With the exception of Muhammad SAWS, I want to be nearer to God than anyone else who has ever lived, is this okay, and how do I do it? Any station less I would consider failure.
Is Baqa highest maqam, and is everyone who achieves it on the same level?
It’s is noble to want to be as close to Allah as possible. Allah has a vast number of servants and He alone knows their nearness to Him. It’s is generally understood that after the Prophet Muhammad (saws) then the Prophets and messengers, have the highest rank, then the Sahabah and two generations of followers in perfected beauty behind them.
Essentially in Surah Fatihah the people of ‘favor upon them’ The Prophets, The Truthful, the Martyrs, and Righteous’ are the best of company to keep. If you are with them you will be among the best.
We must know ourselves thoroughly in this life before we die in order to step upon the ego that seeks to be higher than others and creates oppression in this life such as arguments, fighting and cheating people. A person who is humble, does not harm others and is of benefit to human beings through love, respect and service will be closest to Allah.
The AwliyaAllah confess publicly and privately that they are weak servants needing mercy and repentance, yet Allah dressed them with Lights from his Beautiful Names and Attributes through the Light of Muhammad saws.
Read the Classical Islam book by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani for the stories of the silsila Naqshbandiyya at Naqshbandi.org to learn about spiritual stations such as fana and baqa.
And Allah knows best,