Faith and Weakness
Submissiveness is that of the heart, not of appearance.
Some people mistake righteousness and piety with weakness and humiliation . In their view, being a devoted person implies taking a negative position and isolating oneself from the events of life. They have a distorted vision of the morals preached by Islam; for example, they understand submission as tantamount to passivity and fatalism. Humbleness, in this context, is taken to mean accepting oppression and giving up all means and manifestations of strength. Refuting this misconception, Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:
The true concept of Islam has nothing to do with such spiritlessness or weakness. In fact, iman (faith) has always been the source of strength and might, high morals, and strong personality.
Once ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) saw a man who, while performing prayer, was totally withdrawn and dispirited, as if coming from among the dead. ‘Umar reacted angrily to such attitude and said to the man, “Do not incorporate into our religious rites aspects of death. Submissiveness is that of the heart not of appearance.”
‘Umar was famous for his saying “O Allah! I seek refuge in You from fake submissiveness.” People said, “What is fake submissiveness?” ‘Umar replied, “To have a humble body, but not a humble heart.” Ash-Shifa’ bint ‘Abdullah saw some youth walking listlessly, so she asked, “Who are those people?” “They are ascetics,” was the answer. She commented, “‘Umar, though a real ascetic, used to walk quickly and speak loudly,” indicating that he was strong.
While being the example of modesty and humbleness, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to walk quickly as if coming down from a hill. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) described him: “I have never seen a person with a countenance more beautiful than that of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as if the sun was shining in his face. I have never seen a person quicker in pace than him, as if land is folded before his feet.”.
Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), and the president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS).