Shaikh Abdul Ghani Tarablusi al Khalwati (Allah have mercy on him) writes in the initial instruction for a seeker,
‘There are various categories of good deeds. They include the essentials (faraidh), the highly recommended (wajib), Sunna and desirable (mustahib). It is a must for the seeker to start with what is most important. That is, to follow the hierarchy of these actions.
The one who does not follow this hierarchy is ignorant and misguided.
For example, if an individual has fardh salah that has to be expiated and instead of doing that he is involved in offering supererogatory (nafil) salah. Similarly, an individual has to pay back his loan or fardh zakah but he is donating in supererogatory charity. Also, an individual’s parents are in need of his service but he abandons them for a desirable (mustahib) action. All of these are examples of misguided and sinful activities. They darken the heart (qalb).
However, following this hierarchy of deeds is not possible effectively without the guidance of a qualified (kamil) Shaikh or acquisition of knowledge of Shariah laws (fiqh).
It is for this reasons it is said ‘a sufi is a scholar who acts on his knowledge’.
Tarsih al Jawahir al Makkiyah fi Tazkiya tul Aklaq al mardhiyah, (Urdu), page 98-9