Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) said:
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had prohibited bowing when making Salaam. I desire that the Deen returns to its original state (i.e. free of all bid’ah acts). But, what can be achieved by only my desire? Even to those of our Jamaat (i.e. Deobandis) who are supposed to be followers of the Sunnah, there are only a couple of issues which they regard as bid’ah, e.g. qiyaam in moulood, third and seventh day khatam customs, etc. Besides these customary acts of bid’at, they do not regard other bid’ah practices to be bid’ah even if such acts are worse bid’ah than the customary acts.
For example, bay’t. The belief of compulsion underlying bay’t is a total bid’at. Nowadays people believe that it is compulsory. This belief is bid’ah. It is indeed lamentable that when this fact is pointed out, then people of our own Jamaat oppose it (i.e. they refuse to accept the reality of these acts being bid’ah).
Another grave error is that Thikr is considered to be adequate for Islaah (self-reformation). I had debated two hours with a Buzrug of our own Jamaat who maintained that Thikr suffices for Islaah. It is obvious and clear that reformation cannot be achieved merely by means of Thikr. In fact the nafs of some will become more corrupt with only Thikr. He will begin to believe that he is a buzrug, then he will not be concerned with his Islaah (pride and vanity will ruin him).
Islaah of the Nafs is something else. Reformation is achieved by opposing the dictates of the nafs.
from the majlis volume 26 number 6