In his youth the renowned journalist, and scholar Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi [d1977] (Allah have mercy on him) had turned from a believer to a heretic, an atheist and nonbeliever under the influence of reading books written by agnostics Philosophers. He was skeptical of religion and called himself a “rationalist”. For almost nine years, he remained away from religion.
However, later in life after reading the translation of the Holy Quran he became a practicing Muslim again. Moreover, study of ‘Mathnawi e manawi‘ of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (Allah have mercy on him) had profound influence on him.
‘For some duration I had been searching for a Shaikh. I had devoured all the literature about Tasawwuf and sulook in Persian, Urdu and Arabic languages available to me. After reading so many books and sayings (malfuzat) of the pious the only desire I had was to meet a living saint.
In addition to the spiritual centers at major cities in Hyderabad, Delhi and Lucknow, I visited numerous centers at smaller towns like Ajmer, Kalyer, Dewa, Bansah, Radowli, Safipur, etc. in this search. I did not hesitate to visit any pious Shaikh I came to know about. I met individuals with overwhelming states (hal) and prolific orations (qal). Some of them excelled in worshipful activities while others were deep ascetics. Some of them were mere businessmen in disguise, with long hairs (& sufi attire).
In the end of this search my heart told me that the truth is limited to those of Deobandi affiliation. Therefore, you should limit your search and look specifically within them.
Furthermore, I limited this search to those affiliated with the individual (Shaikh al-Arab wal-‘Ajam Haji Imdadullah mohajir Makki, Allah have mercy on him) who wrote the best exegesis of the most beneficial work of Tasawwuf (Mathnawi e manawi).’
Halaat e Muslih al-Ummat ra, volume 3, page 618