Hakim al-Ummat Mujaddid Shaykh Mawlana Shah Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said:
The vital component for reformation (islah) is (companionship) suhba (of the pious), even without formal knowledge. Moreover knowledge without pious companionship (suhba) is useless. An uneducated person who keeps pious company reforms more successfully as compared to knowledgeable person without good company.
It is for this reason I tell that the children attending secular schools should be sent to visit the pious knowledgeable men (awliya). And if their elders also take note of this it will be very beneficial for all.
And I promise that neither will we rebuke them regarding their trousers being below ankles nor discuss the issue of their beard (being absent or being less than a fistful) and nor will we coerce them to pray (salah).
They will sit with us and in the result we will develop a mutual likability and friendliness and they will also develop a congeniality (munasbet) with deen. And this munasbet is the root cause and source of all (necessary) knowledge and actions.
Not all the Sahaba ra (The Holy Companions) were knowledgeable scholars, they benefited via companionship (suhbet) only. And for these reasons Awliya have always emphasized more on being steadfast with pious companionship as compared to acquiring knowledge.
Malfoozat Kamalat-e-Ashrafiya 172
With the summer vacations here, please, consider sparing few weeks, days or even hours from our busy schedule to be in the company of the pious . This will be an investment for us and our children.
May Allah give us the tawfeeq and facilitate its happening.
Ameen, bi-jah-e-Sayyid al-Mursaleen