Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaykh Moulana Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him & allow us to benefit from him abundantly. Ameen) said:
“The thing to acquire from the Sheikh is the fanayiat (self-annihilation).
People consider taking wird, azkar, ashagals and litanies etc. from him, all of which can be acquired from books. The essential thing to take from him is this fanayiat. That is total effacement of self suggestions, opinions, planning, expectations and complete submission to the commands of Shariah.
This is acquired ONLY by accompanying the Sheikh for considerable duration of time.
His suhba is essential:
To observe him practicing Shariah in different settings.
To learn from his attitude & behavior. Where is he firm and when lenient.
To correct yourself by his upright way of practice and implementing Shariah.
To happily bear his chastisement, in hope for self-reformation.
To be ready for his trials and testing, in order to check your sincerity.
To submit to all of his instructions wholeheartedly.
To do each and every major action in your life with his consultation and approval. And,
Finally, to copy, imitate and absorb his all esoteric & exoteric states enthusiastically.
And if this suhba is not readily available then it is essential to correspond with him via letters, mail, phone etc. to acquire this. (As explained in earlier posts.)
Also, important and perhaps most beneficial for this is the detail and extensive study of the malfoozat (suhba talks/utterances) of Hakim al-Umma Hazrat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi quddus sirrahu. Reading them regularly will allow you to absorb the style/disposition of Hakim al-Umma, who had absolute fanayiat!
Equally significant is the study of the biography of our pious elders. Books like: Ashraf us sawanih (Hakeemul Ummat ra’s biography), Tazkirat ur Rasheed (Moulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi ra’s bio), Tazkiratul Khalil (Moulana Khalil Ahmed ra’s bio), etc..
If all of these are done sincerely and seriously, inshaAllah, gradually this fanayiat will eventually develop and grow to the optimum level required.”