Various spiritual levels mentioned in Quran can be broadly divided into five levels i.e. saleh, shaheed, siddique, Nabi, and rasool; the first three are cultivable (based on person’s efforts) and the last two are divine (based on Allah’s will) but granted to ones standing on the top at first three levels. All these levels are vertical. All these levels are associated with degrees of accomplishments attained in respect of various virtues mentioned in Quran and sunnah; some virtues are relating to apparent deeds e.g. virtues pertaining to Aabid, Zahid, Aalim, Zakir, munfiq, muttaqi, khasheh; some virtues are relating to hidden deeds e.g. virtues pertaining to mumin, sabir, mutahhir, muhsin, mutawakkil.
The first major level of spiritual elevation is pertaining to ‘saleheen’. When a person has attained a certain degree of apparent and hidden virtues, as contained in Quran and sunnah, he is graced with first level of spiritual elevation i.e. level of saleheen. Saleheen are those people who do their deeds for Allah’s sake (following Nabi (saw).
The second major level of spiritual elevation is relating to ‘shaheed’. A shaheed is always a ‘saleh’ as well, and has attained apparent and hidden virtues which are qualification for a saleh. But a shaheed is different from saleh in the sense that a shaheed always does the job of ‘ amr bilmaroof wa nahi anel munkar’- he always commands for good things and forbids from bad things. When a ‘saleh’ attains a certain degree in the job of commanding for the good and forbidding from the bad, he is graced with the level of ‘shahadat’.
The third level of spiritual elevation is associated with ‘siddique’. A ‘siddique’ is always a saleh and shaheed as well and has attained apparent and hidden virtues which are qualifications for a saleh or shaheed. A siddique is different from ‘saleh’ and ‘shaheed’ in the sense that a ‘siddique’ testifies intellectually what is mentioned in the revealed knowledge (Quran and Sunnah). When a shaheed obtains a certain degree in the job of testifying the revealed knowledge intellectually, he is bestowed with level of ‘siddiqiat’.
As for as level of ‘nabuwwat’ and ‘resalat’ is concerned, these levels are not attainable on the basis of good deeds; these are divine in their nature. But, of course, 'Nabis' and 'rasool' are only the best persons occupying the top most positions at all first three levels.