who no longer feels the flames of physical desires; his (or her) heart is pure and is filled with the light of the greatness of Allah. His (or her) own selfish desires have died because of the fear and awe which have filled his (or her) heart to overflowing so that his (or her) physical faculties have calmed own, his (or her) heart has become dignified and feels secure in the remembrance of Allah, and tranquility descends upon him (or her) from the Lord. (This person) has become humble (mukhbit) before Allah, and the one who is humble is the one who is assured. Land that is ‘mukhbit’ is land that is low-lying, in which water settles, so the heart that is ‘mukhbit’ is humble and content, like a low lying spot of land into which water flows and settles. The sign of this is that a person prostrates to his (or her) Lord out of respect and humility, and never raises his (or her ) head until he (or she) meets Him. The arrogant heart, on the other hand, is one that is content with its arrogance and raises itself up like an eleveated portion of land in which water never settles. This is the khushoo’ of true faith.
Hypocritical khushoo’ demonstrates the attitude of a person who tries to make a great show of khushoo’, but deep down he (or she) is still filled with desires. So on the outside the person appears to have khushoo’, but the snake of the valley and the lion of the forest reside within, watching for prey.
[Ar-Rooh by Ibn al-Qayyim, p. 314, Daar al-Fikr, Jordan]