Following was written in response to a brother’s comment. He felt a rigidity in the maslak of Deobandi Shuyukh in regards to the following of Sunna and avoidance of innovation (bidah).
“You may not be aware that in general Deobandis mashaykhs are qalanders*. Their spirituality is hidden beneath their apparent scholarly demeanor (‘ilmiyet). People see them as molvi, mulla and mufti. Seldom do they conform to the prevalent sufi facade.
I am not aware that any of the senior Shuyukh discuss these controversial issues per se. However, if these topics do come up in their discussion they clarify their stance. In general, their talks are usually free from these issues.
Other unique thing you will notice is their emphasis on Sunna. People nowadays do whatever is permissible (jaiz/mubah). Our mashaykh still insist on Sunna. This is more reflective of their being really the true sufis. Sufis do not look for dispensation. They go the best method possible. Steadfastness (‘azimat) on Sunna is their way.
*In sufi terminology qalander is a person who’s outward appearance does not display his inner spirituality.