Allah Ta’ala says:
“That (abode) which is Daarul Aakhirah, We will reserve it for those who do not desire greatness on earth nor (do they desire) strife. And, the ultimate success is for the pious.”
Rasulullah (saws) said: Two hungry wolves let loose in a flock of sheep do not cause as much harm as the harm to a man’s Deen wrought by his greed for wealth and fame.”
The desire in one that others honour, respect and be submissive to one is termed hubb-e-jah. It is difficult to diagnose the malady of love for fame. It is only in the event of an incident in which one is not honoured that this disease becomes detectable,
Hubb-e-jah is a quality which lies in one’s imagination, hence its nature is transitory. It is extremely flimsy in that it is dependent or, thoughts of others, for jah entails honour of one by others. The thoughts of others thus form the basis of jah. If others divert their thoughts, one’s jah is eliminated. Hence, he who desires to be considered famous and honourable has to rely on the thoughts of others–thoughts which are not within the control of the one who desires the jah. But, inspite of hubb-e-jah being so flimsy in nature and temporary, man hankers after it.
Only such jah is detestable which has been acquired by one’s desire and pursuit. Such jah is a calamity which destroys one’s worldly life as well as one’s life of the Hereafter. When man sees that the world acclaims him, he is overtaken by pride and vanity. These diseases finally destroy him. His Deen is thus destroyed. Many people have fallen into this trap and were utterly annihilated.
A famous person has many envious enemies who engage in conspiracies to harm and eliminate him. This then is the harm to one’s worldly life. Thus, both Deen and Dunya suffer in the wake of jah.
On the other hand, jah which Allah Ta’ala bestows upon man without him requesting it, is a ni’mat (bounty). Like man stands in need of wealth to a certain degree, so does he stand in need of jah to a certain degree. Such limited jah enables him to remain in safety and be protected against injustice and oppression. Such safety enables him to engage in the ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala without fear and in peace. This amount of jah is therefore not harmful.
Meditate on the futility of hubb-e-jah. Neither the one who honours nor the one who is honoured will remain. All will perish. It is therefore childish to be delighted over such a transitory and illusionary attribute. Contemplating in this way will eliminate this malady.