Hakeemul Ummat Hazrat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi ra said;
“In order to develop within the nafs (inner self) capability of improvement and to facilitate and strengthen the treatment methods prescribed (to rectify one’s morals/behavior), the Sheikh instructs recitation of certain azkar (plu.zikir) & involvement in ashgal (special zikir exercises).”
Tarbiyatus Salik, volume 1, page7
This should make clear the status of sufic zikir.
It is an auxiliary to the real work & effort of rectifying one’s morals.