Two Destructive paths whilst in pursuit of high status-Imaam Ibn Rajab

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

Imaam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: Eagerness for high status is of two types: The first type is seeking high status through leadership, authority and wealth. This is very dangerous and in most cases it prevents (a person) from the goodness of the afterlife, its nobility, honour and elevated station. Allaah (The Most High) said:

[تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا ۚ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ- That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the Muttaqun (Al-Qasas, Ayah 83)]

The second type is seeking high status and to be exalted above the people through the religious affairs, such as knowledge and deeds, and Zuhd (i.e. abstinence from those permissible worldly pleasures and comforts which one can do without). This is more abominable than the first type and greater in danger and corruption- because knowledge, deeds and Zuhd are (affairs) by way of which one seeks what Allaah (has prepared for His slaves) of high station and everlasting bliss (in the afterlife), a means of drawing close to Him (with sincere righteous actions in the worldly life) and receiving His favours (in the worldly life and afterlife). Imaam Sufyaan Ath-thawree (rahimahullaah) said:”Knowledge has more virtue because it is for the (purpose) of attaining fear of Allaah; and if not, it is like all other things.”

[Abridged & slightly paraphrased. Source: An Excerpt from the Explanation of the Hadeeth ‘Two hungry wolves let loose amongst a flock of sheep’ pages: 29, 47 & 53]

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf