Shaykh al-Hadith Hadhrat Mawlana Zakariya Kandhelawi (may Allah have mercy on him) inquired about Hakim al-Umma Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s (may Allah snctify his secret) Ramadan schedule.
Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma replied,
“The routine habits and actions which we are commanded to follow and implement in our lives are those of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace).
The habits of any ‘Ummati’ are not obligatory to follow. In fact this practice of recording and gathering them can from certain points of view be detrimental. Therefore, to actively search for them is not advisable.
In gathering them and noting them down, there is a potential drawback. One of two things may happen. The deeds of the reader may be in excess or be less than that of the Shaykh. If his deeds are more than that of the Shaykh, he may be discouraged from increasing his acts of righteousness. He may reason that if the acts of this Shaykh are so few – fewer than mine – why should I toil and burden myself to do so much? And if the reader’s acts are less than that of the Shaykh, it is possible that he will be discouraged (loosing the enthusiasm for doing more considering his present efforts to be negligent).”