In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibn Rajab [may Allaah have mercy upon him] 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 good 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 pious]. [Surah Al-Qasas. Aayah 83]
The second type is seeking high status and to be raised in status above the people through the religious affairs, such as knowledge, deeds and Zuhd. 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 to drawing close to Him (i.e. by way of sincere and righteous deeds) and to receive His favours.. Imaam Sufyaan Ath-Thawree [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Knowledge has more virtue because it is for the (purpose) of attaining fear of Allaah, but if not, it is just like all other things”. (1)
A Reflection When The Hizbiyyoon Flatter One Another and Hate to Hear Truth
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The seeker of leadership- even through falsehood- becomes pleased with a statement that contains an exaltation of himself, even if it is falsehood, becomes angered by a statement that contains a rebuke against him, even if it is truth. The believer (i.e. the one with strong Eemaan and a more perfect fear of Allaah) is pleased with a statement of truth whether it is for or against him and he is angered by a statement of falsehood whether it is for or against him, because Allaah [The Most High] loves truth, truthfulness and justice, and He hates lies and oppression. (2)
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from “Two Hungry Wolves Let Loose Amongst a Flock of Sheep. Pages 29 onwards]
[Ref 2: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa: 10/600]