“The Mashaaikh would first attend to islaah (moral reformation) of mureeds before prescribing wazaa-if (specific forms of thikr) and nawaafil (Nafl acts of ibaadat). Only after having achieved moral reformation would they commence teaching in the higher spheres of Sulook. The emphasis was first on reforming and correcting the external actions and eliminating evil attributes. However, nowadays many Shaikhs pay no heed to this requirement. In consequence, although the mureedeen become adept in auraad and wazaa-if, the evil and bestial attributes remain grounded in them. They therefore do not care to differentiate between halaal and haraam nor are they concerned with truth and falsehood.”
These observations of Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat Maulana Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) have gained considerable prominence in the present age. Even Shaikhs linked to the Akaabir Mashaaikh have drifted from the Path of Sulook. Islaah of the Nafs is no longer a vital requirement in their agenda of Tasawwuf. They have confined Tasawwuf to a handful of wazeefas such as Khatm-e-Khwaajgaan, halqah thikr, 40 Duroods, Khatm-e-Yaaseen, etc. Swinging the head to and fro in the special forms of Thikr is a great accomplishment in their understanding of Sulook. In the process of this misconception of Tasawwuf the maladies of ujub, takabbur and hasad have become salient features of the new crop of khalifas and their mureeds.
Maulana Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said:  “Sometimes when a man suffers from spiritual maladies (ujub, takabbur, riya, etc.), then abundance of athkaar (plural of thikr) and auraad (plural of wird), worsens the diseases.
The need therefore is for mujaahadah (striving) against the nafs so that one does not become entrapped in ujub (vanity) and takabbur (pride) after having rendered a virtuous deed. lslaah of spiritual diseases has priority over athkaar and auraad.
The early Sufiyya paid particular heed to moral reformation. But today people are indifferent and do not bother about this vital need. Inspite of people staying in the company of Shaikhs and participating in their shaghl and wird, they do not achieve islaah of the nafs. The spiritual diseases which in reality are kabeerah (major) sins remain embedded and uncured in them. The mureed (in this mire) on seeing some dreams, considers himself to be a buzroog. But it should be remembered that the habit of sinning cannever coexist with wilaayat (sainthood).”

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