Sayyidi wa sanadi Hazrat Moulana Mohammad Taqi Usmani sahib db said;
These days majority of people think that reciting lots of dhikr, litanies and tasbehat is tasawwuf.
This is totally incorrect.
Tasawwuf primarily deals with cleansing the soul (nafs) from impurities of bad moral traits, such as arrogance, envy, anger, etc. and adnorning it with good characteristics, such as love of Allah swt & His Messenger, patience, thankfulness, etc.
The dhikr, litanies and tasbehat usually prescribed by shuyuk are for facilitating the achievement of this goal. They are supplementary to the primary effort of reforming one’s character. They are like vitamins. But we know that vitamins alone without proper nutritious diet can never result in good health.
Therefore, keep it very clear upfront what tasawwuf is.