Hakeemul Ummat Hazrat Mawlana Ahsraf Ali Thanavi ra wrote to a spiritual aspirant:
“The goal of tareeq (Tasawwuf/sulook) is to gain Allah SWT’s pleasure.
For it two things are required, one knowledge regarding the method of obtaining it and other is action according to it.
As for the method, it is only one. That is to act on the exoteric (zahiri) and esoteric (batini) commands of Shariah.
Two things assist in it. Firstly, zikir (remembrance of Allah SWT) as much as one can consistently do. Secondly, suhba (company) of the ahlulAllah (pious) as much possible. If one can not spare time for it (for genuine reasons) then reading books of and about the pious can also substitute for it.
Two things are an obstacle in acheiving this goal. That are, sins and being occupied in fadhool (useless/non-essential).
One thing that is a requisite for all this is to be effective is consistently informing the Sheikh of one’s condition (halat).”
Masair e hakeemul Ummat ra page 270