Allaah, the Sublime said;
“That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who desire not high-handedness or mischief in the land. And the good end is for the Muttaqûn (pious)” [Al-Qasas 28:83]
Seeking elevation can occur in a number of different contexts such as in the various corrupt disciplines (of knowledge), position or rank, love of leadership and power. It can also occur in the matters of the religion, such as loving to be foremost in the gatherings, and competing in answering the questioners, even if someone who is equal to him or better than him is present.
And perhaps this elevation might even turn into envy, jealousy, the hatred of some of the callers to Allaah of one another and the dislike of showing benevolent conduct towards each other.
Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said, in explaining the above verse [of Surah al-Qasas]:
“…For people are of four types:
1. The first type: They desire elevation over the people and corruption in the earth, and this is disobedience to Allaah. Such mischief-making kings and leaders are like Pharoah and his party, and they are the worst of all of creation.
2. The second type: Those who desire corruption without elevation, such as the thieves and criminals from the riff-raff amongst the people.
3. The third type: Those who desire elevation without corruption, such as those who have the deen, they desire to elevate themselves by it over other than them amongst the people.
4. And as for the fourth type: They are the people of Paradise, those who seek neither elevation in the earth and nor corruption – along with the fact that they are (indeed) much higher than those besides them.”
Majmoo ul-Fataawaa Vol 18, with some abridgment