Replying to a salik’s letter Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘All praise is for Allah. You are aware that the objective of this path (of tasawwuf) is to gain Allah’s acceptance (raza). Now there are two things to be pursued one is the knowledge of the path (tareeq) and the other is to act accordingly.
Surely the path is only one. That is, meticulously carrying out the actions prescribed by Shariah both in physical (zahiri) and spiritual (batini) domain.
Two things are helpful in this effort. Firstly, remembrance of Allah (dhikr) as much is within one’s capability. (This you are already doing and is included in this exposition.) The other is abundant company (suhba) of pious as much as practically is possible. If you can not spare time for this then reading about the pious or their works is its substitute.
Two things are impediment in achieving the goal. The first of them is involvement in sins and other is engrossment in useless activities.
And the thing that is a prerequisite for all this to be beneficial is diligently keeping the Shaykh informed about one’s condition.
After this depending on one’s capabilities the objective is achieved sooner or later.
I said it all.’
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 2, page 1261