Flattery and sycophancy are spread well-nigh everywhere. Kings and the rich have encouraged sycophants by rewarding them. Poets made it their occupation to earn by eulogizing rich men, saying a panegyric verse or two.
If the rich happened to like it, the poet would have made it rich. Those familiar with the biographies of the kings know about the worth of adulators in their courts and how poets used to say incredulous pieces of complimentary work in the honor of their patrons. There had been very few rulers who discouraged purposeless praising, following the righteous Caliphs of Islam. They rooted out a convention so engraved into society, but the era of adulators returned and people started filling their pockets through insincere exaggeration. When rulers started defining boundaries for their empires the situation became more critical. Poetry became nothing but a display of sensuality of romantic affairs of lords and kings. A flattering poet won a mouthful of gems for adulating the king. It’s written that a lord granted some poet a hundred thousand in cash just for a single ode which was actually beneath the standards of morality.
After this, ponder over the meaning of what Prophet (peace be upon him) has said regarding flatterers. He simply advises us to shun them when they begin their praise. The reason of such a firm direction is self-obvious. Caliphs had well understood this rule and only a few rulers after them followed their suit. As a result the pride and arrogance of narcissistic and praise addicts knew no bounds. They forgot their limits to such an extent that instead of putting human resources to good use they made them write odes which went high on praise and assuming ostentatious epithet. Adulation and false-praise indicates deterioration of human morality in a capitalistic society. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has condemned this ethical degeneracy and mentioned a way to avoid it. In the age of decadence such attitudes damage the collectivistic strength of the people. That’s why it has been preached that such acts ought to be avoided.