Shaykh al-Hadith Qutub al-aqtab Mawlana Zakarriya Kandhelawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
“…there is one very important fact to which I wish to draw attention.
When the Elders passed away many people desired to see those special qualities which were part of their Shaykh (in those who succeeded them). But it is clear that all those who follow the Elders and are in their footsteps will be less gifted than the Shaykh, except in few cases, as Allah pleases.
Those people who do not see the qualities of the Elder in his successors and turn away from their Shaykh’s path of Tasawwuf, are only doing themselves great harm.
I began to see this very clearly since the time of Hazrat (Rasheed Ahmad) Gangohi (may Allah have mercy on him). During the era of the most prominent deputies of Hazrat, I saw many of their contemporaries, who were also attached to Hazrat through Bay’at. They saw that some of the special qualities which Hazrat had were no longer present in these deputies so they did not approach these deputies for spiritual guidance. This caused me a great pain and sorrow because these deputies (khulafa) were near to Allah and possessed ‘nisbet‘ (the perpetual, close and mutually favorable relationship with Allah). If indeed these people had become connected to one of these deputies (khalifa), they would have progressed greatly.