The harms of desiring fame and honor and its cure
by Hakimul-Ummah Thanwi (ra)
When a person desires fame and honor for himself, he envies and resents the fame and popularity of another person. The harms of this (envy and jealousy) have been mentioned previously. Upon hearing about someone’s disgrace and degradation, the person becomes happy. It is a very evil characteristic to wish evil for someone. A further harm of this is that the person tries to acquire fame through prohibited means, e.g. a person spends a lot of money and goes into unnecessary expenses in weddings merely for fame. At times he acquires this wealth through bribery and at times by taking interest loans. All these sins were committed merely for name and fame.
The worldly harm of this is that such a person has many enemies and many who are jealous of him. Such persons continuously try to disgrace him, defame him, cause him harm and try to put him into difficulties.
One of the cures for this is that he should think to himself that all those who will think great of me or praise me will not live forever nor will I live forever. After a few days, no one will even remember me or bother to ask about me. If this is the case, it is a sign of great foolishness to feel happy about this baseless thing. The thought of the death is destroyer of all pleasures. No matter how famous, popular, or powerful the people of the past have been, at the advent of death, all of that came to a sudden end and they were left but nothing except their deeds. No king ever remained in this world and neither could he take his wealth, riches and popularity with him to the grave him. If a person becomes famous and powerful amongst the people but has no acceptance in the court of Allah Ta`ala, then of what use is his power and fame? If Allah hates him, what will the love of people benefit him? And if Allah loves him then how can the displeasure and opposition of people harm him?
A person should reflect deeply about the above mentioned points on a daily basis and inshallah desire for name, fame and honor will slowly start to diminish from his heart.