Don’t dream to be famous in any way. Whether become a famous businessman, famous doctor, famous artist, famous facebooker, famous youtuber, famous figure or even famous religious teacher!!
Loving the popularity are not Islamic morals. Loving popularity is no difference like loving dignity. Basic human instinct is greedy to wealth and dignity, and those both are damaging. The Prophet –peace be upon him– said:
ما ذئبانِ جائعانِ أُرسلا في غنمٍ، بأفسدَ لها من حرصِ المرءِ على المالِ والشرفِ، لدِينه
“Two wolves released to a goat, not more damaging than human ambition to wealth and dignity, which damage their religion” (Narrated by At Tirmidzi no. 2376, he said: “hasan sahih”).
Look at people who do some good great deeds but they do them only want to be known, they end up in hell, not for the sake of Allah. Rasulullah –peace be upon him– said:
إِنَّ اَوَّلَ النَّاسِ يُقْضَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَيْهِ رَجُلٌ اسْتُشْهِدَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَعَهَا, قَالَ: فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيْهَا؟ قَالَ: قَاتَلْتُ فِيْكَ حَتَّى اسْتُشْهِدْتُ قَالَ: كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ قَاتَلْتَ ِلأَنْ يُقَالَ جَرِيْءٌ, فَقَدْ قِيْلَ ، ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى اُلْقِيَ فيِ النَّارِ, وَرَجُلٌ تَعَلَّمَ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمَهُ وَقَرَأََ اْلقُرْآنَ فَأُُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَعَهَا, قَالَ: فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيْهَا؟ قَالَ: تَعَلَّمْتُ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمْتُهُ وَقَرَأْتُ فِيْكَ اْلقُرْآنَ, قَالَ:كَذَبْتَ, وَلَكِنَّكَ تَعَلَّمْتَ الْعِلْمَ لِيُقَالَ: عَالِمٌ وَقَرَأْتَ اْلقُرْآنَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ قَارِىءٌٌ ، فَقَدْ قِيْلَ ، ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى اُلْقِيَ فيِ النَّارِ, وَرَجُلٌ وَسَّعَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاَعْطَاهُ مِنْ اَصْْنَافِ الْمَالِ كُلِّهِ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا, قَالَ: فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيْهَا؟ قَالَ: مَاتَرَكْتُ مِنْ سَبِيْلٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيْهَا إِلاَّ أَنْفَقْتُ فِيْهَا لَكَ, قَالَ: كَذَبْتَ ، وَلَكِنَّكَ فَعَلْتَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ جَوَادٌ فَقَدْ قِيْلَ, ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ ثُمَّ أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ
“Surely the first person to be tried on the Day of Judgment is someone who died because of istishhad (sacrifice himself in jihad) in the way of Allah. He was brought in and the pleasures that he had found in the world were shown, and he confessed them. Then he was asked: “What did you do with those pleasures?” He replied: “I fought for you, O God, to the point where I sacrificed myself”. God said to him: You are a lie! You strive to be said to be a brave man. And that’s what people have said’. Then the Angels commanded to drag the man over his face, then he was cast into hell. And also people who are studying Qur’an, he also teaches and reads the Qur’an. He was brought in and he showed his pleasures which he had gotten in the world, then he confessed them. Then God said to him: “What do you do with those pleasures?” He replied: ‘I studied and taught, I also read the Qur’an because of you, God.” God also said: You are a lie! You demand that you be called ‘alim (the person of knowledge), you read the Qur’an so that it is called qari’ (Al Qur’an reading expert), and people have said it’. Then the angels were ordered to drag him over his face and he was cast into hell. And also the person whom Allah gave him spaciousness and various kinds of property. He was brought in and shown the pleasures he had in the world, then he admitted it. God said to him: “What do you do with those pleasures?” He replied: “I have never left a path of kindness unless I have been there because You are God.” God said: You are a lie! You do that to be called generous and people have said that. ‘ Then the angels were ordered to drag him on his face and he was cast into hell ”(Narrated by Muslim no. 1905).
The Prophet –peace be upon him– also said:
إِيَّاكُمْ وَالتَّمَادُحَ فَإِنَّهُ الذَّبْحُ
“Stay away from being praised, because it is praised as if you were slaughtered” (Narrated by Ahmad no. 16460, dishahihkan Al Albani in Shahih Al Jami no. 2674).
Therefore the salaf used to hate popularity. Ibrahim An Nakha’i rahimahullah said:
كفى فتنة للمرء أن يشار إليه بالأصابع في دين أو دنيا إلا من عصمه الله
“Enough as a slander (test) for someone, when the fingers point to him in matters of religion or world problems. Except for the person whom God saves ”(Az Zuhd libni Surri, 2/442).
Al Baihaqi rahimahullah said:
كُلّ شَيْء صَيَّرَ صَاحِبه شُهْرَة فَحَقّه أَنْ يُجْتَنَب
“Every thing that makes someone loves popularity, it should be prevented” (Aunul Ma’bud, 9/171).
Sufyan Ats Tsauri rahimahullah said:
إياك والشهرة؛ فما أتيت أحدًا إلا وقد نهى عن الشهرة
“Stay away from love popularity, and I don’t meet even one teacher unless they forbid love popularity” (Siyar A’lamin Nubala, 7/260).
Bisyr bin Al Harith rahimahullah said:
مَا اتَّقَى اللهَ مَنْ أَحَبَّ الشُّهْرَةَ
“You will not be able to devote to Allah those who love popularity” (Siyar A’lamin Nubala, 10/476).
Try to be the most servant to God, without being known. Try to be the most devoted person to God, without wanting to be known. Try to be the richest person, without wanting to be known. Therefore the Prophet –peace be upon him– said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْعَبْدَ التَّقِيَّ الْغَنِيَّ الْخَفِيَّ
“Indeed, Allah loves servants who are devoted, sufficient and hidden” (Narrated by Muslim no. 2965).
Explained by Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen rahimahullah:
هو الذي لا يظهر نفسه ، ولا يهتم أن يظهر عند الناس أو يشار إليه بالبنان أو يتحدث الناس عنه
“They are people who do not reveal themselves, are not ambitious to appear before humans, or to be appointed by people or discussed by people” (Sharah Riyadish Shalihin, 629).
So do not make “being famous” as your dream, because it is a test and disaster. Continue to work in terms of the benefits for the world for the hereafter, but throw away the feeling of wanting to be known.
May Allah give taufiq.